Bill Hybels – Closing Session – Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit

Jesus said, "I will build my church, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it." Just a reminder, who will build it?

I was speaking once, and I was introduced as the guy who said the quote, "The local church is the hope of the world." Fighting insomnia on the flight on the way home, I googled that phrase. 251 million results popped up. Right at the top, I was listed as the originator of that quote.

I started reading the results, and a certain percentage of people disagreed with me. For a fleeting moment I had been a legend in my own mind.

For the first 18 years of my life if I had to give one quote about the church it would have been, "Hopeless." I didn't say it publicly, but every day quietly and privately. I knew every day I would be only minimally engaged in the church.

I was driving with my dad and a friend of his one day who found out his wife had cancer. My dad told me he was thinking about inviting him to church. I sad, "Oh, no dad, don't do that. It would extinguish any spark of spirituality in him." I wanted to protect people from our church.

In the next phase of my life 18-35, my sentiments about the church would be changing. I started feeling a little bit hopeful. My hope meter went from out of hope to quite hopeful. I was hearing with virgin ears in a college classroom that there was once a community of people totally devoted to God, and they were like a family. They took their masks off and became vulnerable. Bold prayers were prayed. The church rocked with the power of God. Dr. B would end some of these riffs about the local church by challenging the students: "Is God still powerful and on the throne? Are the Scriptures still true today? Then why can't there be a community like this today? And why can't someone in this class give up his or her life plan to build one?" I would sit in the back row and fight off the emotion. I didn't want any of my classmates to know that my heart was beating out of my chest.

After a few months I was a goner. I was seized by a vision. A vision is a powerful thing. It is a vision of the future that creates passion in people. Vision propels people forward who would normally be satisfied with the status quo. People live for visions, and more often than you would know, people die for visions.

Have you ever been seized by a vision? If you have, you would now. Proverbs says that without vision people perished. I got seized by what a church could be, might be. I wound up walking away from the well laid out script for my life, and I swore to myself I would not go to my grave without seeing if something could be done in Chicago to build an Acts 2 church.

I left my home and family behind, the business my father had built to take over his heart. I moved to Park Ridge, IL to help a friend with a youth group. I wrote a chapter in a book about that 36 month period called, "The Wonder Years," because God was moving. I taught 15 year olds how to be filled with the Holy Spirit. I taught freshmen in high school how to find their spiritual gifts. I taught those high school kids about the beauty of community, how we could be family to one another. I taught them about the explosive power of the message of Christianity and how it can transform people.

We decided to put an outreach night on the calendar and prayed for friends to come. The promise was that after some fantastic music I would spend 25 minutes talking about what Jesus could do. The music was great, and I laid out the core message of Christianity as clearly as I possibly could.

When I gave the invitation, 250 students stood up. I thought, I must have gotten something wrong. So I asked everyone to sit down. I explained it again. I said, alright, we've done this twice. Now, if you want to accept Jesus, stand up. Even more students stood up. We counseled students until nearly midnight.

I walked outside after locking up and nearly collapsed and said, "God, I will keep doing this if you will keep doing that." God whispered back to me, there is so much more where that came from if you will trust me and if you will follow me.

A couple of years after that we saw the birth of Willow Creek in a movie theater in Palatine, IL, then we saw people give not only everything they had but took out bank loans to purchase the land we're at today. You can see why I moved from the church as utterly hopeless to hopeful.

Another move on how I viewed the church happened. This one in only 45 minutes. I was in an airport in south america. Two kids were fighting. One kid is beating another kid. I drag him off the other kid and he starts throwing punches at me. At that very moment, someone from the airline came and said, “Are you Bill Hybels? The plane is waiting for you.” I said, “I can’t go unless you promise me you’ll take care of this.” They promised they would.

I got on that plane and just wanted to read a sailing magazine, but God said to me, “Don’t just turn the page. I want you to think about the future of that kid. Is he going to go on to be a model citizen or if he’s using fists at 9 years old, is he going to be using knives in high school and end up going to jail and going to hell?” But that is hard to think about. So God just said, “What would change that kids trajectory?” Government? Business? University? Probably not.

So on the airplane headed to Chicago, the realization that the. only thing that would change that kid's life is some fired up Christ follower from some fired up church sharing Christ's love with him. Somewhere in a window seat between San Juan and Chicago, I came to the realization that the local church was the only thing that would change that kids heart. That means that...

The local church is the hope of the world.

And all of those pieces came into place in my mind. I remember walking into the kitchen when I got home, and I said, Lynne, do you realize all of this? She said, "Yes, I realize that. Set the table, the kids are starving." She probably knew all of that, but it was new to me.

I can't communicate to you the depth with which this makes sense to me.

When I went to work the next day, I went to work different. If the local church is the hope of the world, then we gotta get Willow to reach her absolute fullest potential. If the local church is the hope of the world, then each of its members fully matters.

The hope of the world is at stake.

If the local church is the hope of the world, then we've got to get people with leadership gifts to lead, teaching gifts to teach, the rich to care for the poor, invite youth into the activity of the church early on. And as God gives us capacity, we've got to help every single church on planet Earth reach it's potential.

For the last couple of years, one more question has been ricocheting around in my brain.

Will the local church, the hope of the world, be able to sustain itself until the end of time?

Don't answer too quickly. Empires and incredible business institutions have crumbled. So what gives us hope that the Church will endure?

Jesus said, "I will build my church?" That is our hope. He is sustaining it, recreating it, reinventing it. He is the sustainer of the church until the end of time. Almost 40 years ago when I was sitting in that college classroom listening to Dr. B., he would say, this is the only thing he is doing. He's not directing the angelic choir or taking naps. The only thing he's doing is building his Church. He knows it's the hope of the world. He understands.

And I hope you will understand. One of the greatest privileges in all of life is when Jesus taps you on the shoulder and says, "Hey, I have a critical role for you to play as I'm building my church in this world. And part of the reason I called you and redeemed you was so you could step in and play a critical role in the church I am building."

Friends, if you have ever felt that tap or that prompting in your spirit, for God's sake, how do you say no to an invitation like that? How do you say, "Hey God, even though you're building your church? I'm busy building my thing?"

Really? Don't be that guy. You'll regret it forever. That's never made sense to me, how someone can say they love God and He taps them on the shoulder and they can say, "No thanks."

In my view, the prayer of every Christ follower should be, "God, I'm awestruck you would include me in your building your church, so today I joyfully offer myself to you again and commit myself to the role you have given me in building your church. I'll bring my best to you."

Have you ever prayed that prayer? Is it time?

How about praying that prayer every day for the next 30 days and see what happens? Could you imagine if all 2 billion people in the world who claim to follow Jesus prayed that every day? Could you imagine if all 160,000 leaders who are part of the GLS prayed it? We would see demonstrations of supernatural power reminiscent of what we saw in Acts 2. I am aching to see this, and I hope you are too.

I prayed for weeks on how to close the Summit, and the only thing I got was, "Bill, call people unapologetically to join me as I'm building my church.

In this gathering all around the world, there are probably more aggregated gifts, more aggregated potential than probably almost any other gathering in human history.

I'm a leader, so I'm going to do what I've got to do. As a leader, you know what you've got to do. Sometimes you just have to call someone to action. So that's what I'm going to do to you now.

John Ortberg – A Leader of Unimaginable Influence – Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit

I live 30 minutes south of San Francisco. Why is there a San Francisco? Because there was a man named Saint Francis inspired by Jesus.

I live 30 minutes north of San Jose. Why is there a San Jose? Because there was a man named Saint Joseph inspired by Jesus.

The capital of my state is Sacramento?  Why is there a sacrament?  Why

If anyone feels inadequate to lead for Jesus, this is for you.  Eugene Peterson grew up in a Christian home but was picked on by a second grade bully.  "I don't know why he picked on me, but he knew I was a Christian and picked on me.  My mother told me this was the way of Christians in the world, and I should pray for him.  One day, something snapped.  I grabbed Garrison, wrestled him to the ground and sat on his arms.  I hit him in the face with my fists.  Blood spurted from his nose, a lovely crimson in the snow.  I said, 'say uncle' he wouldn't say it.  I hit him again.  My Christian training asserted itself and I said, 'Say, I believe in Jesus as my Lord and savior.'  He wouldn't say it, so I did it again.  Garrison Johns was my first convert."

Regardless of what anyone may personally think about Jesus, he has been the dominate figure in western culture for 20 centuries.

Regardless of what you think about Jesus, just look at him objectively and look at his influence.  You have to ask, who was this man?

The ancient world was a darker and crueler place than what people know.  There was the world that Jesus saw could be.  And there was the world Jesus touched.

Too often we talk about Christianity, but we need to marvel at Jesus.

Leaders especially need to expand their vision of Jesus' impact because it is a movement that has reshaped history and is not done.  For the next few moments, let's just marvel at Jesus.

It would be hard to choose a less likely candidate to change the world.  He never read a book, never travelled abroad.  His followers were unschooled, ordinary men.

Yet, it is hard to imagine the world without him.

Jesus gave the world it's most influential movement.

Imagine no Notre Dame, Willow Creek, house churches in China, Mother Theresa, Desmond Tutu.

In the ancient world there were tribal religions, philosophical schools, etc.  The church was none of these (Colossians 3:11).

There's a place called Disneyland and a ride called Small World where there is represented cultures from around the world.  Where before Jesus was there a movement that tried to include everyone?  Not only never had there been such a community before, there wasn't the idea of a community.

Who else brings together Jesse Jackson and Jerry Fallwell, Jim Collins and Jim Dobson.

As a matter of historical reality, it began with a poverty-stricken, crucified carpenter.

Jesus changed how we think about history.

Before we thought in cycles, just an endless series of ups and downs.  Over time, the power of every Caesar and their grip on the human imagination failed.  It was replaced.  By the 6th century a monk proposed a new calendar based on Jesus.  And it wasn't just a chronological convenience.  It was a statement that the world was going somewhere, and Jesus is the central figure in history.

If you had to bet on Caesar or the carpenter having more lasting influence, who would you bet on?

Jesus is the king of kings and lord of lords.  Every ruler that has ever reigned is now dated in light of Jesus.

Jesus shaped how we express compassion.

In ancient Greece and Rome, the beautiful, strong, and wealthy were admired.  The weak and marginal weren't really valued.  Seneca said, "We drown children who are week and vulnerable.  Girls were often left to die. there were 1.4 boys for every 1 girl.  There was this little group who began to take in children.  There began this practice of godparents who would take care of children when their parents died.  There's a book entitled, "When Children Became People: The Birth of Childhood in Early Christianity."  Widows who were fined by Rome because they were seen as a drag on society were taken in by the Church.

There were two epidemics in the Roman empire that wiped out 1/4-1/3 of the population of cities.  They were literally throwing people out before they had died because they could be contagious.  Christians brought them in at risk to themselves because Jesus cared for lepers and the blind and the deaf and the mute.

In the 4th century, the first hospital was founded by Benedict.  By the 6th century hospitals were often attached to monasteries.

When you hear about the Red Cross, Easter Seals, Goodwill, The Salvation Army... you see the touch of Jesus.

People who weren't perfect were viewed in the ancient world as people to be discarded. Jesus changed this.

This is not to say there would be no compassion in the world without Christianity, and those of us who follow Jesus often fall far short.

One scholar wrote, if you ask what the impact of Jesus has been on compassion and medicine, if you look at any organization that serves and cares for the sick, it probably has its roots in the Jesus movement.

The Jesus movement shaped education.

Formal education was reserved for boys, not for girls and certainly not for slaves.  But Jesus said to go out and teach everyone, so they did, man and woman, slave and free. Monastic communities were for many years the only place for the preservation of classical texts.  Most universities were founded in the name of Jesus.

The Reformation and desire for people to be able to read the Bible led to near universal literacy.

Alfred North Whitehead was asked what made it possible for science to emerge.  His answer, "The medieval insistance on the rationality of God."  This is not to say science wouldn't have otherwise emerged, but it did here.

Clocks were invented because monks needed to know when to pray.

Eyeglasses were needed for monks to read Scripture.

Dom Perrignon was a monk who invented champagne because there were no Baptists yet to tell him it was wrong.

Followers of Jesus created alphabets and written versions of languages to bring the Scripture to peoples.

Who was this man?

The Jesus movement revolutionized art.

Dante, Bach, Mozart, Gregorian Chants.  Modern music notation was an invention of the medieval church.  No Sistine Chapel without Jesus.

The Jesus movement changed political theory.

Give to Caesar what is Caesar's. Give to God what is God's.

It was assumed that religion was the prerogative of the ruler, but Jesus said, no, the state answers to higher power.

For what it's worth, the church usually follows Jesus worse when it has political power than when it doesn't.

Jesus changed how we think of human rights and dignity.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights..."  Where did that come from?  No one said that in the ancient world.

People often say they think of a God of love. Why? No one thought that in the ancient world.

One day this man Jesus said God is like a father who is filled with unquenchable love for everyone on the planet.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  This is the first expression of egalitarianism in human literature.

The abolition of slavery and equality of women were movements overwhelmingly led by followers of Jesus.

Jesus uniquely taught love of enemies.

In the ancient world you helped your friends and harmed your enemies.

There was once a man who said what is best in life is turn the other cheek, go with them two miles, love your enemy.  And those weren't just words.  When he was being executed he said, "Father, forgive them.  For they do not know what they do."

His followers remember this and begin to die the same way.  Nero would take followers of Jesus and cover them in pitch and use them as human torches for gladiator games.

Regardless about what you think about Jesus, this is profound.

"The discoverer of the role of forgiveness in the role of human affairs was Jesus." Hannah Arendt


The real question isn't who was this man but who is this man?

He is the king of kings, lord of lords, greatest giver of gifts, he launched the greatest movement the world has ever known.

What might happen if the Jesus impact on your world were to grow greater in the next generation than ever before in history?

Will you be that man?  Will you be that woman?  Will you devote yourself to that man and the expanded vision of his kingdom.

He is the son of God, the glorfied savior of humankind, the savior of the world.

The world is waiting for a fresh conversation, a fresh vision of this man.

Mario Vega – Leading Through the Anguish of Tough Decisions – Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit

Thank you for your presentation, that was a very good introduction. It was so good I thought it was for another person.

Todays theme I want to base on a scripture, 1 Sam 15:34-16:1:

Then Samuel left for Ramah, but Saul went up to his home in Gibeah of Saul. Until the day Samuel died, he did not go to see Saul again, though Samuel mourned for him. And the Lord regretted that he had made Saul king over Israel.
Samuel Anoints David

The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem. I have chosen one of his sons to be king.”

The account that i have just read takes us back to approximately 1000 BC. The age of iron was coming to an end and the people groups of the middle east were transitioning to powerful monarchies. The people of Israel continued to be a nation of tribal chiefs who moved over small territories. This led to a position of weakness before their neighboring enemies, and there had been no clear leader to unify them. Until that point they had relied solely on God for their protection, but the people decided ti was time to become a monarchy and build a mighty army.

This paved the way for Saul. Samuel was God's prophet and played an important role in the appointment of Saul as king. Saul was humble and unassuming in his early years and endeared himself to Samuel, who was extremely proud of Saul.

But on one occasion Saul deliberately disobeyed the instructions of the Lord and allowed himself to be carried away by greed, stealing some cattle from the spoils of war. Saul tried to hide his greed by saying it was for an offering, but God was not interested in offerings but obediences.

Because of this failure, God no longer viewed Saul as a person qualified to continue as king. Some of you may think that God was too harsh in rejecting Saul for a single act of disobedience, but there are defining moments in the life of a man that reveal his character. There are certain actions that people of integrity refuse to engage in. These values have been seared in their conscience. And for them the line that separates right from wrong is clearly defined in their mind.

But when a person engages in dishonest living, they reveal their lack of character. Saul's disobedience was just the tip of the ice revealing his selfish condition. Saul's lifestyle after that act proves GOd had not been too harsh. Saul grew violent and profane. He mass murdered the temple priests. In his uncontrollable ambition, he tried to murder his own son and pursued David as an obsession.

Those who allow themselves the liberty of moral failure open the door for greater failures to come. Charisma and skills were not enough to keep him on the throne of Israel. Integrity of character was far more important.

It was difficult for Samuel to accept Saul's rejection as king, and he grieved over it. This situation brought Samuel to an ethical crossroads. Samuel would now have to choose between his love for God and his love for his friend Saul. In other words between his loyalty to his values and his loyalty to Saul. The moral failure of a leader will challenge the integrity of many others as well.

Samuel knew that appointing another king would damage his influence with Saul, but Samuel determined to remain firm in doing what was right. This is the deep reason that Samuel never again saw Saul's face. Their friendship was forever ruined.

In 1977 I came to know a church by the name of Elim in my country, San Salvador. The church had only been started three months earlier and was only about 25 people. The pastor and I quickly became friends. Two years later I was sent to start another Elim church in another city.

In spite of the difference, each week I would travel to spend the entire day with my pastor friend. And as the years went by we became very close friends. My pastor's church started to grow very rapidly. In one year it went from 3000 to 9000 people. The pastor's ministry was impressive and became a model that many followed. The church continued to grow consistently until we reached our first 50,000 people. On top of this, other congregations were started in and outside of the country.

What had started as one single church had grown to be a denomination. All of this happened in the span of 20 years. This phenomenal growth had not affected my friendship with the pastor. It continued to grow.

In mid-1995, he decided to form a board to lead the denomination. As a trusted friend and the first ordained pastor at Elim, he placed me on the board along with other key pastors.

Shortly afterwards we discovered the pastor had fallen in moral failure. I refused to believe the allegations, but the facts remained undeniable.

Ironically, the first decision the board had to make after receiving authority from our pastor was to have him resign from his pastoral duties. In an effort to protect his image and future ministry, we made the mistake of keeping his failure a secret.

We hoped that he would be spiritually restored and manage to save his marriage and return to his public ministry. Unfortunately, things did not go the way we anticipated. To the contrary, the pastor's behavior became even worse. Clear leadership problems began to surface within the church, and troublemakers began to rock the church.

For the first time the church showed signs of cracking. After two years the pastor showed no outward signs of permission and eventually submitted his resignation, but behind the scenes a division was brewing.

As a result, the board asked me to step up to the place of leadership. For 17 years I had been working in another city. There I had started a church that had grown to 7000 people. I had no interest in returning to the capital city, much less to take charge of a church that seemed about to fall apart.

But God had already been speaking to my heart, and I had the sense that this pastor was not moving to restoration. It was a difficult situation because accepting this position of leadership would alienate me from the pastor who viewed me as his very close friend. I talked with him one last time, trying to make him reflect and think, but he had resolved not to return to the church unless we accepted his immoral lifestyle.

I found myself, with my back against the wall and no where to turn. I had to choose, would I be with God, or would I be with man. I made a decision to choose God with what I deemed was right.

17 years have gone by since that crucial decision. Throughout all these years I have rarely seen my former pastor. When someone's values and life principles are different, life's road begins to pull people apart, and only by accident do their lives cross again.

There were many who thought I had failed my pastor as a friend for stepping up to take his place as leader of the church, but only God knows how much pain, how much anguish, and how much death to self was wrapped up in that decision.

Would you like to know about that difficult process? Then come with me to Samuel's dark night and discover the process that the prophet had to walk through.

The first phase in this difficult process was denial. Samuel's pain was so deep that he could not accept the truth. He could not accept the fact that Saul would no longer be king. He grieved that for so little he had lost the entire kingdom. Everything had happened so quickly, and it seemed like a bad nightmare that Saul had been rejected. He expected that God would change his mind at the last moment, but God's decision was final. The sun went down, and the anguish continued to oppress his heart. His grief was uncontrollable, and he had to confront the new reality.

He entered the second phase of this process. He entered into the phase of depression, the depression that triggers an understanding of his difficult duty, a difficult duty, but one that leaves us with no options. Saul was not who he thought he was. He lacked a healthy fear of God. And the evidence was undeniable. There was no turning back. Integrity lost cannot be fully restored. Samuel searched for an alternative that would not involve firing Saul, but there were no other options.

About midnight Samuel entered the third phase, the process of acceptance. He had to come to terms with the fact that Saul would no longer be king. He felt alone and desolate. If Saul would no longer be king, then who would be. If Samuel was truly the prophet of God, then it would be his responsibility to anoint the new king, but this would alienate him from Saul. And wouldn't this also be a contradiction? Hadn't he been the one responsible for appointing Saul? Would he have to appoint another leader?

The light of the new day surprised Samuel still aching with inner pain, but this process would not be complete until he heard the voice of God saying, "How long will you grieve over Saul since I rejected him as King over Israel?"

The voice of God introduced him to the fourth phase. It was time for action, time to appoint a new king, not time to look at the past but at the future. THe plans of God were still on course. It was time to turn the page over and move into action. The heart finds comfort with every new step of integrity, so Samuel went into action, filled his horn with oil, dried up his last tears, and moved forward. It was time to anoint the new king of Israel.

Leadership rises and falls on the decisions that are being made. Are you facing a difficult decision? Are you allowing your personal bias to influence your decision? Maybe you are going through your own dark night of grieving.

It's difficult when you have to decide over people's lives, but you cannot delegate these decisions. Give yourself permission to hurt, to cry and to walk through depresssion. But never give yourself permission to avoid doing what is right. Never give yourself permission to remain in the valley of depression. Find a counselor if you need help, but don't remain there. Look to tomorrow. God has more for you.

This is the healthiest choice for all parties involved and is the best choice for you. Every right decision that a leader makes will strengthen his influence. You will never regret doing what is just and walking with integrity, and when the years pass by, they will reveal justice and integrity in your actions. In light of these thoughts, be courageous, be strong, live with integrity, the Lord is with you.

William Ury – Getting to Yes: Negotiating Conflict – Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit

Jim: So, you've dedicated an entire career to conflict resolution, how did you get into this?

WU: I never understood why in the cold war we were willing to risk all of life itself because of a conflict between two countries. If we were to look back at now, it would be the great global family reunion, the linking of all people groups through communication. And like family reunions, it's not all peace and joy.

Jim: Why do you think this topic is relevant for everyone?

WU: I see negotiation very broadly as the act of back and forth discussion to reach agreement. We all negotiate with family, spouse, kids, parents, colleagues, board, congregation, vendors, constituents, governments. Think about how much time you spend engaged in back and forth communication to reach agreement, no matter how small. We're negotiating literally from the time we get up in the morning to the time we go to bed at night.

Now, how many of htese decisions could you have made unilaterally and how many did you need to negotiate? It's really the core competence for leadership.

Jim: In you're book you talk about how we have flatter organizations and so you don't have authority over the people you need something from, so you have to negotiate.

WU: If we're going to get our jobs done, we need to negotiate.

Jim: You say the goal isn't the elimination of conflict.

WU: Conflict isn't bad. It's natural. No injustice or unfairness gets addressed without conflict. Competition makes business work. In democracy we need differeing viewpoints.

The question is, can we deal with conflicts in a constructive way?

Jim: In your experience, what is the greatest obstacle to success in negotiation?

WU: It's not the difficult person. It's ourselves. We are the biggest barrier to us achieving success. It's a very natural, human, all too understandable tendency to react. When angry, you will make the best speech you will ever regret. Email is horrible for this. You get angry and hit the rely button. The most important button we never use is that one, "Save as Draft." The key to successful negotiation is to go to a mental, emotional, spiritual balcony where you can get a place of clarity and keep your eyes on the prize.

If I could give you a personal story as an example. A number of years ago I was working in Venezuela and people were on the streets. I was working with the President. At midnight I was brought in to see the President and the cabinet, and I said it seemed like they were making progress. The President started ranting and yelling at me for 30 minutes. I'm about to get in an argument, and then I realized, wait, is it in my interests to get into an argument with the President of Venezuela. After 30 minutes his shoulders sagged a bit and in a weary voice he said, "So, Ury, what should I do?" I said, "give everyone a break, let people go see their families." He invited me to spend Christmas with him.

What I learned is that one of the greatest powers we have in negotiation is not to react. To get centered again.

Jim: What are the skills we need to learn to get better at negotiation?

WU: Focus on the people.
Look at the needs of all.

Jim: Talk about separating people from the problem.

WU: The mistake we make is that when someone is a key customer or congregation member, we end up being soft on the person and the problem. OR we make the opposite mistake. We're hard on the people and on the problem.

Successful negotiators are soft on the people and hard on the problem. You need to listen, put yourself in the shoes of the other side, that may be the most important thing. Understand how they feel. Negotiation is an exercise in influence. You're trying to change someone's mind. The cheapest concession you can make is to give someone basic human respect.

Jim: As believers, one of the fruit of the Spirit is kindness. We don't want to be unkind to people, but you're telling us we can be kind to the person without being soft on the problem.

WU: That's it. You're trying to change the game from face-to-face conversation to being side-by-side tackling the problem.

Jim: Focusing on interests, not positions?

WU: What you're actually trying to do is address the underlying interests or fears or needs. What you end up doing is focusing on the positions people are taking, how much money they want, etc. Behind the position, help me understand what your needs actually are.

Jim: Developing multiple options, what's so important about that?

WU: Once you have the interests, then we can get creative about how to solve this.

Jim: I actually find this part pretty fun when you can sit with the organization and find an option rather than just trying to split the benefits in half.

Let's talk about the power of objective criteria and fair process.

WU: What you're doing is taking what is so often seen as a fixed pie and trying to expand it with the creative process, but there are times when you reach a limit to the size of the pie.

Often this becomes a question of will and ego. It becomes, "I'm not giving in!" And suddenly something you could have resolved in an hour drags on for weeks.

Two aerospace companies were going to merge and problems arose. Which CEO was going to be CEO? Which company was going to relocate? So they began to look at what was objective criteria of fairness. The CEO who was younger deferred. They looked at who was closer to the customer base. Well, the company near DC was closer to the customer base.

Because they resolved the big things that way, the individual departments did that too. They deferred to what was right. This company has gone to merge 30 other times, and they've done it on the basis of fairness, so everyone wants to merge with them.

Jim: It's not long if you're reading any books on negotiation you run into the term BATANA. How does that differ from an absolute bottom line?

WU: Best Alternative To A Negotiated Agreement

What are we going to do if we're not able to reach an agreement with the other side? It's not negative thinking. It's alternative positive thinking.

You're going to negotiate with more confidence if you have an alternative. And you can't effectively negotiate until you know how good or bad your alternative is. If you have a good alternative, you shouldn't take a bad negotiated deal. If you have a bad alternative, even a bad deal might be better.

Jim: You've been completely dedicated to bringing peace around the world and are most interested in situations where people have completely given up. The middle east seems to be just that sort of place. Do you have much hope for what's going on there, and what are you doing to help bring resolution.

WU: There's an old saying that some conflicts are so difficult they can only be healed by a story. For me, the story of Abraham has that potential. We all know the story. Can we revive an ancient way of making peace, going for a walk, side by side, as Abraham did.

We've been trying to open up Abraham's path in the middle east, to allow people to go into villages, receive Abrahamic hospitality. We are one family, children of Abraham in that sense.

The virtue of Abraham was hospitality, kindness. All the way from Turkey where he hears the call to Haran where he is buried, we have opened up places along the way where people can stop in. What I want to do is invite all of you and your congregations to make the path real by walking.

There's an old Spanish poem, "Traveler, there is no path. The path is made by walking." Our site is Our motto is less talk, more walk.

Jim: Any final words to the church leaders to help resolve our conflicts well and usher in peace?

WU: Let me tell you one last story from Abraham Lincoln. During the Civil War, Abraham was feeling very heavy about how to bind the wounds of the nations, so he was speaking one day in the White House sympathetically about the south. A patriot objected. He said, "Madam, do I not destroy my enemy when I turn them into my friend."

That to me is what getting to yes is all about. It's about destroying our enemies by turning them into our friends.

Bill Hybels’ Gentle Evangelism

Yesterday Carly Fiorina, former CEO of HP, shared a piece of her testimony. She had grown in up in the church but as an adult, she had become a woman of faith... just not an explicitly Christ-centered faith.

A central piece of her journey back towards Christ was Bill Hybels' prayer for her when she was a speaker at the Global Leadership Summit and his continuing follow up to encourage her in her faith.

I was certainly inspired by her testimony, but I was also challenged by the actions of Bill Hybels, his willingness to ask someone who didn't have a faith in Christ to pray with him, his willingness to put himself out there, to risk alienating someone in an effort to help them understand the truth of Christ and the Gospel.

Bill's gentle evangelism is a challenge to me to be more intentional about telling those around me about Jesus.

Craig Groeschel – The Strongest Link – Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit

My assignment is to talk to you today about bridging the generational gap. There is very clearly a gap today not only in ministry but in the business world as well. I will speak mostly from the ministry perspective because I am a pastor, but I think you can make a jump pretty easily to the business world.

I would not be speaking to you today if it were not for those who had gone before me. I am here today because of the women and men who have gone before me and invested in me.

I ended up as a regular attender at Pastor Nick's church. One Sunday he said next Sunday is bring a friend to church day. So I thought I'd listen to my pastor. I had just graduated from college where I had been president of my fraternity and still had some influence, so I told them we were all going to church.

Pastor Nick said if you were a friend who was brought or brought someone yourself, stand up. So me and two full rows of hungover frat boys stood up. He said, okay everyone sit down unless you brought someone. So they all sat down and I was left standing. So Nick hired me. And that's how I was called into ministry.

Nick taught me so much. He taught me how to illustrate the Bible with the Bible. How to lead staff meetings. How to do hospital visits.

I was scared to death on my first hospital visit. I was 23. My pastor said, just say what's on your heart. I walked in and said, "Wow, you looked bad." My pastor said, from now on just lie for the glory of God.

He said, whenever you're speaking and forget the next thing you're going to say, just repeat the last thing you said and walk back to your notes. He said, just repeat the last thing you said and walk back to your notes.

I would not be doing what I am doing today if a pastor hadn't taken a chance on a 23 year old kid.

Tragically, though, there's not enough of that in the world, especially in the ministry world. So what I want to do is talk to the older generation and then the younger generation as someone who stands for a short period in the middle.

If you're not dead, you're not done. God values maturity.

You do not just delegate tasks to the next generation, because if you delegate tasks, you'll create followers. We delegate authority, because then we create leaders.

My pastor hired me on to create a young adult ministry. I asked him how to do it, and he knew, but he told me, "That's what I hired for you for." Within boundaries, he gave me freedom.

To the older generation, especially in the ministry world, I would just implore you, embrace the season you're in. They can smell a fake from a mile away. Don't try to be cool. Authenticity trumps cool every single time. Be yourself. Care, love them. The next generation will line up for miles.

My pastor was like a pastoral father to me, and when I finally hit 40 or so, I still wanted to be the big brother to everyone. But it was when Pastor Herbert Cooper came up to me and said, "You are my spiritual father." I said, "no, no." And we went back and forth. And he said, "Listen to me. I need a spiritual father, and you are mine." And he said, "And I am your black son."

When he said it to me, something switched inside of me and I realized I can be a spiritual father to those who come after me. You can be a coach a mentor to those who are coming after you.

To those in the younger generation, let me talk to you for a moment.

You need those who come after you more than you can imagine.

Dr. Tim Elmore wrote about a survey of executives who were asked about the next generation. There was one word they used to describe them more than any other. The twenty-somethings were surprised to learn it was entitled.

Now you don't even have to win a single game to get a trophy. We protected that generation. Put on your helmet to go potty.

Because you feel entitled, you typically overestimate what you can do in the short run. What Nick said to me was, "You'll overestimate what you can do in the short run, but you'll grossly underestimate what you can do through a lifetime of faithfulness."

I asked my pastor one time, "Why did you let me lead up?" He said it was because you always honored me. Andy Stanley says honor publically yields to influence privately.

I think one reason we don’t honor those around us is because we don’t adequately honor God. Honor values others. Dishonor devalues them. Once we learn to honor God, we will begin to honor those around us.

Some people say, If my pastor, boss, etc. were honorable, maybe I’d show honor to them. Respect is earned, but honor is given. Some of you in the younger generation need to repent because you need to show honor to those above you.

If you ever want to be over, you need to honor those under you.

I want to get real practical and talk about what this looks like in my organization and what it can look like in yours.

For the generations to work together, we have to be intentional. How do you do this?

Create feedback loops between those who are older and younger. Before I teach at our church each week, I sit with those who are much older and those who are much younger. I want to know from a 22 year old single girls perspective, how does this not speak to you and how can I do better. I want to know the same thing for a 55 year old divorced man.

Create specific mentoring moments. Yesterday I had the opportunity to sit with one of the greatest business leaders in our country. I had my pencils out. A few weeks ago I sat down with the sharpest 18-24 year olds in our country. If you are not intentional, it will not happen.

Those of you who are younger, ask someone who is older, “Will you mentor me? Will you speak into my life?” They’ll be flattered. Come and ask them questions like crazy. Don’t try to copy what they do. YOu’re not them, but you can learn how they think.

Create opportunities for significant leadership development. We had what we called a developmental weekend where we wanted to develop new speakers. We said, everyone gets two services on a weekend, and in a weekend we trained 38 new speakers to deliver God’s word. No one got up there without coaching and no one got down without coaching, but it communicated our investment to the next generation.

You create those specific leadership moments where you can develop leaders who can come behind you.

To those who have come before me, I honor you with all of my heart. To those of you who are coming behind me and have served faithfully, I honor you. I honor my mom and dad who sacrificed for me. I want to honor my pastor who took a risk on a kid who knew nothing and literally told the board if you fire him I’m going too. I’m doing what I’m doing today because a man of God invested in a young kid.

Bill Hybels has taken more bullets than most of you can imagine and took them with integrity. For what he did, I honor him, and you should honor him as well.

Those of you who come behind me, I want you to know, there’s one thing I think about you. I’ve been a little hard on you, but that’s because you deserve it. But I will give my life for you because you deserve it. I believe in you more than you can imagine. You are the most cause driven generation in history. You don’t just want a job. You want a calling. When you look at the injustices in this world, you say, “No, not on my watch! I’m not okay with that!” I honestly believe you can do more than my generation can do if you will humble yourselves and learn from those above you.

Carly Fiorina – Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit

I'm nervous about this because I have spoken to audiences around the world, but I have never spoken in such a personal manner.

I had dinner with a group of pastors last night who shared part of their stories.  And I wondered what I could share that would make an impact.  And then today I sat here with all of you and listened to these speakers and asked, "Why did I agree to speak today?"  But those of you who know Bill, know that he is a very hard man to say no to.

I met Bill a few years ago at this Summit when he interviewed me, and he surprised me when he asked if I would pray with him.  After the interview he asked everyone in the audience to pray for me and my husband.  It was an almost physical experience where I felt myself being lifted up.

When I was a child I had faith in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, but after growing up my faith began to become more abstract.  I still prayed everyday, believed our souls outlived us, and thought good could triumph over evil.  I had a picture of God as a some sort of super-CEO.  The ideas in the Bible were powerful allegories and profound ideas but not actually real.

Bill and I talked over the course of a year or so and prodded me to question what I believed and why.  I couldn't explain his personal interest in me.  It was his persistance that kept me exploring the contours of my faith.  At a Christmas Eve service I asked God to help me figure out my continuing questions.  I awoke on Christmas morning with a clear mind.

I saw the evidence all around me of God, much of it coming from the world of science and technology where I had made my career.  I figured, why not an immaculate conception.  Every time I turn on my GPS I marvel at it's ability to track exactly where we are.  (And she gave a lot of other examples.)

God became instantiated in a weak body, not because he needed it, but because we did.

A short time later, my father died, and while I was sad, I did not have the same experience I did when my mother had died.  I was filled with an inner peace.

In 2009 my doctor told me I had an unidentified form of cancer. I battled my way through 11 surgeries, 4 months of chemotherapy, and 2.5 months of radiation.  But that sweet peace stayed with me.

I realized cancer had brought blessings: the love of family, the kindness of strangers, the joy of life, the power of faith.  All of these things I came to appreciate in a new way.

My ordeal with cancer paled in comparison to our daughters battles with her own demons.  Two weeks after I finished my radiation, Lori died alone in her apartment.  People at her funeral told me she was in a better place.  For the first time I believed it.  I realized she had not been truly alone.

Soon afterwards, my husband Frank told me he had lost his faith.  He could not believe Jesus loved him and God let such a terrible thing happened.  I prayed he would be given a sign and his faith restored.

A few days after Father's Day he came in with a look of relief.  He had been in the garage and pile of boxes caught his eye.  For no particular reason he decided to open one of them and found four father's day cards from Lori.  He opened one of them and found a letter written many years ago when Lori had written how much she loved him and what a fine father he was.  In that moment he knew that Jesus loved him, and I knew that God hears us and answers our prayers.

There is an ebb and flow to life.  Our life is flowing now.  We've moved to Virginia to be close to our family.  I am engaged in activities that challenge me and I believe and hope make a difference.  I realize that life is not measured in time, but in love and contribution and moments of grace.

In that interview with Bill, he asked about the very last line of my book, "My soul is at peace."  Perhaps he realized I didn't fully understand what I had written.  I do now.  The peace of the Lord passes understanding.

Sheryl WuDunn – Half the Sky: Leadership in the Face of Oppression – Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit

This is an amazing church, a 21st Century church. I hope you will take on a 21st Century challenge.

How many of you have been to Tanzania? How many of you have been to Pakistan?

I'm going to start off in my favorite place, China. This [picture] is Tienamen Square. But it's not really China.

This is a girl in a province in central China. She lived 2 hours from the nearest road. She lived in a hut without electricity, running water, a television, etc. And the shared this great place with a very large pig. She was entering the sixth grade and had been paying her school fees. $13/year. They said, it's getting too expensive. You're going to spend the rest of your life in the rice paddies and the house. We don't need to waste our money on you.

We wrote about this in the NY Times, and we starting getting donations. We gave the money to the school principal. So she came back to school and finished the sixth grade. And the principal came back and told us all the great things he had been able to do, so we called the donor who gave $10,000 and gave a progress report on the school. He said, "I didn't give $10,000. I gave $100."

So we did a bit of investigation and realized there had been a bank error in their favor. We called up the bank and asked if they were going to ask for the money back... Of course not.

So the girl, Di Mun Ju, got a good job, sent money back home, and her parents were able to buy a nicer house. Her girlfriends who had benefitted did the same. The village was transformed.

The greatest moral challenge of the century is gender inequity. In rural areas in China and Africa, it's not your IQ level but your chromosomes that determine how far you go in life.

In the 19th century it was slavery. In the 20th it was totalitarianism. In the 21st century it was gender inequity.

So, am I exaggerating?

Let me ask you a question. How many of you think there are more men in the world? Women?

In fact, it's men. This is certainly true in the US and Europe. In the rest of the world, that is not the case. There are anywhere between 60 million and 100 million missing females in the current population. That is how big of a moral challenge this is.

So why is this?

Scarce resources - When there isn't enough food to go around, they won't feed the girls. In India, male and female babies have the same mortality rate. From 1-5 boys get vaccinations, better medical care, and so girls die at a higher rate.

So the second tenet of Half the Sky, let's put aside the morality of it, one of the most effective ways to raise the standard of living of people around the world is education and jobs for women. Women and girls aren't the problem. They are the solution.

Three problems education will solve:

  • Overpopulation. If you educate girls, they have fewer children.
  • People who live on 1 or 2 dollars a day tend to spend money very poorly. Men who control this much money spend 20% of their income on prostitutes, alcohol, etc. That money invested into education would do wonders.
  • Natural resources - Women are an important economic resource.
    • What are some of the specific issues we face?

      Sex trafficking - We call it sex trafficking, but let me explain what it really is. A 9-11 year old girl in Cambodia is kidnapped, taken to a brothel, forced to work 7 days a week, and often not fed enough. That's called slavery.

      We intellectually understood this, but we didn't feel it until we met Lonpras, a girl whose eye was gouged out by a brothel owner for not working when she didn't feel good.

      At the height of the slave trade around 10,000 (?) slaves were transported each year. Now, it's 800,000 per year.

      The other thing is that if you look at the time of slavery, the value of a slave was very high. It was around $40k in today's dollars. The women who are sex slaves now are valued at $150-250. That means that at this price, the girls are disposable. That's why the brothel owner could gouge out Lonpras' eye.

      And it's not just a problem way out there in Cambodia. It's happening here in the US. It's happening a little differently. Maybe it's a runaway who's prostituted by a pimp, but it's a very similar problem. And there's trafficking via kidnapping here as well.

      The other challenge I want to talk to you about is maternal mortality. That accounts for a lot of the 60-100 million missing females.

      Here the birth of a child is a glorious event. That's not the case in much of the world. 1 in 7 women in Niger is expected to die in childbirth. It doesn't take any special technology. It just takes political will that most places don't have.

      So I've talked a lot about some of the challenges, but there are solutions.

      One of the ways is microfinance. I'm sure you've heard about microlending, but I want to talk a little bit about microsavings.

      This is Guretti. She lives in Burundi with her husband in a hut with their children. The practice in Burundi is that Guretti cannot leave her country without the consent of her husband, and she cannot touch cash. So when she wants to go shopping she has to get her husband to go with her to the market.

      Guretti heard about this program that Care International had been running and wanted to participate, but her husband said no. So she snuck out. Each person brought a dime to the village and together the people involved decide who the money will go to that month. She got it that month and planted potatoes and sold them for $7. She paid back the $2.50 and spent the rest of the money to start a banana beer business. It sold well and so when her husband got malaria, she was able to pay the hospital bill.

      Microfinance can work.

      Let me share with you the story of Mahabuba. She is a woman who has what is called a fistula, which happens when you have obstructed labor which rips your bladder so you can't control your waste. She was married off against her will, got pregnant against her will, and ran off to the bush to have her baby. The baby died, and she got a fistula, so she stank. The village thought she was cursed, so they put her in a hut at the edge of the village and ripped the door off so the hyenas would get her. She got a stick and fought them off that night. She hobbled to a missionary in the next village who helped her. Mahabuba is now a nurse helping thousands of women with their fistula operations.

      You can see how women are part of the solution when they were once victims.

      But let me come back to education. It's really important. Let me tell you the story of Beatrice. She really wanted to go to school, but her parents didn't want to pay the bills/couldn't pay the bills. Heifer International sent a goat to the family and the goat had twins. Before long the family had money to send her to school. She did very well and became the first person from her village to get a scholarship to come to the US to study. Three years ago she graduated from Connecticut College. She said, "I am the luckiest girl alive because of a goat." So I'm giving this talk, and this woman raised her hand and said, "My daughter was a roommate with Beatrice, and she really is amazing." And then another time I met a woman who said, "I was at the church that made the donation to buy them the goat." And then I was talking with Jeffrey Sachs, author of the Millennium goals, and he said, "Oh, yes, Beatrice was my intern."

      You can see the cycle.

      Bangledesh began educating girls and became a decent place to be. Pakistan didn't and they aren't such a great place.

      Now, I have to be honest, it really is hard to help people. Much development aid money is wasted.

      We're learning. People are learning how to make things better and improve the giving of aid. But we have to create sustainable models and teach people to fish, not just give them a fish.

      Unfortunately some of the most effective ways of helping people are not the sexiest.

      How many of you have heard of deworming? It's not as sexy as having a school that says "Women of Philanthropy School of Tanzania," but deworming is much more important and effective than just building a school. Worms make kids not be alert and not pay attention.

      If everyone contributes a little bit and is a part of a movement, that will bring change.

      I know some of you will think, "Why would I want to be involved with this? What's in it for me?"

      There are very few things in life that actually can change your level of happiness.

      A woman who was an aid worker in Darfur and was strong, who hadn't broken down while in Africa, but when she got back to the States and saw a bird feeder, she broke down. She realized how fortunate she was to be born in a place that not only has enough money to feed and clothe people but to make sure wild birds don't go hungry.

      With great fortune comes great responsibility.

      Here's the cause, join the movement, feel happier, live longer, and help save the world.

Marc Keilburger – Against Apathy – Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit

Christine Caine: You started tackling environmental issues when you were 13. Your brother began addressing social justice issues when he was 12. What took you so long?

MK: My brother picked up an article about a Pakistani boy his age who had been sold into slavery who eventually made it back home. And after he had been reunited with his family, the people who had initially bought him killed him. So my brother enlisted his classmates, and they started a club. And we haven't looked back since.

CC: I thought about 12 12 year olds, how has that become hundreds of people in over a dozen countries?

MK: We have 4000 schools and churches, mostly in Canada. We've learned so many lessons. We work both internationally and domestically. We build schools and provide kids an education. So we started to build schools in Africa and Latin America. And we had a problem, but girls weren't attending them. And we found out it was because they had to get water for their village. That's the number one reasons girls don't attend school in sub-Saharan Africa.

And then we had other problems, kids were getting sick. So we needed to provide basic health care. But then we had a big problem. People were becoming aid dependent on us. ANd that was a big problem, so we needed to empower women in the community with micro credit and micro loans. So now we have an adopt-a-village model where they don't need us after five years.

The other part of what we do, is we empower people right here at home. And we start in senior kindergarten. We have a lot of campaigns. One of my favorite is "Vow of silence." It's no phone, talking, Facebook, Twitter, etc. to be a voice for the children who have no voice. It's a favorite of parents.

CC: I'm just thinking, but it's profound, you when to Harvard, Oxford, Rhodes Scholar. How did you walk away from the traditional role of going to the corporate sector?

MK: Somebody asked me a question. It was a defining question: "What type of legacy do you want to leave?" We ask that question a lot later in life, but we need to start asking it to young people.

CC: How do you stop your organization from becoming a bureaucratic mess and keep the passion?

MK: What we have learned is that it is so critical to do this in a way that is very tangible. One time a gentleman sat next to me on a plane from China. He started talking and telling me how much he loved money and how much money he was making in China. And he asked us what we did, and I sheepishly told him we were in the non-profit sector. And he didn't really understand.

We don't sell anything tangible. We sell hope. And so we've come up with some ways we do it. It's a culture of:


That is what we sell. That's what we need to package. That's what we need to communicate.

CC: Now, you and Craig co-lead. I know there are a lot of people who are considering that. Why did you do it?

MK: Two leaders are better than one.

CC: Some people are concerned with creating a two headed monster. How have you avoided that?

MK: Communication and alignment. You have to be in agreement on where you're going, and you have to keep communicating. Organizations fail to scale because senior leadership undercommunicates by a factor of 10.

CC: But can you be 100% aligned?

MK: No, but you can be 95%.

CC: And so what do you do?

MK: Arm-wrestle. We defer on areas of expertise as necessary.

So for those of you in youth ministry, I can't tell you how important this is. When we started this, the least cool things were taking part in glee club and changing the world. Those are now the two coolest things.

We started this thing called We Day. It launches a year of action for social change. You can't buy a ticket. You earn it through service. We Day is more than a one year event. It launches a series of actions that benefit the global community.

CC: How do you make sure that day is actually a Catalyst for further growth.

MK: We work with schools and they commit to a year of education on this.

CC: Do you really believe kids can make a difference?

MK: Every young person has a gift. Every kid can make a difference. We need to help them find what they are good at.

You take their gift, add it to an issue they are good at, we'll end up at the better world. The formula is

Gift + Issue = Better World

If their gift is hockey and they're passionate about homelessness, you get a hockey tournament to benefit the homeless.

CC: In terms of you literally raising up and engaging children, you hear, they're so selfish. They just want to accumulate stuff. Etc.

MK: You have to take them out of their comfort zone. We bring 3000 kids a year to our locations worldwide to build schools. Girls 14-17 are the biggest demographic for us. We know it's been a successful trip when we fly back through London and they make two phonecalls. The first to their parents to thank them. The second to their boyfriend to dump them.

We take them out of their comfort zone.

CC: Every generation has its own complexity to navigate when it comes to leadership. What do you see as the challenge for this next generation?

MK: There are a billion young people in the world, more than at any other time in history. And 9 out of 10 of them live in developing countries.

You have to engage them now, before they turn 18. We can't wait for them to grow up?

CC: What role does faith play in your own journey?

MK: We grew up Catholic and were very involved in church. And they used to say, if someone is hungry, feed them. If they're sick, clothe them, etc. But we didn't understand this. You have to implement it and show them.

One of the women who had a profound impact on us was Mother Theresa. We met her when we were much younger. She was a quintessential social entrepreneur. She had a budget of millions. Thousands of people worked for her. She looked into our eyes and said, "We can do no great things. We can do small things with great love."

Condoleezza Rice – No Higher Honor – Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit

I want to thank each and every one of you for your role in bringing the Lord's message to a world that desperately needs it.

I'm often asked a question, and I'm going to give you the answer to that question. No, not that question. I'm often asked how different it is to be in versus out of government. And it's very different because now I get up, get my cup of coffee, read the newspaper and say, "Wow, isn't that interesting."

This world has been through a lot in the last decade or so. Of course, 9/11. For those who were in positions of national security on that day, it forever changed how you understood physical security.

Then there was the global financial shock of 2008. I can remember my grandfather saying to my mother, "You and John have to buy a house as soon as you can because the value of a house never goes down. The reverberations of that shock have been felt across the world.

The third great shock was the Arab Spring. As much as the other two have forced us to rethink physical and financial security, this has forced us to realize authoritarianism is untenable. The Romanian president Chochesku (sp) went into the square to remind the people of everything he had done. One woman yelled "Liar!" and soon 100s of thousands were chanting, "Liar! Liar!" And the security detail delivered him to the revolution. All it takes is one, an officer at the Berlin wall.

What we are seeing is the universality of freedom. No man, woman, or child wants to live in tyrrany. Everyone wants the basic rights we enjoy here in America. The right to say what you think, to worship as you please, to be free from the fear of the knock of the secret police at night. These are basic and universal desires.

But freedom is not the same thing as democracy. They're linked, but they're not the same thing. Democracy is the institutionalization of those things in constitutions and laws. And democracy brings about responsibilities. It's a long road from freedom to democracy.

And it has taken us a long time to get to where we are. My ancestors were 3/5s of a man in the Constitution.

Democracy cannot, however, be the tyrrany of the majority. The minority must be protected.

And the strong cannot exploit the weak. And that is not just the work of the government. Governments can only do so much, and they cannot put into the heart of every person the understanding that there should be no weak links because democracy is only as strong as its weakest link, and so the strong must hold up and support the weak to make them stronger.

Every life is worthy. In democracy there are no kings and queens or permanent stations in life.

If every life is worthy, every life is capable of greatness. And if every life is capable of greatness, we have the obligation to make sure opportunity is there.

As Christians this goes deeper because we are all equal before God and are His children. Our Lord Jesus died for each and every one of us, no matter our station in life, no matter our sin.

It's not surprising that action on that premise, that every life is worthy, has been the province of the church.

There is a lot that the government can do, but it cannot deliver compassion. I went to Africa with President Bush on one of the greatest relief efforts in human history (AIDS), but it was the compassion of the workers who went into villages.

Delivering compassion to an AIDS orphan has to be the work of people who believe that every life is worthy.  So too, delivering hope and shelter to a woman who was trafficked into a brothel where she will have no hope and no future.

It is important to deliver compassion to the AIDS orphan, to the trafficked woman, but the best thing you can do is deliver control over a person's destiny to them, and the best way to do that is education.

My grandfather, John Wesley Rice, understood the transforming power of education.  He was the son of a sharecropper, but he went to college. My father was college educated.  My aunt became a professor.

Today, when I can look at your zip code and tell you what kind of education you will get, is it really true that it doesn't matter where you're from it matters where you're going?

Leadership requires us to help others recognize their own leadership qualities.  Of course, we have the model for this in Christ Jesus.  But of course, others will not follow if they don't see in you the belief in the potential for a greater future.

No one wants to follow a sourpus.  Leaders must be irrepressible optimists.

So how do we remain optimists with so much hard and horrible things going on around us?  It was not easy as Secretary of State, but look around and realize it was often difficult to lead.  Think about right after World War II when the cold war was beginning.  We were afraid Eastern Europe was going to fall to communism.  (And so on.)  And then we realize that todays headlines are rarely the same as tomorrows history books.

And then we remember that out of struggle often comes victory.  That is the central message of our faith.  After Friday, there would be Sunday.

I've tried to remember in difficult times that it is a privelege to struggle.  When things are too easy, we start to think about how great we are.  But when we are driven to our knees, as Lincoln said, you find an inner faith and a peace that passes understanding.

I often found myself reading Romans 5.

The sources of strength and optimism are many, but perhaps the greatest is to think about all those times that what seemed impossible seems inevitable in retrospect.

How could Nelson Mandela have a vision not of a dominate black South Africa but of a multicultural South Africa?  How could a Polish shipyard worker named Lech Walenza believe he could overcome communism by climbing a fence?  And how could a little girl who grows up in segregated Birmingham, Alabama in the face of bombings and the inability to have a hamburger at Woolworths, grow up to become Secretary of State?

You see, somehow things that one day seemed impossible seem inevitable in retrospect.  That's one of history's little tricks.

But we are to be reminded today that those outcomes were not inevitable, they were the work of people who sacrificed sometimes everything for principle.  They were the work of those who led by belief and faith and put themselves on the line to make the world better.  They led from impossiblity to inevitability because they refused to accept the world as it is but saw it as it could be.

I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to lead in the face of difficulty, for the prayers of others, and the faith of my father and mother which gave me a foundation from which to take on the the responsibilities of leadership.

Q&A with Bill Hybels

BH: Thank you, that was a beautiful lecture, and we have so much admiration for you.  The first time I saw you in person we were both invited to an event in NY, the Clinton Global Initiative.  A couple of other panelists were beating up on you one after another, and you couldn't get a word in edgewise.  You broke in and used a phrase I thought was brilliant, and I've stolen it from you: "With all due respect..."  And then you put him in his place.  When did you come up with that, and how often do you use that?

CR: To be honest about it, I like debate and don't mind verbal combat.  If you are respectful of the other person's position, they have to be respectful to yours.  I knew these folks and we had these debates before.  The press didn't like my phrase, "Today's headlines are rarely history's judgments" but it served me well.

BH: Who was the most dangerous person when you looked at all of the world leaders you had met.

CR: There were a lot of them.  But the leader of Sudan, Bashir, was the most dangerous man I had to deal with.  When someone is as brutal towards his own people, it's a proxy for something else.  When you have someone who is willing to do almost everything, that is a dangerous thing.

Of course, there was a civil war between the Christian blacks in the south and Arab Muslims in the north.  I had to go there and didn't really relish being in the presence of someone I considered a war criminal.  I tried to just compose myself and remember that I needed to get something done for these people, but it was really hard because it was someone for whom I had nothing but the greatest loathing.

BH: You said in your book, "The Highest Honor," that Vladimir Putin tried to intimidate you by standing up and almost physically intimidating.

CR: He's a tough character, ex-KGB, and I was there to deliver a warning that the Russians should not do anything to Georgia.  I said to him, President Putin, President Bush wants me to tell you that if anything happens to Georgia, it will do serious damage to US-Russian relations.  So, he walks over and stands over me while I'm sitting.  So I stand up.  Now, Vladimir Putin is maybe 5'8".  In heels, I am easily 5'11".  It wasn't something I planned, it was just instinct.

BH: I love how candid you were that some of the teams in the book were borderline dysfunctional...

CR: Is this the question how did you get along with Rumsfeld and Cheney?

BH: There were politics going on inside the team and people put you in tough situtations.

CR: Washington is not a good environment in this way.  It brings out the worst of all of us in some ways.  I knew this going in.  National Security Advisor is a different role than Secretary of State.  You coordinate these people, but you don't really have authority of your own.  And you can't always just say, "The President said..."  And of course, when things become stressful, like after 9/11, you become more of who you are.

One thing you have to do is keep civil relations, and we never lost that. We were all friends from years before, and that helped.  But when you have disagreements, what you have to try to do is remind people to work through the differences and never to allow it to become personal and try to find ways for people to get away together.  I think all of that can help.

The other thing to be watchful of is it's less the people themselves and other people around them who were egging that on.

Now when I was Sec of State, I had my own authority, I was the lead diplomat, so that was different.

I still keep in contact with these people today.

BH: At one point you were almost ready to resign.  You told Bush that is it.  When do you play the resignation card?

CR: It's not a card you mention unless you intend to use it.  In this case it wasn't a policy disagreement, if it were, I would have had to resign.  It was the pressure.  On Sept. 11, 2006 we were on the front lawn of the White House and a plane was on approach to Reagan, and I couldn't handle it.  I think ultimately if you cannot agree on policy on a matter of principles, you have to remember the President was the one who was elected, and if it would really violate principles, you have to resign.

BH: I read your books and the President's book, and it seems you not only had good chemistry with the President but truly became friends.  Did that complicate things?

CR: The President would say, "She's like my sister" to foreign leaders.  But this relationship was tremendously helpful.  When you're on the road, you don't want to have to phone home for every little decision.  You want to know how far you can go with the President's backing.  And I knew when there was a problem, because I knew him.

The challenging part is to remember that he may be your friend, but he's the President.  The second challenging part is to use the relationship you have to be a truth teller.  You have to do it in an appropriate way, remembering one person is the President and the other works for the President.  But he knew he would never see it in the New York Times.  I knew that he valued what I thought.  You have to develop the level of trust that your friendship can become the place from which you can have difficult conversations.

BH: I'm not asking this question to be pain, but there are so many people in the US who believe you are eminiently qualified to be the President.  You have been emphatic that it's not going to happen, at least not now.

CR: I believe I said, "Not ever."

BH: You have the experience, but there must be a deep and abiding reason you wont.  Does your faith play into that?

CR: I've never been a great planner because I've allowed for guidance through ambiguity in my life.  I love policy.  I don't love politics.  You have to take energy from what you do as a politician, because it will drain you.  I was on a Presidential campaign from the early stages.  When President Bush and I were schlepping our own luggage and doing 5 or 7 events a day, I'd be drained afterwards, and he'd be raring to go.

I am called to public service, but not just in DC.  I do and want to do a lot in my community.

BH: You're clear in your book and in your talk that you are a follower of Christ.  When you say, "I'm going to go to church on Sunday."  What are you hoping will happen to you?  What are you hoping you'll experience.

CR: First and foremost, quiet time with God.  I try.  I pray every night.  I try to do meditation in the morning.  I try, but life enters.  I find church is a place that can happen.

I am helped in that by a message that makes me leave thinking, "I never thought about it that way," that is Biblically grounded.  I don't need to hear a current events sermon.  But I do need pastors who make me think.  For the rest of the day or maybe for moments throughout the week, it makes me think.

And finally, I am a musician.  When I listen to the great church music, how can you not believe that the Lord inspired this.

And in the company of other believers, that's what I look for.