On August 9 and 10, Anna and I attended The Global Leadership Summit at a satellite location. Anna bought us tickets as part of my Christmas gift last year. This was my third time attending the conference and Anna’s first. We very much enjoyed this year’s summit even though it began with a somber tone due to the sexual misconduct allegations against Bill Hybels, the founder of the GLS Summit and Willow Creek Church.
While Bill Hybels is no longer affiliated with the GLS or Willow Creek, you could sense that it was tough for our affiliate site, speakers, and attendees to move forward.
According to The Global Leadership Summit’s website, “The Global Leadership Summit exists to transform Christian leaders around the world with an injection of vision, skill development and inspiration for the sake of the local church.”
All the speakers at this year’s summit had important takeaways that I wrote down and could implement into my life. Instead of rehashing all the speakers’ points, I’ll share about one speaker who surprised me the most and who had the biggest influence on me during the summit.
Erwin McManus is the founder and senior pastor of Mosaic, a church in Los Angeles. In his talk, he mentioned that he was in the middle of writing a book when his doctor told him that he had cancer. The irony of it all was that the book he was writing was called “The Last Arrow: Save Nothing for the Next Life.” That night he went home to edit the manuscript of the book and the first line he read was, “Before you hear from someone else, I need to tell you that I am dying.” He wrote that line a year before his doctor told him that he had cancer.
Erwin said that the core of the book is that we are all dying: “From the moment we take our first breath, we our headed to our last breath. Our lives are the dash between the numbers on our tombstone . . . and we need to live this life to the fullest.”
He goes on to say that “The Last Arrow” has “one significant purpose. That you might live your life without regret. That you might take all your talent, your potential, your passion, your intellect, your resources and use them to make the greatest impact through your life. It’s time to take our last arrow and strike, and strike, and strike, and though we have taken our last breath, that we have left nothing undone.”
The talk was all about dying empty, leave nothing left in the tank, give it all you got. You have this one life; why waste it.
Below are my key takeaways from Erwin’s talk.
So many people need permission to get started. But no one needs permission to quit.
One great line Erwin had in his talk was “So many people need permission to get started. But no one needs permission to quit.” That line is very powerful and very true. Erwin went on to say that, “So many of us confused those moments when we thought we failed, but we quit.”
There are many times in my life when I waited on the sidelines for an invitation before taking action: asking a girl out on a date, applying for a new job, and even starting this blog. I wanted a sure thing in order to avoid failure and embarrassment.
Step through your fears into your freedom
When Erwin talked about stepping through your fears into your freedom, it made me think back to the times in my life when I stepped through my fears and came out the other side feeling better. No matter if things went my way or not, I felt better knowing that I tried rather than wondering about what could have been.
One example of this was over ten years ago when I was talking with a professor from the University of Northern Iowa at a local advertising club event. During our conversation, he mentioned that they were looking for an adjunct instructor to teach a night class on Desktop Composition and wanted to know if I knew of anyone who was qualified. Without even thinking about it, I told him that I was interested. Long story short, I got the job.
What you fear, creates your boundaries
My final take away from Erwin was, “What you fear, creates your boundaries.” Some people use fear to propel them to new heights while others let fear keep them on the ground. If you don’t push past your fears, they will define you.
I would recommend The Global Leadership Summit to anyone looking to better themselves and learn from prominent leaders throughout the world. We are all leaders because we all influence others either at home, work, school, church, or all of those places.
Did you attend The Global Leadership Summit this year? Have you attended in the past? If so, I would love to hear your thoughts and takeaways from this year or years past.