Global Leadership 2016 continues its carnal slide

Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 10.18.22 AMThe 2016 Global Leadership Summit is kicking off today, hosted by its founder, Willow Creek Church’s senior pastor Bill Hybels. This year’s Summit continues its trajectory in a secular direction by including fewer pastors in its speaking faculty and more worldly leaders.

Case in point: In past years the GLS has featured at least a handful of pastors teaching leadership skills to other pastors, but this year that number has drastically dwindled to its lowest ever since the Summit began: Two. That number again: 2, besides Bill Hybels. That’s down by half over the previous years.

2016 GLS Faculty

Besides Hybels, the biggest global celebrity name this year is Melinda Gates. (Click here) for the full faculty list. Church growth by numbers is usually the topic mega church leaders take on, and this year will be no different. 2016 speaker Wilfredo DE Jesús pastors New Life Church, and is lauded for taking his congregation from 120 to an impressive 17,000.

T. D. Jakes

T. D. Jakes

The other pastor on the Faculty is a celebrity in his own right, but not in a good way: Bishop T.D. Jakes is known for being a “ONENESS” Charismatic Pentecostal, or Modalist, which denies the Trinity, for teaching a name-it-and-claim-it prosperity gospel called Word of Faith, for coming out in favor of LGBTQ-supporting churches, and for coaching Oprah Winfrey to present a Christian brand to her followers.

The audience

Because the speaker lineup usually includes some of the world’s biggest corporate and political movers and shakers, it might be assumed that the audience would be garden-variety corporate leaders who are trying to lead well in their workplaces. But that’s never been the intended target audience for the Summit, which invites its members of the Willow Creek Association.

Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 10.20.49 AMThe Summit audience has always been primarily made up of Christian pastors, elders, mega-volunteers and church staffers, all learning year after year what it will take this time to finally be a better, more functional team.

That’s a very different objective from how the Summit began, as an extension of its Willow Creek Association’s leadership offerings. (Click to see if your church is a member.)

In 1992, the Willow Creek Association was created as a way to link together churches for the purpose of “Reaching increasing numbers of lost people.” The WCA develops training and leadership conferences – with the Global leadership Summit as its premiere – for its member churches.

Today’s mission takes the focus off of Christ and on our own vision for a better life and a better world:

Screen Shot 2016-08-09 at 9.59.33 AM

According to the site, “The WCA serves pioneering pastors and leaders through world-class leadership experiences and resources. WCA is committed to a singular idea: that inspired, encouraged, and equipped Christian leaders create thriving local churches that redeem their communities for Christ.” (Question: Can communities be redeemed for Christ? That is a topic for another discussion, but seldom do the attendees hear about sin, repentance, Christ’s propitiation, and the coming wrath and judgment.)

To be a member of WCA it is a requirement that the member church, ministry, or leader hold to an “historic, orthodox understanding of biblical Christianity.” source

And yet many if not most of its Christian pastoral speakers, like T.D. Jakes, have been the subject of controversy, flagged as those who have been promoting or teaching unbiblical doctrines. Here is a link to all of the summit headliners over the years, including celebrities Brian Houston, Steven Furtick, Craig Groeschel, Andy Stanley, Christine Cain, Tony Blair, mystic Mama Maggie Gobran, Catholic filmmaker Mark Burnett, and Gungor.

As pastors and staffers settle into their chairs around the globe to hear these leaders tell them how to shape their houses of worship, you have to ask rhetorically, why is the visible church in the shape it is in? Perhaps one clue can be gleaned from Bill Hybels’ 2016 GLS video promotion pitch, which never mentions Christ or God, and could have been made by any atheist CEO:


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25 Responses to Global Leadership 2016 continues its carnal slide

  1. Maggie August 9, 2016 at 6:44 pm #

    The program of this conference makes no sense in terms of reaching people with the gospel and making disciples. But it makes perfect sense if the goal is to engage or infiltrate culture for dominionist purposes, much like the NAR is doing.

  2. Manny1962 August 10, 2016 at 8:51 am #

    Amen Maggie, that’s exactly what it is. Under the guise of promoting one thing, surreptitiously doing another. The sugar coating is the “unity”clause. It shows how much ignorance and lack of discernment is ravaging Churchianity.

  3. GB August 10, 2016 at 9:08 pm #

    Danielle Strickland is a Salvation Army Officer which means she is an ordained minister – she is a pastor.

    John Maxwell is an ordained pastor – he is the teaching pastor at his church.

  4. Molly August 11, 2016 at 8:47 am #

    This related video series called “The Church as a Vehicle to Change the World” is excellent:

  5. Molly August 11, 2016 at 9:12 am #

    Also, here is a related article called “Kingdom Now or New World Order?” which reviews the book “Leadership for the 21st Century: Changing Nations Through the Power of Serving”:

    Professing Christians are truly teaming up with the world in an attempt to create an utopian Kingdom!

    • Maggie August 11, 2016 at 12:38 pm #

      Good article, Molly. I am more familiar with the NAR model of making “disciples,” which emphasizes rapid multiplication of followers by means of small groups. It is a pragmatic approach to Christianize people groups/nations; no true conversion (conviction, repentance, faith) is necessary–just obedience.

      I don’t think there are major differences in methodology between NAR, Saddleback, Willow Creek, et al., because it all originates from Peter Drucker, J. Peter Wagner, and Fuller Theological Seminary. I think the different dominionist streams just attract different types of people. All in common is the lean to mysticism, listening for “God’s voice” to lead the individual and the group. It is all truly chilling.

      • Molly August 11, 2016 at 2:24 pm #

        It seems that there is a Catholic stream of dominionism as well in addition the ones you named, and I wonder if it is the one all others are part of.

        This document on End Times by the Global Catholic Network is insightful:

        Excerpt: “Approved Catholic mystics (Venerables, Blessed and Saints, approved apparitions) throw considerable light on this order, by prophesying a minor apostasy and tribulation toward the end of the world, after which will occur the reunion of Christians. Only later will the entire world fall away from Christ (the great apostasy) and the personal Antichrist arise and the Tribulation of the End occur.

        Although this is not Catholic doctrine, arising as it does from private revelation, it conforms to what is occurring in our time, especially in light of Our Lady of Fátima’s promise of an “Era of Peace.” This “Triumph of the Immaculate Heart” (other saints have spoken of a social reign of Jesus Christ when Jesus will reign in the hearts of men) would seem to occur prior to the rise of the Antichrist. The optimism of the Pope for the “New Evangelization” and a “Civilization of Love” in the Third Millennium of Christianity fits here, as well. This would place us, therefore, in the period just before the events spoken of in the Catechism, that is, on the verge of the evangelization of the entire world.”

        Bill and Melinda Gates are Catholic, and apparently, Bill and Melinda Gates are the “largest financial example of Servant Leadership to change the world” and an example to the rest of us:

        I found this article really interesting as well, “Melinda Gates: ‘I’m Living Out My Faith in Action’:” . (BTW, this article also mentions the Salvation Army, which has a representative at the Global Leadership Summit and which partners with and receives money from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.)

        The Catholic Church and Bill and Melinda Gates seem to have their fingers in everything in the effort toward “New Evangelization” and a “Civilization of Love” in the Third Millennium of Christianity (i.e. dominionism), as clearly described by the Global Catholic Network.

  6. Ashley Vargas August 11, 2016 at 8:50 pm #

    Hopefully you get a chance to go to this. It’s amazing. It’s exactly what the world needs. To unite leaders and shape the world one leader at a time. Jesus would approve of this. The heart of the summit is changing the world for the better. If you feel that contradicts Jesus then maybe your own heart check is in order.

    • Maggie August 11, 2016 at 11:29 pm #

      “Changing the world for the better” (I’m not sure what that means because it is so absolutely vague) is not our mission as Christians. It is to share the gospel and make disciples. The Holy Spirit is in charge of changing lives as individuals are born from above/born again.

    • Manny1962 August 12, 2016 at 7:50 am #

      Jesus would approve of this? Ecumenism, a trinity denying modalist, a movement that thinks it’s going to usher in the kingdom of God after it conquers all man made institutions and imposes Christianity as the law of the land? The book of Revelation would say otherwise. The book of Revelation is the revealing of the Son, the judgement of this world and the culmination of history. These Druckerites have nothing to do with it. Ashley, I would encourage you to find out who these people really are, as the bible warns even the devil masquerades as an angel of light. This is not what you think it is, and man will not make the world better, again, Revelation says the opposite. God bless.

    • Robert August 23, 2017 at 11:04 am #

      God’s ways are not our ways. Bill Hybels started WIllow Creek by surveying people to find out what they don;t like in churches. Where do you find that in the Bible? Would Jesus approve of that? I believe the blueprint for a local church is found in Acts 2:40-47. The 2 churches I’ve been in over 35 years are modeled after that blueprint. The seeker sensitive movement itself isn’t Biblical. The first church I was in sent 2 people to the 1991 Leadership Summit at Willow Creek. My senior pastor and elders reviewed the programs those 2 returned with only to find them useless. I won’s allow people like Bill Hybels or Andy Stanley to speak into my life. In modern ‘churches’ today, things like repentance, hell and sin aren’t heard because they are ‘offensive’ and will affect attendance. So who builds the church? Jesus says He does and He has His ways!

  7. CIndy M August 12, 2016 at 8:14 pm #

    A quote from some of today’s speaker:

    As Christ followers we need to ask ourselves: are we going to spend our lives connecting with people or correcting them? By John Maxwell GLS16

    True humility is agreeing with God about who you are. True dependency is agreeing with God about who he is. – Danielle Strickland GLS16

    I am very proud to be a part of a church that not only builds Chistian leaders but opens up their doors to help develop secular leaders. Isn’t that what God has called us to do! Can you imagine a non-believer attending a leadership conference at a church. For some people it might be the first time ever stepping into God’s house.

    We need to be building each other up instead of tearing people down.

    I’m sad that you taking such a great event and tearing it apart. I wonder where your heart and intentions are.

    I was truly blessed seeing God at work over the past 2 days!

    • Manny1962 August 15, 2016 at 2:13 pm #

      Hi Cindy, please don’t think me unkind, but some of your points are way off:

      “I am very proud to be a part of a church that not only builds Chistian leaders but opens up their doors to help develop secular leaders. Isn’t that what God has called us to do!”

      No, this is not what God called us to do, the great commission is what we are called to do.
      None of the apostles helped to develop secular leaders, what they did was evangelize and rebuke them. Paul never showed any favoritism even to those Roman leaders that were kind to Jews, he evangelized them, he never taught them to develop in more effective Roman leaders.

      “Can you imagine a non-believer attending a leadership conference at a church. For some people it might be the first time ever stepping into God’s house.”

      No I can’t, church or rather congregations are not for unbelievers. Unbelievers are witnessed to and evangelized outside the congregation, if they come to the saving knowledge of Christ then they are brought into the congregation and baptized as a witness. Congregations or as the world calls them “churches” have become compromised in their foolish race to bring the world in, from NAR heresy to the seeker friendly abomination. It does not mean that if a sincere person wanting to know Christ comes into a congregation they’re to be turned away, they are to be witnessed to and scripture explained by a brother or sister. Time was when coming to a congregation was a frightening thing to an unbeliever, biblical expository teaching explained what a righteous Gid we follow, the realities of hell for the unbeliever was too hard to bear, either they were convicted to the core or they left. In the public relations driven “churches” of today, the opposite holds true, a welcome banner, coffee and donuts and the absence of the pure, convicting and frightening word of God, completely the opposite of what The Lord said. In Paul’s day as The Lord was building His church, many held then in great esteem, but were afraid of them, again completely the opposite of what happens in congregations today. God is love, BUT He is also a judge, He is holy, beyond reproach, and must be approached with reverence.

      We need to be building each other up instead of tearing people down.

      In light of the great apostasy affecting Churchianity, we should be acting like the Bereans, who Paul said were noble, not impressed with Paul’s credentials they looked into the word of God to see if what he was preaching was correct and truthful. Should we be any different? Paul said we must tear down strongholds no matter what or who they are so the gospels might be preached and preached correctly. We need to clean house, there’s too much yeast behind the pulpits, too much error, heresy, apostasy…………….judgement begins in the house of The Lord. Too many make idols out of the wolves behind the pulpits, it’s high time to begin to topple those that mishandle the word of God, and teach others to do the same.

      “I’m sad that you taking such a great event and tearing it apart. I wonder where your heart and intentions are.”

      As for me, I can tell you where my heart is….Christ and the love for His righteous word. My intentions are simple, call out error and warn others. Does not the bible say you are your brother’s keeper? Where’s the grace in letting other Christians run headlong into error, stand by and do nothing because of fear they might be insulted? The event spoken of above is corrupt through and through, their motive might seem noble, but as a Berean would say……full of good intentions, but full of errors.

      I was truly blessed seeing God at work over the past 2 days!

      I do not think what you saw was God at work, feelings and emotions have a way of getting things distorted, just because it feels good doesn’t mean that it is. I would ask the The Hly Spirit for discernment and to open your eyes to what these “unity” events are all about.
      As I noted, please don’t think me unkind, but I’d rather be hated for speaking the truth than to be liked and accepted for my ego’s sake. God bless you Cindy, I will pray for you.

  8. JD August 12, 2016 at 9:16 pm #

    “As Christ followers we need to ask ourselves: are we going to spend our lives connecting with people or correcting them? By John Maxwell GLS16”

    The goal of the true Christianity is to connect with people to help them correct their paths to sin no more. True Christianity is not a Jesus who is kind, but a Jesus who rebukes sin, and changes the lives of people.

    No true Christian would hold up Melinda Gates as a good person. The anti-Christ doesn’t come saying he is the “devil.” He makes himself look good.

  9. Manny1962 August 13, 2016 at 2:37 pm #

    Jesus did not call us to any “church building” except the great commission, which is not developing “secular leaders.” Christianity is about following Christ and Christ alone, our mandate is very clear and succinct…….go into all the Earth and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. He said He will be build His church, Christ never said go out into all the world and conquer it so I may come back and establish my kingdom. Jesus said many false teachers will be coming in His name, proclaiming they are Him and many proclaiming to be doing His bidding. So many follow these charlatans because they’re victims of the “oh it feels good, it must be God” dribble these wolves have been peddling for years. No discernment left in the church. If they can’t see through these hucksters, how will they see when the antichrist arises? Oh, wait, they don’t believe in eschatology, NAR will be conquering man made institutions and presumably shackling Satan so our Lord can return and the antichrist is just a metaphor for man’s evil government! What delusion.

  10. Molly August 13, 2016 at 10:23 pm #

    This is a must read!!! Absolute proof of dominionism: Also take note of the 31 Board of Advisor members, including Rick Warren, Tim Keller, Mario Paredes (a Liaison for Vatican and Catholic Relations), and many others both secular and Christian from well known organizations.

  11. Manny1962 August 15, 2016 at 11:40 am #

    Thanks Molly,

    I just read it, pure ecumenism….Laussane and the Vatican, plus the usual suspects that go along with this garbage. This is part and parcel of Churchianity, the great apostasy unfolding before our very eyes. This is the “all roads lead to Rome” theology being pushed by so called evangelicals like Rick Warren and OS Guinness, this harlotry will be used by the false prophet to urge and then compel the world to worship the antichrist.

    • Molly August 16, 2016 at 9:00 am #

      According to this document, we are in the 1st phase of preparing for Jubilee 2033, which will celebrate the 2000th Anniversary of Jesus’ Crucifixion, Resurrection, and Ascension. The Evangelization 2033 brochure states, “We, the whole Church want to give Him the one Jubilee 2033 gift He truly deserves: AN EVANGELIZED WORLD.”

      The 1st preparation phase is: “First Phase (2012-2020) 1st Novena Preparation: Renewal of Church leadership to ONENESS OF EFFORT.”

      Oneness is effort is ecumenism; it looks like we will be seeing and experiencing this call for UNITY through 2020 until the next phase sets in in 2021.

      • Manny1962 August 16, 2016 at 9:10 am #

        Yes this is Catholic dogma being played out. Novena preparation, wow! Well the NAR movement fits perfectly with the Roman Catholic abomination, world conquerors, world “evangelists,” what these blind people don’t understand is they’re headed straight to antichrist worship, via their ecumenical leader that sits on a throne, on a city with seven hills! Just as Revelation says.

  12. Manny1962 August 15, 2016 at 1:29 pm #

    There is one biblical common thread they share, they despise the book of Revelation. As it completely refutes their world view of NAR religious hegemony.

    • Molly August 16, 2016 at 2:55 pm #

      This is really interesting too… it is the Catholic view of “End times, Millennium, and Rapture” that is on the Catholic Global Network website. It’s their teachings about how everything is going to play out and the order of events, in other words, their interpretation of Revelation and end time Bible prophecy. It’s interesting how the prophecies of their Catholic mystics shine light on the “order” of Biblical prophecy events.

  13. Manny1962 August 16, 2016 at 8:49 pm #

    HI Molly,

    Got a dead link. But I searched around since it piqued my interest. It is very interesting indeed!

  14. Molly August 17, 2016 at 4:37 pm #

    Excellent Article: “Ten Reasons to Reject KINGDOM-DOMINION Teachings”:

    • Manny1962 August 18, 2016 at 8:20 am #

      Great post Molly. NAR/KINDOM NOW has always smelled of ecumenical Rome. The whole premise is Roman, and wolves like Warren who are ecumenical are on record saying we should not pay attention to bible eschatology, when Jesus Himself said we are to watch for His return. It’s a demonic movement, of that there’s no doubt, part of the end days Great Apostasy affecting Churchianity. That people believe and follow these false man made doctrines shows this country (and world) are under a delusion, for they can’t see the glaring error in front of their faces. We don’t need too look outside to religions like Islam to see evil, we have evil brewing in the “Christian” camp…………or what calls itself Christian.

      • Molly August 29, 2016 at 2:00 pm #

        Hi Manny, I really appreciated you mentioning that Warren says not to pay attention to bible eshatology. I did not know that, and that comment led me to this article, which links Rick Warren’s teaching to the teachings of Alice Bailey, New Age matriarch and founder of the Lucis Trust. The Lucis Trust is the publishing house for the United Nations and it’s spiritual foundation. See article which links Rick Warren and others to Alice Bailey teachings:

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