This year's Summit, while always lower in numbers than what I truly believe the content and network warrants, was once again as strong and powerful as ever. Consistently, both "alumni" and new people are blown away by the whole experience, leaving us to continually consider what the missing component is: lack of familiarity with the Willow brand? timing in the middle of summer? a screen event?
Well, this time around, it hit Peter Barnes (senior pastor of First Pres) and me at about the same exact time on Thursday: we need to move to a neutral site to truly reflect the broad leadership culture and integrated conversation that the Summit itself and Love Out Loud are increasingly facilitating. We had thought of it before. But, this year, through Peter's leadership, we connected with the WFU School of Business, offering them two comps. As a result, four of their team attended and LOVED it.
So, during that first day, it hit Peter and I that the School of Business would potentially be the perfect venue. They have a wonderful, mid-sized auditorium on the lower level and, of course, lots of common space and food options. He and I were strategizing about how to approach them when Peter received the following paragraph in an email from a key leader who had attended:
I thoroughly enjoyed the conference and learned a lot! I intend to bring the rest of my team next year and really push for others to attend. It was time well spent and I appreciate your encouraging the WFU folks to attend.
If a change in venue is ever considered, the auditorium in the business school would be a wonderful alternative if available. Just a thought….
Bam! If that's not the activity of God (and our days at LOL are increasingly filled with those exact kinds of "only God" moments), then my discernment meter is broken!
We'll have a lengthier discussion at the September board meeting, but wanted to get this to you while it's fresh.
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