QUINCY -- The Rev. Jim Dennis says the goal of the Global Leadership Summit is a simple one -- to strengthen the communities of West-Central Illinois and Northeast Missouri.
"This is not a church leadership conference, but a leadership conference hosted by a church that saw a need," he said. "No one is pushing any doctrine."
Dennis, who coordinates pastoral care at the Crossing, said the Aug. 8 and 9 Global Leadership Summit will connect more than 500 sites and 400,000 people.
This is the third year the Crossing will be a host site for an event that is celebrating its 25th anniversary. For the past 14 years, the GLS has attracted an international audience, now reaching 68 countries in 2018 and broadcast in 68 languages.
Madison Park Christian Church is partnering with the Crossing as a host church for the summit.
Dennis said local attendance is expected to be about 400. The event has grown each year, attracting 286 in 2018.
"As a church, you should want what is best for your community, not just the church," he said. "When we were originally asked to host an event like this, we felt it would benefit everyone in our community."
The summit attracts a wide range of speakers, ranging from educators to authors to adventurers to pastors.
Among this year's 14 speakers, who will be heard via satellite hookup, are TV personality Bear Grylls, Franklin Entertainment CEO DeVon Franklin, author and entrepreneur Jia Jiang and Aja Brown, the mayor of Compton, Calif.
The Rev. Craig Groeschel also is among this year's speakers. He is senior pastor of Life Church, which is headquartered in Tulsa, Okla., and has 25 locations spread across 10 states.
"I feel this year's lineup shows more diversity in both speakers and their backgrounds," Dennis said.
GLS session topics will include motivation and its impact on leadership, conquering the fear of rejection, unlocking the leadership potential of each generation and negotiating strategies for the workplace, business and home.
The summit is a production of the Willow Creek Association, a worldwide interdenominational network of more than 7,000 churches. The conference will be telecast live from the 17,000-member Willow Creek Community Church near Barrington.
The Crossing is Quincy's nondenominational Christian megachurch, which has an average weekly attendance of about 7,500 across more than 10 campus sites in West-Central Illinois, Northeast Missouri and Southeast Iowa.
Businesses, nonprofit agencies and other groups, including individuals who are seeking more information, including pricing, about the GLS should contact Dennis at firstname.lastname@example.org. Dennis said price breaks are available through May 21.
The GLS is a nonprofit event.