You Have Influence: 6th Global Leadership Summit at Bethlehem Bible College

Bethlehem Bible College, in collaboration with Willow Creek Association, held the sixth Global Leadership Summit (GLS) in a row. The GLS is a leadership conference broadcast live from the Willow Creek Association’s campus near Chicago, to hundreds of locations in North America and to more than 675 locations in 125 different countries.

The Summit, which attracted more than 100 participants, is an opportunity for the College to work together and serve the community. Leaders from different backgrounds and disciplines from all over Palestine participated in the conference. The College was thrilled to receive Christian and Muslim leaders from Bethlehem, Hebron, Nablus, Jerusalem and the Galilee. A wide range of sectors were represented including businesses, governmental entities, non-profits, education and religious organizations.

Speakers at this year’s Summit were exceptional. On the stage, we had Mrs. Vera Baboun, who was elected as the first woman mayor of the city of Bethlehem, and currently she is a member of the Palestinian National Council and the Palestinian Women’s Union. She is also a gender researcher and advocate. Baboun shared on the importance of having a positive view of life, including its challenges and difficulties. She asserted that we choose who to be, and that we are the ones to address the circumstances around us. 

Rifat Kassis, a Palestinian human rights writer and activist, also participated in a lecture entitled, “How Can You as a Leader Take Your Organization to a Professional and Productive Level?” He spoke about his experience as a leader and the challenges he personally faced during his career.

Sons of Galilee, a band from the Galilee, led the praise session, and were later joined by rising artist, Marian Murra, who sang a song titled, “Lift Your Dream.”

One of the highlights of the conference was the participation of  8-year-old Mustafa from Al-Khader in an exhibition of his drawings. Mustafa was diagnosed with leukemia, and he discovered his talent in painting during his treatment periods at the hospital. Mustafa started expressing himself through drawing, where he finds hope. We encouraged Mustafa to show and sell his paintings at our conference. All of Mustafa’s paintings were sold, and all proceeds will be paid to support the costs of his hospitalization.

Participants expressed their interest in the conference. Father Rami Asakria, pastor of St. Katrina Latin Church in Bethlehem, said it was his second time at the conference. “It was a very rich leadership day that enriched the information of every church and community leader. I had the privilege to meet influential and productive community leaders.” He also commended the excellent organization of the conference.

A schoolteacher, Mrs. Fida Khair, said, “The videos that were shown were very encouraging, especially Craig’s lecture, which came at a very timely point in my life.” In turn, she encouraged local leaders to participate in the conference because of its usefulness.

Mr. Elias El Najar expressed his gratitude for the conference saying, “The conference was useful to me, especially in my field as a managing director of Holy Land Ministries. The topics presented at the conference were valuable insights that we rarely hear about in our society. Topics that develop, inspire and motivate help a person to rethink his or her mechanisms as a leader. Through the conference, we have become aware of the importance of leadership even in our daily lives, not only in our work but also in our approach to life. ”

Bethlehem Bible College is always honored to serve the Palestinian community through conferences and workshops that enable leaders to develop their skills in order to enrich the field in which they work and influence.