Dr. Glen Villanueva has had many “God assignments” in his life – among them a campus ministry internship in college; a medical practice treating immigrants, undocumented workers, gang members, drug users and others who are unwanted and underserved; a non-profit ministry and a co-authored book helping people turn their focus from self to Savior.
“My passion isn’t a particular work, effort or ministry,” he explains, “rather, it’s to do whatever God has in front of me to do and to have a relational impact on as many people as I can, that they would see the light of Jesus more clearly.”
In other words, doing his best to execute on whatever assignment God has given him. That certainly was the case late last year, when God chose to use Glen and some of his fellow Pinnacle Forum Partners to save a local Christian school from having to shut its doors.
For more than 50 years, Modesto Christian School has provided solid Christ-centered education – along the way also producing small-school state championship teams in football and basketball. So it came as a shock just before Christmas when school officials told teachers and staff that the K-12 school would be closing.
But God had other plans – in Glen’s words, “God resurrected it that it might have Kingdom impact in our community, region and in the lives of students and their families for generations to come.” And He chose to use people of Pinnacle Forum to perform the “Modesto Miracle.”
Only after he had joined the school board last fall did Glen become aware of the dire financial situation – and the fact that the school could very well go under. For weeks he and others tried to find a solution, including attempting to purchase and continue the school. When those efforts ultimately failed and the cause appeared lost, the announcement to close was made, leaving teachers, students and parents alike shocked, saddened, angry and bitter.
But then God intervened, using Glen and others to quickly establish a 501(c)(3) non-profit and successfully negotiate an 11th-hour agreement to buy the school – a deal that turned out to be quicker and better than they had hoped for. “God provided His solution to this problem as we couldn’t make a deal happen with hundreds of hours over five weeks. And God made it happen in eight hours!”
Glen gives the credit first and foremost to God, but adds “it’s not a stretch to say that Pinnacle Forum Partners and participants impacted our community for Christ in a tangible, real, and palpable way in this process.”
“Pinnacle Forum is the true behind-the-scenes story to this miracle,” he explains. “Because of the relationships I have with them (fellow Partners and participants), they were able to help me navigate an extremely difficult and complicated negotiation for the purchase of (the school). Their skill set, breadth of knowledge and experience, extensive sphere of influence and Godly wisdom are without peer, and each gave of their God-given talents freely and generously to assist me in every conceivable way,” including personal encouragement, prayer support and expert advice and assistance on everything from business strategy and negotiation tactics to legal counsel and accounting and auditing services.
Glen has been a part of the Northern California Chapter since 2009, and as chair of the Chapter board and a member of the national board, he has been a champion of Pinnacle Forum and its Four “E” Strategy.
“Pinnacle Forum has been critical to my development and faith understanding,” he explains. “I have had the blessing of developing relationships with men and women of faith and influence who have a desire to see our community, nation and world changed for the better. I’ve personally seen leaders transformed and subsequently culture transformed. It’s energizing to experience these kinds of relationships because these are deep, meaningful friendships, ones that challenge my thinking, encourage my faith, and strengthen my resolve to have God in the forefront of my life.”
And just as he has been challenged, Glen challenges others to not just encourage, equip and engage, but to execute.
“Don’t wait, do something for the Kingdom outside of what’s normal or expected,” he says. “Waiting on others to act, create, cast vision, strategize, decide, plan, innovate, form coalitions, build bridges or implement solutions isn’t what you do in your career as a successful leader of your organization, so why delay in the calling or assignment that God has for you right now?” Put another way, find out what “it” is and just do it!
“Open your eyes to the possibilities, “Glen says. “You are uniquely and beautifully made to lead and influence your community for Christ. In my own life I’ve seen God act in much more impacting ways then I ever could’ve imagined. Help to make Christ more famous in your community – you’ll be blessed when you do.
“Pinnacle Forum is an integral part of the resurrection story in my community. My question is this: What Kingdom-impacting story does God want you and Pinnacle Forum to be a part of in your community?”
For more in the Modesto Miracle, contact Glen Villanueva at firstname.lastname@example.org, or connect with him at the 2016 National Conference.