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Church Leadership Intensive—2-6 December 2019



Church Leadership Intensive is a five-day experience in which you will learn pace-setting best practices in all aspects of local church ministry. From governance to youth ministry, local church practitioners will share insights that will help you move your church forward. In addition, there are many sessions designed specifically to nurture your heart as a church leader, including times of worship as well as talks that will simply encourage you in your journey. Through all of this, you will experience dynamic interactions with fellow church leaders from around the world, making CLI a week that can enrich you personally, spiritually and relationally.


The diverse Summit faculty delivers a unique blend of vision, inspiration and practical skills you can immediately apply.


Co-Founder & Senior Pastor, Life.Church
Craig Groeschel is the senior pastor of Life.Church, an innovative church meeting in multiple U.S. locations and globally online. Known for its missional approach utilising the latest technology, Life.Church is the creator of the YouVersion Bible App—downloaded in every country. Named in the top 25 CEO’s in the U.S. (small and midsize companies) by Glassdoor, Groeschel is a New York Times best-selling author, speaks frequently around the world and hosts the Craig Groeschel Leadership Podcast.


Josie Michalak

Executive Director of Ministries, Willow Creek Community Church
Josie oversees all aspects of the Care Center operations. Her leadership encompasses ministry strategy, operations, staffing, volunteers, financial grant writing, and all Care Center services. Josie has served in her role for nine years



Steve Gillen

Acting Senior Pastor of Willow Creek Community Church
Steve is the acting senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church. Steve has served as the Lead Pastor of Willow Creek’s North Shore campus since 2008. He has been on staff with Willow Creek for more than 20 years, helping to build ministries like Axis and Willow’s Regional expressions. Shortly after graduating from college, he began working at Willow Creek where he has seen God’s hand at work in the lives of his friends and neighbors. Steve and his wife, Kami, have two kids, one in middle school and the other in high school.


Theological Writer and Teacher

Ed holds the Billy Graham Distinguished Chair for Church, Mission, and Evangelism at Wheaton College. Ed also serves as the Executive Director of the Billy Graham Center, and as chair of the Evangelism and Leadership Department in the Graduate School. Ed is a prolific author, and well-known conference speaker. He has planted, revitalized, and pastored churches, trained pastors and church planters on six continents, holds two masters degrees and two doctorates, and has written a dozen books and hundreds of articles. Stetzer is a contributing editor for Christianity Today, a columnist for Outreach Magazine, and is frequently cited or interviewed in news outlets such as USAToday and CNN. He is also the Executive Editor of The Gospel Project, which is used by over 1 million individuals each week.


Jeff Lockyer

Lead Pastor of Southridge Community Church
Jeff is the Lead Pastor of Southridge Community Church, a multi-site movement where each location serves a specific community need in their area of the Niagara Region.  He is passionate about leadership development, serving as the Chair the Board of the Willow Creek Association Canada and co-hosting the Global Leadership Summit’s “GLS Podcast”.  A former national team runner, he is now the founder and Head Coach of Tailwind TC, a regional track club for elite young distance runners.  Jeff lives in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada with his wife Becky and three children.


David Loveless

Pastor of Discipleship & Leadership Initiatives at First Baptist Church Orlando
David is a leadership coach, pastor to pastors and has been a strategic consultant to churches in over 50 countries.  He is currently serving as Pastor of Discipleship & Leadership Initiatives at First Baptist Church Orlando.  David is also a founding Multiplying Trainer with Life Younique, a gospel-centered, life design training company.  And, for 29 years, he served as founding pastor of Discovery Church, Orlando, Fl. During that time Discovery was identified in Dr. John Vaughn’s book as one of “America’s Most Influential Churches” and was named one of the Fastest Growing U.S. Churches in the 21stCentury by Outreach Magazine. David and Caron have three adult sons and eight grandkids, and they enjoy hiking, kayaking, biking, and traveling together. Their home is in Winter Garden, Fl.


Gordon MacDonald

Author, Speaker and Teacher
Gordon MacDonald is an accomplished speaker, teacher, and author of more than a dozen books, including A Resilient Life: You Can Move Ahead No Matter What, Ordering Your Private World, Secrets of a Generous Life, The Life God Blesses, and Renewing Your Spiritual Passion. He also serves as editor-at-large for Leadership Journal.



Matt Sundstedt

CFO and Director of Operations, Willow Creek Community Church
Matt joined the WCCC finance team from a large public accounting firm in April of 2000. In November 2011, Matt was named CFO and Director of Operations. Matt and his teams focus on efficiently and effectively supporting the ministry of Willow across its multiple locations in the areas of Accounting/Finance, Facility Development and Care, Information Technology, Risk Management, Guest Experience, as well as several other support functions. Matt also provides leadership to Willow’s re-envisioned Stewardship Ministry.


Acting Executive Pastor of Willow Creek Community Church
In 2015 Matt launched and served as the Lead Pastor of Willow Creek’s South Lake campus.  Prior to his time at South Lake, Matt was the executive pastor and worship pastor for the North Shore campus. Matt joined Willow’s staff in 2007, he is passionate about seeing the church be an agent of the gospel in every neighborhood.



Pastor, Innovation Leader
Bobby is passionate about exploring new ideas and finding practical ways to leverage them for the global Church. He has helped pioneer the missional use of technology that allows Life.Church to reach people in every country on the planet. He oversees the YouVersion, Open Network, Church Online, Information Technology, Creative Media, Spaces & Places, and Communications teams. Bobby and his wife, Melissa, live in Edmond, Oklahoma with their four children.


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CLI 2019 Schedule

This was simply the best week of leadership input from top class leaders and practitioners that I’ve experienced in recent times. I came home with so much to process over the months following but some great principles to my apply in context straight away. If you get invited to CLI then do everything you can to attend. Iain Hesketh, Senior Pastor, Elim Church Selly Oak

I loved it!!!! It was my first trip ever to Willow Creek and it blew my mind. Thank you to every person who served us so beautifully, who gave of their time and imparted so much. I felt ambushed by God in a few of the sessions. As a Senior Pastor it was like drinking from a waterfall. Thank you for being so willing, so open, so wonderful. Keely Morley, Senior Pastor, Net Church England

It was an unforgettable experience! There were so many compelling points made by many outstanding presenters… I came away with answers to my questions and a clear sense of direction.
It was a privilege to witness key staff opening up on what happens behind the scenes… I was struck by the humility and sensitivity not only of those who spoke but also those who ‘waited on tables.’ I cannot recommend the CLI highly enough. Tim Mitchell, Healthy Churches Development Mentor, Diocese of Coventry

Thank you for the amazing gift of the week at Willow. It really was an amazing week through which I have learned and will continue to learn. There were leadership-changing and life-changing sessions, each one had something of great wisdom. It’s going to take a while to process and make sure I apply everything but it was well worth the time, travelling and finance invested in it. Thank you for the gift of this week to my life and ministry. Rev Canon Mat Ineson, Vicar St Mary Magdalene Stoke Bishop, Area Dean Bristol West

I’m not quite sure where to start, it was all outstanding! Never before have I had my leadership thinking stretched, my vision lifted, and my inner life strengthened so much in such a short period of time.  The focus and passion of the Willow Creek staff and volunteers is infectious, and seeing the reality of an Acts 2 church being built here and now serves as a compelling call to action for any serious church leader. Captain Steve Smith, Church Leader, The Salvation Army Community Church, Cheltenham

The Willow ‘Church Leadership Intensive’ conference provided us with a wealth and breadth of teaching that was shared with such clarity and humility that it will inspire us personally and in our ministry for the years ahead.  Jenn and John Stewart-Jones, Freedom Church Jersey

An outstanding time. The genius of this event is that it took us both deep and wide. One minute we were digging deep into the scriptures and the next we were jumping up and down as if in kids church. All good for the soul! Steve Campbell, Cambridge Community Church

Being at the CLI was an incredible honour and privilege. I was valued, loved, inspired, empowered, equipped and resourced beyond my hopes and dreams by God and the wonderful people at Willow Creek. It  was an amazing experience in my “leadership life” and one that I will treasure forever. Ceri Davies, River Church, Thames Valley

The Leadership Intensive conference blends mega church with intimacy: up close and personal with their senior leaders who want to encourage and equip you. It is a privilege and a joy to attend. Sean Green, Reading Family Church

The week I spent at Willow Creek for Church Leadership Intensive was simply brilliant. From Finance to Worship, Kids Ministry to Church Elders, Compassion & Justice to Evangelism, each and every session contained new learning, easily transferable ideas and a hefty dose of challenge. Whether you lead a small congregation, oversee a large number of huge churches or something in-between, this course should definitely be on your ‘to-do list’ … after all, “everyone wins when a leader gets better”! Deryk Durrant, Lieutenant, Salvation Army, Aberystwyth

This conference stretched my mind via the input of world class speakers and enlarged the capacity of my heart by creating space to step out of the everyday demands of ministry to engage with the Holy Spirit. Major Mark Billard, Salvation Army, Divisional Mission Enabler, Severn and Somerset Division 

The CLI week is an opportunity to go behind the doors of Willow and interact with practitioners who will inspire you with life-changing lessons that will impact the direction of your life and ministry. Mark Macklin, Senior Pastor, Christian Community Church, West London-Purpose Driven UK


The CLI at Willow Creek runs 2-6 December 2019.


The cost for the week at Willow Creek is £495.00 which includes handouts and all meals (including breakfast) except Wednesday and Friday evening.

How to Apply

There are a limited number of places for CLI 2019 so if you are interested and able to attend please email us no later than 30 September:


Please note:

While families are very important to us, Global Leadership Network conferences are adult training events, so children and infants, including nursing infants, are not permitted in any of the sessions. Childcare is not available and we cannot guarantee a separate room for parents to stay with their children.

For promotional purposes, videos and photographs are taken at all conferences. Your registration constitutes permission for the GLN to use your likeness in promotional materials.


ALL bookings for US events are undertaken by GLN UK & Ireland.


Accommodation can be provided through Global Hospitality (free with Willow Creek families) or you are welcome to book your own hotel.

Global Hospitality with a Willow family is available from Saturday 1 December to Sunday 8 December (8 nights). Global Hospitality availability is limited and cannot be guaranteed, so it is important that you reserve a hotel room as a back-up. You need to BOOK EARLY if you wish to register for Global Hospitality – the deadline is 30 September however we recommend you book before this.  Please select:


You will need to hire a car as there is no public transport to or from the church. You may be able to book car hire when you book your flights.

You will need to make your own arrangements for the flights to and from Chicago as well as transport around the area. You may wish to share car hire with others in the group. For this to work, you will need to arrive and leave the airport at approximately the same time. We will provide the group contact details in due course so that you can make your travel arrangements.

View area Map for WCCC.


Please ensure that you have a valid electronic passport and a valid ESTA. This is the only requirement for UK & Irish delegates under the Visa Waiver Program. However, we recommend you check US Embassy  for up-to-date information.