GLS 2008, or The Global Leadership Summit, first Romanian edition has ended. Almost 400 participants have filled up the “Margareta” conference hall, belonging to the Bradet Hotel in Sovata, for two full days. Those who attended this event have experienced a true spiritual tsunami.
Even from the first evening, the known American Christian leader, Bill Hybels, Pastor of Willow Creek and initiator of this Summit, which got this year to 250 cities and 56 countries, has touched many people, speaking to them about “Holy Discontent,” a dissatisfaction that, as he says, you must take care, even feed it. It is that discontent that made Moses risk his social position, to defend his fellow brother, who was tramped by an Egyptian. It is that holy discontent that captured David when he saw Goliath mocking the people of Israel and his God. It was this huge discontent that grabbed Neemiah, when he learned about the decrying state of the people and that of the walls of Jerusalem. This discontent, says Hybels, that makes you say at one point “That’s it. That’s all I can stand. I can stand no more!”. This is the discontent of someone who sees the world through God’s eyes, someone who, in this way is prepared to stand in the gap and who, when spiritual tension becomes unbearable is sent by the Lord, with His power, to solve that situation.
It is hard to evaluate the impact of Bill Hybel’s message in the hearts of his listeners. It is sure though that many of thos present have an instant revelation and better understood some of the things in their lives. Also, for many, the word “calling” has reached new meanings, much more profound and easy to understand. God calls you to intervene when you can’t stand a certain situation that he can’t stand either. Yes, this had a revelation value for all those present there!
Other sessions followed, one more valuable informational and transformational than the other. We cannot go into details, but rather want to review the speakers and their titles:
1. Andy Stanley: “Making Vision Stick”. Founder of North Point Ministries in 1995, Andy Stanley is successfully leading a fast-growing church while working to remain focused on his God-given strategy. Each Sunday, more than 15,000 attend worship services at one of the three NPM campuses.
The purpose of NPM is to lead people into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ, developing an environment for people to be encouraged and helped to look for intimacy in their relationship with God, have community with the insiders and influence the outsiders.
2. Jim Collins: “Good to Great”. Jim Collins is a student and teacher of enduring great companies — how they grow, how they attain superior performance, and how good companies can become great companies. Having invested over a decade of research into the topic, Jim has authored or co-authored four books, including the classic BUILT TO LAST, and the best-seller published in The New York Times, Good to Great.
3. Patrick Lencioni: “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team”. The passion of Patrick Lenciony for different organizations and teams recommend him as one of the most sought for consultants and speakers on this issue. Author of many management books, he hes been described by Ken Blanchard as “fast defining the next generation of business thinkers.”
Patrick Lencioni is founder and president of The Table Group, Inc., a specialized management-consulting firm focused on executive team-development and organizational health. Notable clients who have engaged his services include Microsoft, Charles Schab, Amazon.com, Sam’s Club, US Army and FedEx.
4. T.D.Jakes: “Exceptional Leadership”. T.D. Jakes, founder and Senior Pastor of The Potter’s House church (Dallas, Texas), one of the fastest growing churches in America, with more than 28,000 members, forming a multi-rasial congregation which developed in only five years. In 2001, TIME magazine and CNN have nominated bishop Jakes as “The best preachers in America”.
5. John Ortberg: “The Seduction of a Leader”. A voice with a lot of authority when it comes to spiritual development, Josh Ortberg brings with him the advantage of a heart trained in the pastoral activity and the capacity of analysis and synthesis belonging to a high level education in Psychology when he addresses problems dealing with character and motivation in the life of a leader. John Ortberg is a highly-acclaimed writer and speaker and is the senior pastor at Menlo Park Presbyterian Church in Menlo Park, California. He is the best-selling author of many books including God is Closer Than You Think, Everybody’s Normal Till You Get to Know Them. Ortberg served as the teaching pastor at Willow Creek Community Church from 1994 to 2003 and earned a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Fuller Seminary.
These are those who delighted us in Sovata, but, beyond the joy of listening to them and learn from the richness of their experience, we saw the transforming power of the delivered messages. Practically, you become aware that you can’t remain the same, after you listen to these people. You understand that God is calling you to action, to become a leader where you are. And we belive God is using the Global Leadership Summit to challenge the people he wants to use in Romania.
We can’t end this without remembering the teamwork that so vitally contributed to this event to become reality. Those who coordinated and made things happen – Gelu Paul Faina, Cristi Voaide?, Mircea Neiconi, Cristi Barbosu, and the volunteers in their teams, or those who led us intor worship, offering us unforgettable moments, as Relu Bahnaru, Marius Mezin, Emanuel Dejeu, and the others who made this work, including the technical team, from which we are only emphasizing some names – Catalin Chiciudean, Johny Alboni, Dani Ivanc or Sebi Trandafir. Not being able to write the names of all the people involved, we want to thank them for their professionalism and commitment in making the GLS 2008 work.
The next Romanian edition of this Summit will take place next year in October. To reduce the costs for attending and to make the conference more convenient for the potential attendants, the organizers are taking into account the option of having the Summit in three separate locations, probable Bucharest, Timisoara and Galati. As the details will be clear, we will keep you updated on our website about the GLS 2009.
Before showing you a gallery with the best pictures taken during the GLS2008, we want to share with you a few of the participants’ insights, recorded during or at the end of the event:
Marius Ungur, Prietenia church, Oradea: Besides the exceptional programming, tonight’s session made us aware of what Bill Hybels calls “holy discontent”, which determines you to start all over each morning, surpassing difficult things and problems. In one word – challenging.
Scott Dunn, misionary, Arad: It was the second time I heard Bill Hybels…first time was in person, but, even now, the impact was major, in line with my expectations.
Ionut Corlan, Turnu Severin: This session was extremely powerful and really unique. I can’t belive a video session coud pour so much in my mind, with so many challenging information – it was really cool!
Lidia Schiopu, Timisoara: It was a special time for me! Even since the first session, God has touched my heart. I needed to hear from him! I needed to stop and think of the things that I would like to be different and what I can do about it. Bill’s message reminded me of the burden God has put on my heart so many years ago and of the fact that I decided to live the rest of my life fulfilling the vision he entrusted me. Sometimes you get weary, and need a new challenge…These days were a real blessing for me! I know what I have to do!
Narcis Ciobanu, pastor, Sf.Treime Baptist church, Galati: Tonight’s message was clear, extremely practical, but what surprised me unexpectedly was the emphasizing of the challenge to make a practical decision, emphasize that was so well anchored in the Word of God.
Mihaela Aostacioaiei, Galati: Tonight I had a true revelation…for a lot of time I carry with me a discontent that was wrecking me and I never saw that as coming from the Lord, until now. Now though, I fully understand this and could hardly wait to see what is God leading me to.
Marius Koritar, Mangalia: As much as I could see until now, the GLS messages are suitable to be listened by all the Romanian leaders. I want us to desire, those of us who attend this event, to look with anticipation towards what God expects from everyone of us and to act accordingly. I am so happy to attend this conference!
Anca Sofronie, Bucuresti: About tonight’s message I can tell you it was full of substance and challenging!
Florin Strugariu, Cernavoda: This is the first time I attend such a large event. Tonight’s message exceeds my expectations and I wish God would use me for having an impact in the lives of many people around me, together with the church in which I serve.
Cristi Soimaru, pastor, Bucuresti: I attended many conferences, but this meeting is uniquely different and I feel God has spoken to my heart. I was extremely ipressed to see a young couple from my church, looking to one another, sharing and crying before the Lord. As a result of this conference, I have a renewed hope for Romania, because I am sure God will challenge all the attendants toward great things.