When cancer, loss of a home and the financial meltdown of 2008 exposed gaps in the way he had built his businesses, Paul Kilzer decided God was trying to tell him something.
“I started my first company when I was 27,” Paul recalls. “Three years into it, I sold my share to my partner, who later sold it for more than $30 million. My second business did management consulting in the same industry and it was going even better than my first company. Then around 2009 the Lord used a trifecta of trials to refine and prune me. I developed stage three melanoma and went through a year of chemo. We found three types of toxic mold in our house, and, on top of it all, the economy crashed.
“These crises had me reeling, so I went on a discovery process to figure out what the Lord was trying to teach me. What should I take from these experiences? About this time I was introduced to Steve Fedyski, the former CEO of Pinnacle Forum. Steve told me what PinnacleForum did. The partner relationships they built among influencer-types seemed the natural way for leaders to move to the next level and get closer to what God was calling them to do.
“This aligned with what I was doing with a consulting group I’d started called Prosperity Partners (www.prosperitypartnersusa.com
Paul works with all sorts of businesses, but his approach is openly Christian. “A lot of what we do is mindset-training for leaders who have successfully grown an organization or company and want to put the resources the Lord has entrusted to them to work in ways that drive great kingdom results.”
Pinnacle Forum played a key role in getting Paul to where he is today. “The Forum experience is similar to the process anyone would use to go from where you are to where you want to be,” he points out. “You start out curious about God’s plan for you. Then you go through the Four “E”s: You become encouraged, you get equipped, you engage, and then you execute on what God is calling you to do.
Paul started a Forum group in Columbus, Ohio that grew into four Forums in the area. “Now we’re involved in Video Forums*, so there’s a couple of those as well,” he adds. “Video Forums are a great way to get connected because it streamlines involvement. You can participate at home in your shorts. It’s easy, but it’s still a commitment.
“If someone thinks they don’t have time or they’re too busy for a Forum group, I would push back and say, ‘Okay, so what is it that God is calling you to do that you don’t have time for? Because a group is the place where you’re going to go from trying to figure out what God’s calling you to do to being able to live it out every day. Who wouldn’t want that?’”
A family man with three children at home, Paul makes the following clarification about calling and vocation. “In Pinnacle Forum, we talk about calling, but that doesn’t just mean vocation or avocation. I think the younger you are, the more your calling is slanted toward family, if you’ve been blessed with one. Perhaps our biggest leverage point to change the culture is through our kids and our families because that’s the tightest relationships we have.”
Another clarification Paul emphasizes in his involvement with Prosperity Partners and Pinnacle Forum has to do with results. He wants leaders to keep the long view in mind and understand the work they do now is going to be rewarded by God later.
“It’s two sides of the same coin,” he explains. “I had never heard of the Bema Seat Judgment until just a few years ago. Second Corinthians 5:10 says, ‘For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each of us may receive what is due us for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.’ Romans 14:12 reminds us that, ‘Each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.’ And there’s 1 Corinthians 4:5, ‘He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of the heart. At that time each will receive their praise from God.’ These passages refer to Christians, not unbelievers.
“This changes everything for the type-A, results-oriented leaders,” Paul says. “I want to broaden the perspective of these leaders who are not one-talent or two-talent leaders, but multi-talented. They’ve been born at this time in history, in the wealthiest country on earth, with certain gifts and opportunities. They have influence in their communities. They have control over resources. I want to help them understand how to leverage all this for the kingdom now and remind them there will be rewards in heaven for work well done.”
How’s that for motivation!