Seeking to build on the momentum generated by the 2012 Global Leadership Summit, a group of Toledoans that includes Promedica President and CEO Randy Oostra is holding monthly meetings to teach Bible-based leadership skills.
“I’ve been helping with the Leadership Summit for about seven years and I can’t tell you how many people say that after a few months they forget the lessons learned and start to lose touch with the stuff we heard at the summit,” said Ben Snyder, pastor of CedarCreek Church’s South Toledo campus.
The church, at 2150 S. Byrne Rd., will host the second local “Lead On” session from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday (Oct. 15).
Nearly 1,200 people in the Toledo area paid up to $190 each to watch satellite broadcasts of the global summit when it was held at Willow Creek Church near Chicago Aug. 9-10. A total of 160,000 people will have viewed this year's summit both live and in delayed overseas broadcasts.
The annual event features elite speakers from the political, corporate and religious worlds who offer lessons on leadership development.
The motivation behind the summits, according to Willow Creek’s senior pastor Bill Hybels, is that “everybody benefits when leaders get better.”
Among the notables who have spoken at the sessions are Presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton, Bishop T.D. Jakes, Condoleezza Rice, Colin Powell, Bono, Jim Collins, and Chuck Colson.
The year-long gap between the summits inspired a local contingent of Christian leaders to supplement the lessons with monthly meetings.
“It was a group idea,” Snyder said. “And when Tom Martin [pastor of CedarCreek’s Perrysburg campus] talked to Randy Oostra about 'Lead On,' Randy got excited about the idea and said he would help us get it off the ground.”'
The first local "Lead On" session was held in August with nearly 100 people attending, Snyder said.
Patrick C. Hickey, superintendent of Washington Local Schools, also spoke at last month’s Lead On meeting.
Jim Lange, president of the local chapter of Truth@Work, said the monthly gatherings fill a vital need in the Toledo community.
“We have talked for years about what we can do between summits to really foster that yearning for leadership and leadership development that’s out there,” Lange said. “The health of an organization is going to be much stronger if we have healthy leadership.”
The September meeting brought leaders from Toledo’s diverse Christian community, according to Lange.
“I think it does a lot for unity in the body of Christ as well as help people develop their leadership skills,” he said.
Snyder said the Lead On lectures “present a framework for leadership based on biblical principles, using biblical passages that teach us how to be better leaders.”
Unlike most church-based conferences, he said, the goal of both the Global Leadership Summit and Lead On is to apply the lessons in the secular realm as well as in religious organizations.
“Having Randy Oostra, the CEO of a medical institute in Toledo, doing the teaching means he is talking about it from a business perspective, not a pastor’s perspective,” Snyder said. “When other business leaders look at it, they know Randy is a great leader and they want to learn from him.”
At the same time, speakers cite Bible verses and apply biblical perspectives to developing leaders.
“If you’re opposed to the Bible or if somebody can’t get past that, it might be a struggle,” Snyder said. “But we think you can learn leadership anywhere. As a Christ follower I want to learn from people of other faiths because I want to learn to be a better leader.”
The "Lead On" sessions are free and open to the public, but those interested in attending are asked to RSVP by sending an email to Kyle Brossia at KyleB@CedarCreek.tv or call the CedarCreek office at 419-661-8661.
The November "Lead On" session is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Nov. 12.