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Published September 10, 2018

The Summit is Broadcast to More Than 60 Prisons in the U.S.

In 2015, The Global Leadership Summit and Prison Fellowship partnered to broadcast the Summit to 1,500 prisoners in 11 U.S. prisons. In 2018, the Summit was live-streamed to incarcerated men and women at more than 60 prisons where attendees receive the tools they need to become effective leaders.

Leadership matters—even in prison.

After the 2018 Summit, we received this letter from a man incarcerated at Graceville Correctional Facility, communicating how the Summit has changed his perspective on his life and his leadership.

 

I had the privilege to watch The Global Leadership Summit via live stream at our prison chapel today. I just wanted to relay just how much this conference changed my view of leadership.

Craig Groeschel absolutely struck a chord with me, and honestly, for the first time in my 5 years of incarceration, I feel like I’m in the right place—that maybe God put me here for a reason.

Leadership is just one of those words that carries a negative connotation in prison. It’s unavoidable with the destructive culture this place nurtures. I work as an education aid, so out of the 1,800 inmates, I am probably 1 of 25 that would be considered a leader. This is scary, because I am tiny and white, and frankly, a bit nerdy. Did I also mention I am Australian and talk funny? So, in a place of “might is right,” prison is very difficult ground to execute leadership skills. Or maybe it’s just a perfect opportunity, as some of the speakers suggested.

Craig Groeschel absolutely struck a chord with me, and honestly, for the first time in my 5 years of incarceration, I feel like I’m in the right place—that maybe God put me here for a reason.

It is one thing to hear something true. It is another to believe it and live it. For many years, I wasn’t thriving, I was merely surviving, even when I was free. I just lived in another prison—a prison I had built. At least now the only walls affecting me are the brick ones. With the tools and lessons I’m picking up from the Summit, hopefully I’ll be able to spread these truths throughout Graceville Correctional Facility.

So thank you for a glimpse of heaven amidst the coals of hell. I will continue to pray fervently for the Willow Creek leadership and volunteers. Thank you again!

Westley 
Graceville Correctional Facility

About the Author
Global Leadership Network

Willow Creek Association

Willow Creek Association is committed to the singular idea that inspired, encouraged and equipped Christians transform their communities and our world. We believe that everyone has influence and no matter where your influence is—in your family, school, work or church—when you commit to grow your leadership, everyone around you wins! Both global and diverse, our network includes partners in 1,475+ cities and 135+ countries. We are committed to deliver fresh, actionable and inspiring leadership content both at our signature leadership event, The Global Leadership Summit, and year-round through our digital platforms.

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