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Why We're Hosting the Global Leadership Summit

by Jim Johnson

A couple of months ago, allegations of inappropriate behavior made against Bill Hybels, former pastor at Willow Creek Community Church in Chicago and founder of the Global Leadership Summit, came to light. Since then, several churches that had committed to be host sites for the annual leadership event have decided to withdraw. The reason given for this action was their desire for the women who brought the allegations against Hybels to "be heard." While we do not doubt the sincerity of these churches and their leaders, we must ask this question: will silencing the GLS make the victims' voices heard more clearly? Surely there are more meaningful ways to seek justice for these women than withdrawing the opportunity for leaders to be trained.

Preston Trail has decided to continue as a host site for the Global Leadership Summit, and here's why. We believe the GLS is much bigger than just one person. It belongs to God, and to eliminate it would mean immeasurable loss to the kingdom. Hundreds of thousands of leaders, many of them in underdeveloped countries, would be robbed of the only training opportunity they have. We asked ourselves if the kingdom really wins in a scenario like that. Clearly, the answer is no.

For this reason, we hope you'll join us August 9-10 for the Global Leadership Summit and that you'll encourage those in your sphere of influence to do the same. It's as true as it ever was: everybody wins when leaders get better.