Eric Bents is a retired United State Air Force colonel who served in a wide variety of combat and non-combat roles, including deployments to Bosnia and Afghanistan.
“I’m on my third career now,” he says. “I was ten years active duty, then ten years pastoring full-time on the staff of the largest church in Nebraska while serving in the Air Force reserves, then ten more years active duty while I developed Christian marketplace leaders part-time via my nonprofit, The Storehouse Movement, and my LLC, Win Your Wars (https://winyourwars.com). I help people and organizations win their wars—the hardest 15% of their problem sets. I use my hard-won insights into wartime strategy and operations to provide a framework for tackling the most challenging life, business or community problems.”
Another way Eric pursues his passion to coach and equip leaders is through Pinnacle Forum. “I heard about Pinnacle Forum on a podcast called Eternal Leadership by a Pinnacle Forum Partner named John Ramstead,” Eric recalls. “I wanted to continue my development as a leader and to have the kind of relationships the Bible is really clear about. There’s a pattern of interdependence the Lord instilled in his disciples and the early church. Pinnacle offered a relational connection to other Christian leaders, so I joined a group.
“It was one of the first video groups Chuck Bryant started. I got to meet Chuck and Guy Rodgers. Guy is originally from Omaha where I live, so we had dinner and spent some time together. He heard my heart for leaders and pursued me to start leading groups. This led to a part-time position as Midwest Regional Director of Forum Development. Today, I facilitate several Forum groups utilizing the Zoom videoconferencing platform.”
Video conferencing has its downsides, but Eric focuses on the upsides. “Of the 50 to 60 guys in my groups, I’ve probably met a fourth of them in person. Would I rather be breathing the same air with these guys? Yes, but the time factor is such a big deal now with growing metro areas. Even when we’re in the same city, we don’t have time for a 90-minute commute to be in the same room. I’d rather have the Zoom time when we can talk about very important stuff.
“We intentionally point the discussion toward the biggest vocational and personal problems we have,” Eric explains. “You really get to know people when you’re talking about their biggest pain points at a very deep level. The intentionality and the subject matter produce intimacy and authentic relationships. Plus, of course, the protection of confidentiality that we have in a Forum.”
One thing Eric brought to Pinnacle Forum was a self-assessment tool that eventually morphed into the Culture Engagement Self-Assessment. “Guy added a question or two and the Pinnacle Forum board provided input as well. Today God is using it to help us grow leaders. Another effective tool we use is the Cultural Impact Plan Tool. I’ve seen the drafting of it be a catalyst for many of the men in my groups. Though they may have done several business plans, they’d never done a personal development plan like this, much less in the presence of a caring, loving support group.
“Some of our people have had top business coaches, and yet writing their Cultural Impact Plan brings out things that never surfaced before. They come up with thoughts, ideas and clarity about where they are now and where they’re supposed to be going next. They get a more accurate assessment of their situation and especially the possibilities they have for the future.”
“More than anything else,” Eric says, “Pinnacle Forum has fueled my passion for developing leaders. It’s increased my faith that God can do amazing things. I have some high-caliber guys in my groups. I know we’re not going to give them anything they haven’t heard from other coaches, but somehow the group takes them to new levels. Most leaders want to be lifelong learners, but we won’t get there just going to seminars, listening to podcasts and reading books. Science has shown that there’s a wide range of neurons that fire up in a whole different way when we’re processing things together. And how much more powerful that is when the Holy Spirit is at work in a group.
“This is why Pinnacle Forum exists,” Eric says, “to help Christian leaders develop their personal character, leadership competency and cultural influence. We provide a unique venue for them to grow and engage with other leaders in confidential peer Forums. I love being a part of this team and I love what the Lord is doing in and through us.”