I’ve had the privilege of attending the Willow Creek Leadership Summit the last two years. Last year, I didn’t really know what to expect. This year, with my upcoming field study, I had a sense of anticipation. There were a lot of great speakers and this year there were a lot of small statements that spoke directly to me. They were convicting and I’m still working to live these out. Here are a few of the statements that stood out to me.Willow Creek Leadership Summit 2009

  • Don’t be afraid to start small.

  • Just start.

  • Don’t let fear cripple you from acting.

  • Stop thinking so much.

  • Weakness guides us more than our strengths.

  • Obedience is more important than passion.

  • You must have a tolerance for failure.

  • Failure is success in God’s eyes. (Meaning that even if we “fail”, at least we were being obedient to God by acting.)

A friend of mine encouraged me to come up with three takeaways from the Summit and be diligent about implementing them into my life.  I’ve been tweaking these over the last month or so.

  1. I will develop a tolerance for failure by getting started and if necessary starting small with the understanding that failure is success in God’s eyes because I have been obedient and taken action.

  2. I will empower people in our ministry through colloraboration, mutual trust, and ownership of the ministry while paying attention to those on the fringe.

  3. I will minimize the place of fear and over-analyzing upon my obedience by utilizing a Fear/Over-thinking vs Obedience checklist to determine when I am failing to act.


  1. Am I failing to act because of fear? If yes, suck it up and act.

  2. Am I failing to act because I need more data? Then ask the follow-up question.

  3. Will more data help me make a better decision? If yes, then get the data and act.  If no, suck it up and act.

Anyone that knows me, knows that I have all kinds of ideas but I fail to act because I think through every contingency and never act.  I’m having to take this advice as I help plan for a bible study we are going to start in a local apartment complex.  There are so many unknowns that I want to plan for but at some point, I’ve just got to suck it up and act.

So, which of these points speak to you and point out a shortcoming in your life?  How can you go about changing this shortcoming?