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Faith, Business, and Social Sector Leaders Converge for Worldwide Leadership Summit

Contact: Paul Braoudakis, Willow Creek Community Church, 224-512-1362, media@willowcreek.com


SOUTH BARRINGTON, Ill., July 8 /Christian Newswire/ -- A veritable brain trust of church, business, and social sector leaders will assemble for The Leadership Summit 2008, an annual global gathering of 100,000 church and business leaders in more than 230 cities worldwide. The Leadership Summit, which originates from Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill., will be beamed live via satellite to 123 locations in North America, Thursday, Aug. 7 - Friday, Aug. 8, and will be videocast to an additional 108 cities worldwide in the fall.


Now in its 13th year, The Summit's principles of dynamic leadership have transcended the walls of the church as companies now routinely send teams to The Summit and use it as one of their core annual training events. The Leadership Summit provides inspiration and motivation for those with leadership abilities or responsibilities.


Among this year's speakers are: Wendy Kopp, founder and CEO of Teach for America, and recently named in TIME magazine as one of the top 100 most influential people in the world; Brad Anderson, CEO of Best Buy; and Chuck Colson, former legal counsel to President Nixon and founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries. Speakers at The Leadership Summit 2008 will present motivation and innovative principles on topics that are applicable in both the boardroom and church and ministry settings, with topics including leadership challenges, team building, implementing strategy, and leveraging leadership through social justice and compassion. Other speakers will include:


n      Bill Hybels -- International leadership expert, presidential counselor, founder and senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Ill., rated the "Most Influential Church" in the U.S. in 2007; author of Courageous Leadership and Axiom: The Language of Leadership.


n      Craig Groeschel -- Senior pastor of LifeChurch.tv, one of the country's first multi-campus churches and recently rated as the Most Innovative Church in the U.S.


n      Bill George -- Harvard Business School professor and former CEO of Medtronic, the world's leading medical technology company; author of the best-selling books True North: Discover Your Authentic Leadership and Authentic Leadership: Rediscovering the Secrets to Creating Lasting Value.


n      Catherine Rohr -- CEO and founder of the nonprofit Prison Entrepreneurship Program, a one-of-a-kind program providing training, mentoring, and support to prison inmates resulting in a 98 percent employment rate and the launching of 40 entrepreneurial businesses.


n      Gary Haugen -- Founder and CEO of International Justice Mission (IJM) an international agency that rescues victims of violence, sexual exploitation, slavery, and oppression worldwide. Haugen and the work of IJM have been featured on "Dateline NBC" and "The Oprah Winfrey Show."


This year's Leadership Summit will also feature the awarding of the second annual "Courageous Leadership Award." A handful of churches will be awarded $200,000 for demonstrating outstanding involvement and effectiveness in the fight against AIDS.


For information about local satellite sites or to register for The Leadership Summit 2008, visit www.willowcreek.com/summit or call (800) 570-9812. The Willow Creek Association (WCA), host of the annual Leadership Summit, is a growing multi-denominational worldwide network of nearly 13,000 churches from 90 denominations and 35 countries. The WCA equips churches and church leaders with strategic vision, training, and resources.