Article by: Phil Thomson

“We want to see Australian Churches full of people developing their leadership and impacting their world,” says Global Leadership Network Australia (GLNA) CEO, Karen Wilson. “When Australians begin to thrive in their leadership, we all benefit. Learning and transformation happens best in community, in a local setting where possible.”

The Covid-19 Pandemic has caused significant disruption to Christian conferences across Australia, with many events being postponed or cancelled. Rising to this challenge, the GLNA team have developed an innovative approach in the hope of reaching more people than ever before.

Historically the GLS has been held across Australia at dozens of large in-person gatherings, but in 2020, the pandemic restrictions meant that it was presented as a one-day Online Experience for the first time. With the online format offering greater viewing flexibility and increased geographical reach, GLS Online engaged record numbers including many hundreds of first-time attendees.

“Whilst the results were encouraging,” said Karen, “we knew there was something more we needed to do.

Australians love to connect and build relationships and leaders need something more than online content.”

It was time for a radical approach. We decided to give Australian churches the opportunity to make the Summit their own. While many other conferences attempted to resume large, in-person gatherings, the GLNA team discerned that the ongoing threat of spontaneous lockdowns and other state-wide Covid restrictions meant that the best approach would be local.

We asked the question, what if we could empower hundreds of Churches and organisations to hold their own GLS by gathering their staff teams, inviting their congregation and connect groups, or even consider hosting local community leaders for what could be a life-changing experience?

Rather than adding one or two GLS host sites each year like we had done in the past, this new model would allow us to multiply rapidly. We could potentially serve many more people through offering increased flexibility and greater ownership for groups to be able to host the GLS in their venue, for their people, and in their unique way.

As the team considered what the new format should be called, they observed a trend that people increasingly want to live, work, shop and be connected within their local community where possible. The name GLS LOCAL said it best. Planning began and momentum has started. The new format will allow groups to run their own Summit Experience at their own venue, in their own time, on a date chosen by them during October and November this year.

Australia Churches Host Their Own Summits 1

The Global Leadership Summit impacts over 350,000 participants in 135 countries each year through inspiring and equipping world-class leadership that ignites transformation. Here in Australia, the GLS has been held since 2005 and has grown to impact over 6,000 participants annually. The Summit engages a diverse cross-section of ages and backgrounds including pastors and ministry teams from a wide variety of denominations, along with leaders from education, business, and not-for-profit sectors, eager to learn and grow their leadership.

There is excitement and anticipation in daily emails and conversations across our nation. Never has the GLS been so accessible in so many places.

So how is this innovative approach going? To date, over 100 Local Hosts have already registered for GLS21 with group sizes ranging from 10 to 60 participants. Teams are planning professional development opportunities; churches are using this as their annual leadership training – the word is getting out and we are in an exciting new season.

Now, we haven’t forgotten our online audience. Yes, some people would still rather view the GLS privately from their own homes or workplaces. So, the GLS will also be held as a dynamic one-day ONLINE leadership experience for every person anywhere in Australia on Thursday 18th November and Saturday 20th November 2021.

GLS21’s diverse line-up of world-class speakers including Craig Groeschel, Juliet Funt and Malcolm Gladwell will help you forge ahead with clarity of vision and new energy. Not surprisingly, topics this year address the season we are in and include:

  • Leading through Pain, Uncertainty and Chaos
  • The Power of Kindness
  • Breakthrough Innovations
  • Leading Boldly
  • Navigating Complexities
  • Overcoming Fear, Living Courageously
  • Becoming a Bridge-Builder
  • Breaking the Rules That Hold Us Back

Book your tickets here

The invitation is here. Go to our website and join thousands of Australians who will gather to learn, to grow and to be inspired. This might be the most important event you join all year! Learn more at