“A nation where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive and life is cherished.”
If you think that sounds a lot like Pinnacle Forum’s vision and mission of encouraging and equipping people to engage and execute on their calling to foster a flourishing, God-honoring culture, you’re right.
Those words form the vision of the Family Policy Alliance, a Christ-centered organization led by Paul Weber, a Partner in Pinnacle Forum’s Arizona Chapter.
“Our mission is to advance biblical citizenship, equip and elect statesmen, promote policy and serve an effective alliance, all committed to a common vision,” Paul explains.
Formerly known as CitizenLink, Family Policy Alliance is a public policy partner of Focus on the Family. As president and CEO, Paul is responsible for aligning the organization’s strategy and staff with its vision and mission.
It executes its mission by working to strengthen and expand its alliance with some 40 state-based family policy organizations; providing training, funding and strategizing involvement in elections; promoting pro-family legislation; and advancing biblical citizenship through a variety of educational programs and tools.
Before joining CitizenLink, Paul was an executive with Alliance Defending Freedom for nearly 14 years, holding a variety of roles including overseeing revenue growth to $40 million a year. And prior to that, he worked in the engineering and construction industries, as well as in hospitality and food-service, and was president of a five-company technology consortium.
Paul’s journey with Christ began when as a 24-year-old restaurant manager in New Jersey he was introduced to the Lord by the most unlikely of people.
With a humorous preface, “I was completely sober at the time,” Paul explains: “I had opened a restaurant (and) my first hire was a Christian bartender. Sensing something different in her, I asked about it. She told me she was a ‘born-again’ Christian and I inquired further. Intrigued, I also asked her where she went to church and if she would mind if I visited the next Sunday. She didn’t and I did. I sat in the back, heard the sermon—which was punctuated with an alter call—and found myself moving to the front to accept Christ!”
As it turns out, Paul continues, the pastor’s name was Dr. Fred Beveridge. “ So,” he concludes, “I was led to the Lord by a bartender and sealed by a ‘Beveridge.’” But, on a serious note, he remembers often visiting bars with his alcoholic father, starting at age 10. “I would have given anything if one of those many bartenders had shared the four Spiritual Laws with my dad.”
It was not long after the bartender sowed and Dr. Beveridge reaped that Paul discovered the passion that would lead him to Alliance Defending Freedom and then to CitizenLink/Family Policy Alliance – both of which are headquartered in Scottsdale.
“My passion is to enable God’s people to be engaged in the culture transformation by standing for truth with grace,” Paul says. “At Family Policy Alliance we call that unleashing citizenship.”
“I am a ‘fan’ of Larry Burkett, James Kennedy and Dr. James Dobson,” he explains. “I was a contributor to these ministries when they launched Alliance Defending Freedom. I also became involved with the Family Policy Council movement. Through both, I was brought onboard ADF when it was emerging from its start-up phase in May 2000.” During his time with ADF, Paul “consulted” with other non-profits focused on cultural transformation – including Pinnacle Forum.
When he and wife Lois moved from New Jersey to Arizona, he joined a Bible study led by Ken Willig, aPinnacle Forum leader who would become, in Paul’s words, “my adopted dad, friend and mentor.” That relationship in turn connected Paul with other Pinnacle Forum Partners, and eventually led him to become part of the Arizona Chapter.
Paul sees Pinnacle Forum’s mission and Four “E” Strategy — encourage, equip, engage, execute –as critical to transforming the culture.
“Pinnacle Forum can and should be engaged in awakening the body of Christ and leaders within to infiltrate the culture across the seven mountains,” he says, “and also to direct their resources – time, talent, and treasure – in well-vetted, highly results-oriented, strategic non-profit ministries.“
He acknowledges that discovering God’s calling and then executing on it can involve “taking a leap of faith,” whether it involves moving from the marketplace to ministry as he did or finding ways to serve while staying in a secular field.
A key to the process, he says, is being surrounded by people who will affirm, encourage and challenge you as you seek and respond to God’s leading.
“Early on I was told that the three most important things to do were to be in God’s Word, to find a Bible-believing church and to get involved in a men’s group,” Paul says. “I’ve always been engaged with other men, building relationships that affirm and build each other up. That’s what Pinnacle Forum is all about.”
And that affirmation is what helped Paul take his “leap of faith” from the business world to the non-profit field.
“I was originally recruited to this movement by the state family policy council alliance organized by Dr. Dobson,” he says. “I was extremely fortunate to be part of the ADF team for nearly 14 years where I could become grounded in the constitutional issues and the theological foundation. My seminary experience also grounded me in the theological principles upon which our Constitution is based.”
When Dobson retired and Focus on the Family decided to spin-off CitizenLink, Paul left ADF to become vice-president for strategy of CitizenLink in 2013. Two years later he was named president and CEO, and tasked with meeting a host of challenges and opportunities – among them from realigning the organization around a renewed vision and mission, completing a structural reorganization, creating an independent fundraising strategy, and formulating a plan to expand into all 50 states. And, rebranding the organization with a new name – Family Policy Alliance – that Paul says “better reflects what it is we do and how we will execute on our strategy.”
While Paul’s passion has been largely within the world of Christian non-profits, he cautions the people of Pinnacle Forum to not automatically think they have to leave their marketplace jobs to execute on their passions. God needs His people in positions of influence across the Seven Mountains of Culture, and that can be through one’s current vocation or through a non-profit ministry.
For Paul, life is about faith and family, both professionally and personally.
He and wife Lois have been married for 27 years, having met when she worked in that same restaurant where Paul was first introduced to Christ. “I hired her, dated her, fired her and married her all within a year,” he says. Together they would have four sons – all of whom would become Eagle Scouts and two of whom are military veterans – and one “precious adopted daughter.” In addition, Paul is active in leadership in his church, and is pursuing a degree in biblical studies at Phoenix Seminary.
For more on Family Policy Alliance, visit the website at www.familypolicyalliance.com.