“I want to thank you for the spectacular conference! I was blown away…” Lisa Sooy (wife of Pinnacle Forum Partner Brian Sooy)
“…through the incredible, insightful and spirit filled speakers and “how-to” practical breakout sessions, I have never been more encouraged to live as a Christ-centered leader.” Steve Hillard, National Board Member
Please take a few minutes to read this all the way through; I believe you will be blessed and encouraged.
When we began planning this conference over a year ago, my main thought, my principal prayer, and thus my primary goal, was that all the pieces would come together in such a God-orchestrated way that every single attendee would leave with a clear impression that God showed up and did something amazing in their lives.
While I can’t say I’ve talked to everyone who attended, I heard enough feedback from enough people to conclude that this prayer was robustly answered.
We live in an age when there is no end to activities and information to compete for our time and attention. This is why it has been and continues to be my deep, heartfelt desire that our national conferences be more than just another event, that they be experiences so well worth the time, effort and cost to attend that they become a top priority for everyone in our Pinnacle Forum community.
For those of you who attended, again, based on feedback I’ve received thus far, it appears that desire has been largely accomplished. As one attendee texted me on Monday:
“We attended a dinner party last evening with three couples who were at the conference and three who missed it. I sat back and listened as our partners who were impacted by the conference spilled over with their new zeal. Conference topics dominated the evening conversation. The benefit of the conference will reap fruit for years to come.”
This brings joy to my heart and sums up why we have these events. Frankly, it would be easier for all of us to NOT have such a conference every eighteen months.
But “easier” is usually NOT the path God has us travel – especially those who have been apportioned callings for significant leadership.
We witnessed this truth in so many of our speakers, such as:
- Kelvin Cochran’s journey from the pinnacle of America’s highest fire-fighting position to being terminated for his faith and convictions.
- Dr. Albert Mohler, whose insights on convictional leadership were deeply informed by the challenges he faced when he assumed the presidency of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.
- Tom Holladay, whose words prized relationships even as he acknowledged how challenging relationships can be.
- Dr. Beverly Upton and her guest from the Middle East, who testified to the challenges of walking with Christ in hostile cultures – a powerful message to us as we witness the hostility to Christianity increase in America.
- Regi Campbell’s journey from living for the fruits of the world to living wholly for Christ, and the blessing of being able to mentor younger believers as a result of that journey.
- John Stonestreet’s exhortations to think biblically and clearly, why we must do this, and how this “moment” we live in is but that – a moment – and that by viewing life from a thoroughly biblical worldview we can distinguish the temporary from the eternal.
In other words, we were treated to more than words. We were treated to lives devoted to God and the leadership He has called them to.
And each contributed to the six facets of leadership we wanted to highlight:
- Abiding in Christ
- Maintaining an Eternal Perspective and a Clear Calling
- Exercising Right Thinking from a Consistent Biblical Worldview
- Understanding What “Convictional Leadership” is
- Living in a Community of Authentic Relationships
- Mentoring and Discipling Others
Speaking personally, I relished every session and the messages of every speaker. Because, my friends, God had been doing a work in me for months.
A work that friends in my two forums had been praying for.
That I be able to do my best to make this a success, and then…trust God completely for the outcome.
Trusting God completely for the outcome for such a major event is not easy for me to do. Never has been. Somehow, this time it happened.
That was my compelling experience and takeaway from the conference, as I found myself relaxed enough to actually soak up the richness and vitality of everything that was shared.
For those of you who attended, did you have a compelling experience, a compelling takeaway, that you could share with us? If so, please email me at guy.rodgers@PinnacleForum.com.
For those of you who for whatever reason could not attend, I close with two words of encouragement:
- Seek out one or more who did attend and ask them to share with you their experiences.
- Mark your calendar now for Spring, 2019, when we will have our next National Conference here in Scottsdale, Arizona.
I’d like to close with something I said on Saturday evening, at the close of our dinner gala banquet. This was totally unplanned, a final exclamation point of the Holy Spirit at work in the conference.
I tossed my pre-planned notes and quoted the French Catholic philosopher Jacques Maritain, who wrote decades ago, “Instead of a fortified castle built in the middle of the land, we must think of [ourselves as] an army of stars thrown into the sky.”
This is a beautiful picture of the body of Christ, and a beautiful picture of we in Pinnacle Forum as a microcosm of the body of Christ.
We are to be as lights in the broader firmament, and I asked everyone to picture what the sky looks like at night when you’re away from city lights. “The light of the stars shines all the more brilliantly and clearly,” I said.
“That’s a picture for us. The darker the sky around us, the brighter we can shine.”
The next day one of our chapter board members emailed me and reminded me of Philippians 2:15, “that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation. Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.”
This is our magnificent calling my friends, this is the vision of Pinnacle Forum, to shine brightly as an army of stars against an increasingly dark night sky.