Global Leadership Summit
Grace Chapel is no longer a Host Site for the Global Leadership Summit
After much prayer and deliberation, Grace Chapel has decided not to host the 2018 Global Leadership Summit. The Summit is a Christian leadership conference put on by the Willow Creek Association, simulcast to hundreds of locations each August, and then globally to hundreds of thousands of people. It was founded by Bill Hybels, a prominent pastor, author, and speaker, who is also the founder of the Willow Creek Community Church.
We are deeply grateful for the good work God has done through the Summit these many years: in our church, in our region, and around the world. In particular, we are grateful for all the Summit has done to advance the ministry and standing of women in leadership and in the church.
Unfortunately, in recent weeks there have been multiple and credible reports of inappropriate comments and behavior by Bill toward some women associated with the ministry. Those reporting such conduct include Nancy Beach, Vonda Dyer, and John and Nancy Ortberg, all of whom served on staff with Willow Creek Church and/or the WCA. We believe these concerns need to be more fully investigated and addressed by the Willow Creek Association, and lamented by the wider Body of Christ.
Lament is the biblical practice of calling out to God in a season of sorrow; grieving over sin and brokenness, and waiting on God’s healing and restorative work. Along with many, we are grieving over the pain that many women and men are experiencing as a result of these actions and allegations, and over the harm that has been done to the testimony of the church and the gospel. It is our prayer and intent that our decision will allow space for our leadership and congregation to process these developments – to listen, learn, and grow. Indeed, this is a critical opportunity for all institutions to reflect on ways to bring about greater justice and compassion, following Jesus’ example as a radical defender and advocate of women.
We continue to value the work of the of the WCA, and will be in prayer for their leadership, and for Bill and his family, and for the women involved and their families. We are sorry we will not be able to host and connect with our many ministry friends here in greater Boston this summer. We encourage those interested in attending the Summit to take advantage of one of the regional sites that will be hosting this year.
Grace Chapel remains as committed as ever to developing Kingdom leaders for the church and society, to advancing the freedom, dignity, and leadership of women, and to uniting with missional churches and agencies to serve the world in Jesus’ name.
For a list of nearby Summit Host sites, please visit Willow Creek Association's Summit website.
If you've already registered for the Summit and have questions, you can call WCA directly at 800-570-9812.