By Sharon Mager, BCM/D Correspondent
DAVIDSONVILLE, Md.—Church leaders in Maryland/ Delaware who want top notch leadership training don’t have to travel all the way to Chicago to attend Willow Creek’s annual Global Leadership Summit. They need only drive to Davidsonville. Riva Trace Baptist Church will host a live satellite broadcast of the event on Aug. 8-9, 2013.
“Before I went into full-time ministry in 2000 I spent 20 years in the marketplace and attended many conferences and trainings. This is on par with, if not better, than anything I’ve ever participated in,” said Keith Hammer. Hammer is the executive pastor of Riva Trace Baptist Church.
“It is a high energy, high impact opportunity for leaders to gather and be stretched, equipped and challenged,” Hammer said.
Speakers for the summit include well respected pastors and leaders from the business community, government, sports and political spheres including Bill Hybels, founding pastor of Willow Creek Community Church; General Colin Powell, former Secretary of State; Mark Burnett, Emmy Award Winner and executive television producer; Patrick Lencioni, best selling author and founder and president of The Table Group; Henry Cloud, best selling author and clinical psychologist; and Andy Stanley, senior pastor of North Point Community Church.
Riva Trace Church sponsored the conference last year with an attendance of 210 from across the state of Maryland. Hammer said it has consistently developed and improved the leadership skills of the congregation’s staff and volunteers.
There are many advantages to the satellite model, Hammer explained. First, it saves time and money. That savings allows more participation, so church leaders can experience the summit together. Being regional, it also allows for local church leaders to meet and network.
“God has blessed us with this facility. It allow teams to have rooms where they can go and process together what it is they are hearing and learning and how it can be applied to their church settings” Hammer said.
Hammer stressed that while the conference is for the church leader at all levels, it is also for those who lead their families, influence others at work each day, coach softball teams, guide community groups, “wherever God has placed them… to be an influencer, to take that leadership gift and cultivate it more.”
In addition to developing leadership skills, Hammer also sees it as an opportunity to demonstrate and enhance the unity of the Body of Christ by experiencing the summit together with members of all denominations while remaining unapologetically evangelical.
Riva Trace is only one of five host sites throughout Maryland and Delaware. “We’re expecting around 250 this year and have churches from Salisbury, Easton, Glen Burnie, Severn and elsewhere throughout the region that plan to attend,” he said.
For more information, call Randy Millwood, BCM/D’s team leader for the Church Wellness Center, 443-878-4587.
“The local church is the hope of the world. When church leaders get better, everyone benefits,” Hammer said.