Every year, the Willow Creek Association broadcasts its Global Leadership Summit to audiences across North America, encouraging and equipping participants to become better employers, instructors, and leaders.
Included with the hundreds of churches and organizations who hosted the 2016 simulcast were 43 prisons, where attendees were given the tools and support needed to become effective leaders in prison and, for those who are preparing to leave prison, productive members of their communities.
Thirty-six facilities participating in this year’s Summit currently have Prison Fellowship programming. One of those was the Muskegon Correctional Facility in Muskegon, Michigan. The following reflections are from men who took part in the two-day broadcast in that prison.
“This summit, some days later, continues to have an immense impact on me in areas of family, ministry, and business. It has instructed and inspired me to add value to others, to facilitate healthy teamwork and communication, and to remember the importance of self-reflection. It has also reminded me that Christ is not only the example, but also the foundation an power source for true and God-pleasing leadership.”
– Michael J.
“Above the flow of all the messages of the summit was the theme that we are called to multiply what God has entrusted to us by utilizing all our gifts, time, energy, and resources to improve the lives of others and glorify Him. The challenge was strong. The truth was clear. The time is now. We are called to be world-changers by making a good impact with the life God has given us.”
– Dillon S.
“Thank you once again for investing in my destiny. With God-given purpose, vision, inspiration, and practical skills, I can now maximize my Kingdom impact here at MCF and when I transition back into society.”
– Reynaldo F.
“One by one, the men who are becoming leaders in here today will be coming back to their communities and imbued with a spirit of a servant leader. [Summit organizer] Bill Hybels claims that the local church has the power to change the world. Let us not forget, there are local churches inside each correctional facility and the seeds invested into them will also have the power to change the world.”
“To those of you who are thinking about attending the Global Leadership Summit—don’t think about it, do it! This is my second year attending here at MCF, an without a doubt it was worth every minute of my time. … The amount of godly wisdom and insight I received from all of the speakers has helped me to see many different facets of leadership that have truly been built on the foundations of Christ.”
– Gerald S.
“As an inmate, the Global Leadership Summit was a unique opportunity to be exposed to—and learn from—some of the smartest and most successful leaders in the world. One of the biggest challenges that an inmate faces is overcoming the feeling that your life is a failure, or, even worse, that it simply doesn’t matter. It’s the feeling that your life will forever be defined by the sum total of the mistakes you made that brought you to prison. It’s the feeling that the world—and even God—must be done with you. Most of prison is designed to reinforce this feeling, but there are occasions when the truth of God’s promise in each of our lives breaks through, and the GLS is one of those occasions.”
– Jason A.
“I am a better man for having attended the Summit. Eye-opening insights thought only available to an elite few have started an inner conversation bent on Godly success. Hope is in the air. Never before in close to 20 years in prison have I been so motivated, so thankful, so hopeful for a new direction in life. The Global Leadership Summit and Prison Fellowship have given me a playbook and a bag of tools. It is time to go to work. It’s time to be a better man for my Father.”
Prison Fellowship works with organizations like the Willow Creek Association to bring transformative programming such as the Global Leadership Summit to men and women behind bars. To learn more about how you can help, either through financial contribution or by volunteering to serve prisoners, former prisoners, and their families, visit www.prisonfellowship.org/action.