Day 218: John Ortberg at Willow GLS 2012

Below are some of my notes from John Ortberg’s incredible session at the Willow Creek Global Leadership Summit today. Unbelievable!



Leadership Challenge:  What would you need to accomplish in your leadership to be remembered 2000 years from now and to have millions celebrate your birthday?

Jesus’s influence endures despite those who oppose him and sometimes even those who serve him.

Wherever you are at on your Faith journey – look honestly at the impact of Jesus.  Who was he?  Why is His influence so broad?

Too often we argue about Christianity rather than marvel at the person Jesus.

It would be hard to nominate a less-likely person of influence in the world.  He was a carpenter, led a group of 12 fishermen, poverty stricken, and crucified

Think of a world of no Martin Luther, Willow Creek, Notre Dame, home churches, no churches, no Mother Theresa…

Never had there been an idea of one community to bring the world together under a vision like the message of Christ.

Jesus changed the way we think about history.  Our calendar was created on the birth of Christ.

If you had to bet on Jesus or the Roman Empire on who’s influence would be greatest in the future, you would not have put your money on Jesus.  Every ruler and every event is dated to a person of Jesus.

Jesus shaped the way we express compassion.  It used to be the weak and marginalized did not have value, it’s just how life was.  Jesus said let the children come to Me.  People started to leave children with monks and orphanages rather than killed.  Jesus started a revolution that changed the view on children and women.

Two major epidemics engulfed the world and societies would push the sick out of their cities… But Christ-followers would care for those people….”Whatever you do for the least of these, you do for Me…”

The Red Cross, YMCA, Easter Seals, St. Anthony’s, hospitals formed with foundations in Christ- people once discarded now seen with value, the compassion of Christ.  Christ’s impact on compassion and medicine is staggering… who was this man?

The Jesus movement shape education.  It used to be that education was reserved only for the men and wealthy.  Jesus said to teach everyone.  Churches began to build schools, University of Paris, Oxford University, Harvard, and Yale were all founded with roots in Christ.

The greatest explosion in technology in mechanical clocks, eyeglasses, and champaigne were founded in monestaries.

Jesus revolutionized the arts.  Dante, Bach, and Gregorian chants all developed out of the Church.  No Divinci Last Supper.

Jesus movement changed political theory.  Give to Ceasar that which is Ceasar’s, give to God what is God’s.

What if the main association to our elections and Christianity was simply Jesus saying, “my kingdom is not here on earth…”  (Not to get caught up in mess)

Jesus changed how we think about human rights and dignity.  “We hold these truths to be self-evident…”  Where did that come from?  The abolition of slavery and the rights for women were led by many Christ-followers.

Jesus uniquely taught the love of enemies.  In the ancient world, you help your friends and hurt your enemies.  Jesus taught to love your enemy and turn the other check.  While dying, He asked, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do…”

Martin Luther King, “I have a dream, one day…” speech came out of a message laced in Scriptures.

Who is this man?  Who is Jesus?  He launched the greatest movement ever know, the greatest mind, the greatest artist, and more… and He is still alive and at work today…

Will you give your life to this man Jesus?  The Son of God, the Hope of the World.  Will you devote your life to Him, your time, your purpose, and your dreams to Him?


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