Area Church Leaders Gather in Livingston for Global Leadership Summit
Saturday, August 11, 2012 • 6:00am
LIVINGSTON, NJ – Area residents were part of something bigger this week when they took part in a global summit aimed at improving their leadership skills.
The Crossing Church in Livingston served as a host site for the Willow Creek Association’s Global Leadership Summit on Thursday and Friday. This is the second year the church hosted the event, and this year’s summit sold out within three days.
The summit features two days’ worth of seminars held in Texas and beamed around the world via satellite and the Web. More than 200 people took part at The Crossing Church, where they listened to a series of presentations on such topics as dealing with apathy, leadership in the face of oppression, negotiating conflict and leading through the anguish of tough decisions.
Willow Creek started the summit as a way of giving church leaders tools to help them develop their leadership strengths and reach their congregations and communities even more effectively.
“It’s really the best leadership conference that I’ve attended, and I’ve gone to many,” said Tim Chicola, senior pastor at The Crossing Church. “Every year, I have been able to improve my leadership skills.”
Chicola called the summit a cross between an old-fashioned church revival and a Harvard business meeting.
“It’s world-class,” he said. “We have gotten such a tremendous response.”
Bishop Doug Adams of Joy Church of God in West Orange, said he appreciates how this year’s summit built on last year’s.
“Our church year starts in September, so I’m still applying things I learned at last year’s summit,” Adams said. “It’s just a wonderful opportunity for anyone who is a leader in any capacity to improve their skills.”
Even those who aren’t ministers found the summit enlightening and inspirational.
“It has been phenomenal,” said Lori Logothetis, who attended with her husband, Jim. “I had heard about the summit for a few years, and this year, my husband said we should go. I was pleasantly surprised. I’ve learned some life-changing things here.”
“It’s even made me look at my own corporation and some things we can be doing differently,” Jim added.
Church member Kathy Berni has served as the on-site event coordinator for both years of the summit and said they weren’t sure what to expect before last year’s event.
“We put a team of volunteers together and everything went very smoothly,” she said. “We had more volunteers than we could even use. The key to pulling something like this off is to put the volunteers in positions that play to their strengths.”
Another benefit to being a host site for the Global Leadership Summit, Berni said, is the opportunity for The Crossing Church to introduce itself to people in the community.
“Over 50 percent of the people here have never been to one of the summits, so that means they are in our church for the first time,” she said. “And you never know who might be looking for a church home.”