John Ortberg started off session 7 of the Willow Creek Leadership Summit with a talk titled “A Leader of Unimaginable Influence.”
He is the Senior Pastor, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church and Author of When the Game is Over It all Goes back in the Box, The Life You’ve Always Wanted and most recently, Who is This Man?, which is talk was based on.
Here are some highlights I grabbed from his talk:
- If you wanted to change the world so that you would be remembered in 2,000 years, what would you do? Where would you start?
- You can’t look at a map without being reminded of Jesus.
- The cross is the single most recognizable symbol in the world.
- Jesus’ influence grows in spite of those who oppose him or those who claim to follow him.
- Too often we argue about Christianity instead of marveling about Jesus.
Jesus gave the world its move influential movement.
- Imagine the world without any church or any of the leaders within the movement of Christianity.
- Over time, the power of every ruler failed while the power of Jesus continued to grow.
- The creation of the calendar was based on the birth of Jesus; it was a claim, an idea. Life is not a random cycle, but has meaning, it is leading somewhere.
- Whenever we look at a calendar, we are reminded of Jesus’ existence (AD).
Jesus gave the world its strongest vision.
- The words of Jesus continue to grip the world and shape how people live.
- We serve the poor, care for those with less because of the words of Jesus.
- We see the touch of Jesus in the hospitals of the world, in the care organizations of the world.
- What the world sees as burdens to be discarded, we see them as bearers of glory because of what Jesus saw and what He commanded us to.
The Jesus movement shaped education.
- In most parts of the world throughout history that only educated males. Jesus taught everybody.
- The great universities of the world were started based on the message of Jesus. 92% of universities in the US were founded in the name of Jesus.
- The greatest explosions throughout history (clocks, glasses, wine) were things created by Jesus monastic communities.
- The first effort of the study of scientific language was from followers of Jesus. Followers of Jesus developed the alphabets of other languages so people could read Scripture.
The Jesus movement shaped art.
- The great works of art, music and writing throughout history are from followers of Jesus.
- The story of Jesus grips the heart of humans in no other way compared to anyone.
The Jesus movement shapes the political movement.
- Give to Caesar what is Caesar; give to God what is God’s.
- The idea developed into limited government.
- The church follows Jesus’ words when it has a lot of political power, but ignores them when they cause them to lose power.
- The words of Jesus give us the challenge to love our enemies.
- The role of forgiveness comes from the words of Jesus.
- Jesus inspired Tolstoy, who inspired Gandhi.
- Will you give your life to the man who gave his life for the sake of the world?
- Will you give your life to the man who died for you, the hope of the nations, the savior of the world?
What was your biggest takeaway from this session?