Published August 6, 2018

700+ Leaders Representing 130 Countries Gather to Receive Vision of Hope

What do you get when you combine:

  • A family reunion,
  • A strong dose of vision-casting,
  • A fresh approach to strategy development,
  • And a timely infusion of encouragement?

You get the Global Leadership Summit International Partner Meeting, which takes place each year on the Tuesday and Wednesday immediately prior to the GLS itself. The GLS International Partner Meeting sees more than 700 leaders from 130 countries take part in these dynamic, energy-filled sessions.

A Family Reunion

Three people talking at the partner meetingThe first reason many of these partners make the commitment to attend these meetings is out of a genuine sense of deep relationship with many of their GLS colleagues from around the world. Though separated by distance and culture, these leaders are united by their passion to see the GLS fulfill its vision; “Helping Christians grow their leadership to maximize Kingdom impact.”

Each leader who attends carries a particular role in the development of the GLS in their country or region. But regardless of the specific role, and regardless of what part of the world they come from, their passion to see their communities impacted through the development of leadership creates a powerful bond.

And for these two days before the Summit, they have the chance to forge these bonds into long-lasting relationships.

A Strong Dose of Vision-Casting

They see a picture of how the GLS can impact lives, communities, and even their entire country.

“Vision leaks” is a leadership axiom that inspires many of these leaders to take 14 hour plane rides for these meetings.

In the vast majority of cases, those who lead the GLS movement in their country do so as a volunteer. What compels them to offer their time and energy to this movement is a strong sense of vision. They see a picture of how the GLS can impact lives, communities, and even their entire country.

Gary Scwhammlein casting vision at the 2017 partner meeting

But with the daily responsibilities of life always pressing in on them, it is necessary to take time each year to “refill their vision buckets”. During these two days of meetings, people such as WCA president Tom De Vries and President emeritus Gary Schwammlein will cast a compelling vision as to where the GLS is going in the future.

And these GLS leaders always come way inspired to carry the GLS banner forward yet again.

A Fresh Approach to Strategy Development

People conversing at the partner meeting “If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you’ve always gotten.”

That well-known quote gets to the heart of a key component of the GLS International Partner Meetings. A great deal of time is carved out during these days for the leaders to roll up their sleeves and to learn new ways to position the GLS for maximum impact.

Much of this comes by the way of sharing of best practices and through case studies. There’s something powerful about seeing a leader from Barbados sharing with a room of 700 leaders how they radically increased the visibility of the Summit in their country through creative promotional strategies. There’s something exciting about seeing a leader from Bangalore, India sharing how they leveraged digital technology to spread the message of the GLS to thousands of leaders who would otherwise have been unreached.

These leaders come to learn. And at the Partner Meeting, they come away with ideas they can implement the moment they get home.

A Timely Infusion of Encouragement

But for a few days we know we can perhaps lift their spirits and give them a sense of hope.

Some of these leaders come from parts of the world where disease and natural disasters are an everyday part of life.

They come to the Partner Meeting for encouragement.

Some of these leaders come from parts of the world where political or religious oppression is rampant.

They come to the Partner Meeting for encouragement.

Joni Eareckson Tada speaking to guests at 2017 Partner Meeting

Joni Eareckson Tada encourages international guests at the 2017 Partner Meeting

We are all-too aware that during these few days they have here are a temporary reprieve from sometimes overwhelming challenges at home. And we know that once they arrive back home, they will often face the most daunting challenges imaginable.

But for a few days we know we can perhaps lift their spirits and give them a sense of hope.

When we see them leave with a renewed sense of resolve and a new lightness in their spirits, we know that this has been accomplished.

Pulling off these meetings is an enormous undertaking. It takes a hardworking, dedicated team months of preparation to pull all of this together. But when we see the GLS continue to grow and to flourish around the world, we know it is all worthwhile.

About the Author(s)
Scott Cochrane

Scott Cochrane

Vice President of International

Global Leadership Network

Scott Cochrane serves as Vice President of International at the Global Leadership Network. An insightful and genuine leader, he travels the globe mentoring international teams. Prior to joining the GLN, he was the executive pastor of Trinity Baptist Church in Kelowna, British Columbia, and provided leadership to the Global Leadership Network Canada.