Organization leadership is in short supply. Just ask any company board of directors, military general, university president or pastor of any church denomination and they’ll tell you that with a qualifier. A moral compass-led leadership is what is needed today. Pastor Bill LaMora of Rolla’s First United Methodist Church (UMC) wants to improve the odds. He knows what a moral leader can do for an organization and the effect it can have on a whole community for positive, long-lasting change.

Organization leadership is in short supply. Just ask any company board of directors, military general, university president or pastor of any church denomination and they’ll tell you that with a qualifier. A moral compass-led leadership is what is needed today.

Pastor Bill LaMora of Rolla’s First United Methodist Church (UMC) wants to improve the odds. He knows what a moral leader can do for an organization and the effect it can have on a whole community for positive, long-lasting change.

A two-day Global Leadership Summit that is focused on faith-based leadership is coming to town on Thursday, August 10 and Friday, August 11. Pastor Bill says the simulcast (live satellite feed) is unapologetically Christian, to influence and raise up leaders. It is a production of megachurch leader Bill Hybels of Willow Creek Community Church fame.
Satellite receivers were recently installed on the UMC roof in preparation to receive the Summit simulcast (live feed) signals that will be broadcast around the world at 675 sites in 128 countries.

Leadership in any organization has always been important, but why is the timing of this Summit particularly prescient?

“The focus is raising up leaders in the community,” he said. “As we look around our church, our community, our state, you see a desperate need for raising up leaders with a moral compass who are interested in strong values. We just lack for leaders.”

“We’ve had the pleasure of having several of our staff attend this conference,” said the pastor. He said they liked the overall message and found the diversity of speakers particularly encouraging, to match any management challenge.

Angela Fenwick, communications director for the church explained there was not a site in southern Mo., other than Potosi, that is carrying the teleconference summit. A Jefferson City site is hosting again, she said, “but anyone in this general region has to drive an hour to an hour and a half to attend.”

Pastor Bill thinks many in the area can benefit from the learning that will take place during the Summit, due to the fact that Rolla has the university and more than a smattering of corporate businesses. Fort Leonard Wood’s proximity is also a  draw for possible teleconference attendees.

While the Summit is Christian-based, leaders from many different organizations will address the crowd, such as Sheryl Sandberg, Andy Stanley, Marcus Lemonis and Juliet Funt.
Pastor Bill says these speakers are adept at presenting new ideas and are proven culture changers within their respective fields.

Topics will include assessing an organization’s growth potential, creating an innovative culture, streamlining processes to boost execution, thriving in the face of adversity, reimagining performance management and identifying personal attributes critical for success.

Other than marketers or journalists, no one knows more about messaging and how to get it out to the masses better than an enterprising church leadership. Pastor Bill says it’s time to step up to the plate. He notes this venture is not a money-maker event for UMC. This is all about just being a host site, according to the pastor. He expects Summit attendees to take home what they learn and put these new insights into practice to produce a positive, tangible result within their organizations and communities.

“This [Summit] is about recognizing what’s wrong with our world today,” said the pastor. “There are just not enough strong leaders willing to stand up for the principles and the ideas they believe in, because they may lack the skill, they may lack the motivation and they may lack the ideas. This is about making our community better.”

Darryl Brinkmann attends UMC and before retirement, worked 35 years for Caterpillar, the Fortune 50 company. He knows a thing or two about organization leadership. He regularly volunteers for leadership roles in the church and shares a common concern about the dearth of talent to fill leadership roles in the community.

“These things just don’t happen (to become an effective leader),” he said. Opportunities like this, not only help develop people for that, but it also raises the level of expectation.”
He explains that “level of expectation” refers to community leader’s taking on the responsibility to consistently create interest within the community to develop leadership skills. “It’s just the right thing for us to do [in our community],” he said.

The Summit will be hosted in the sanctuary. There is seating for 200, plus overflow space in the church’s family life center and fellowship hall. Fenwick says there will be special arrangements for teams that want to attend, such as providing private spaces for break-out meetings during the breaks.

For those wanting to register or know more about the conference, go to willowcreek.com/summit, call 800-570-9812 or call the UMC office to help with registration at 573-364-3980.