For two days this October, Bethlehem Bible College’s staff, students and faculty joined efforts and worked diligently to host, for the third time, the Global Leadership Summit (GLS) in Bethlehem. Started by renowned pastor Bill Hybels, the GLS is a two-day leadership event telecast LIVE in HD from Willow Creek’s campus near Chicago to hundreds of locations in North America and to 675+ sites in 125 countries.
The summit, which drew more than 150 participants, is an opportunity for the whole college to work together and serve the community. Leaders from various backgrounds and disciplines from all over Palestine attended the conference. The college was thrilled to receive Christian and Muslim leaders from Hebron, Nablus, Jerusalem and Galilee. A wide range of sectors were represented including business, government, nonprofit, education and religion.
For our President, Jack Sara, bringing the GLS to Bethlehem is a catalyst that empowers more and more leaders for Christ and for the greater good. For Pastor Jack the government is striving for a fresh, new awakening among politicians to find a way to build a concrete civil society. “As a church and ministry we are striving for that, too. We work with leaders from all communities—men and women, politicians, the marketplace and business leaders—to help them learn more about leadership, especially moral and ethical leadership.”
The speakers at the summit this year were exceptional. Palestinian leaders learnt from the vast experience of world-renowned leaders such as John Maxwell, a #1 New York Times bestselling author, identified as the #1 leader in business by the American Management Association and the world’s most influential leadership expert by Inc. in 2014. The participants also watched an interview with Melinda Gates, married to founder of Microsoft Corporation, Bill Gates. Melinda is the co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; her work has led her to focus on empowering women and girls to bring transformational improvements in the health and prosperity of families, communities and societies around the world.
One highlight of the conference was the live panel discussion of three successful Palestinian female leaders. Honey Thaljieh is the co-founder of women’s football in Palestine, the first captain of the Palestinian national football team, and the first woman in the Middle East to obtain a FIFA Master and to be employed by FIFA. She encouraged attendees to believe in themselves and fight for their dreams even if it means breaking social stereotypes.
The panel also featured, Madleine Sara who is a Christian counselor and the founder of “I am a pot in his hand” women ministry. Her aim was to empower women to be active in their external roles in society. For Madleine this begins with understanding their worth, value, and God given purpose in life. Lastly the participants heard Mary Sakran, who is the director of the largest college of Human Development in the Arab world and author of the first children story book about human development. Mary shared her passion to develop the potential of each individual by urging and motivating them to develop themselves and exploit their potentials.
Bethlehem Bible College is honored to serve the Palestinian community with events that empower leaders to sharpen their skills and develop the people they lead. We are excited for our next leadership summit in October 2017.