By JOHN FORTMEYER, CNNW publisher
HILLSBORO — An idea birthed decades ago in the heart and mind of Christian leader Bill Bright continues today and might soon make its impact in the Pacific Northwest for the first time.
In two recent small gatherings in Hillsboro, Guy Rodgers, national president and CEO of Pinnacle Forum, outlined what his organization does nationally and what it would take to bring it to the Portland area.
According to Rodgers, Pinnacle Forum is a national network of influential leaders executing their God-given purpose to foster a flourishing, God-honoring culture. It seeks to move those leaders “beyond earthly success to eternal significance.”
“Pinnacle Forum is about us serving you, the leaders … our job is to help you do better what God is calling you to do,” he said.
The organization was inspired by the late Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ International — now simply called Cru — who in 1997 challenged a handful of leaders in Phoenix, Ariz. Bright said he believed the only way to change the deteriorating culture in the nation was to find a way to network high-influence leaders and inspire them to use their influence for good.
Three of those leaders later hiked up Pinnacle Peak in Scottsdale, Ariz., praying that God would raise up people to respond to Bright’s challenge. Their prayers were answered, and Pinnacle Forum was launched. Today it has confidential gatherings — or “forums” — operating in about two dozen states, but not yet in the Northwest. The organization is based in Scottsdale even today.
As Pinnacle Forum president, Rodgers brings a background spanning the education, small business, political and non-profit sectors. He has co-owned a small retail business, been a public high school teacher and adjunct professor at the graduate level, vice president of a polling company, and founded two political consulting firms.
Rodgers’ past work has made him keenly aware that the culture has continued the deterioration that concerned Bright two decades ago, and he agrees with Bright’s assessment that the solution is to see followers of Christ pursue their own calling in their own spheres of influence.
“I think the reason we’re limping so much in the Body of Christ is that people don’t recognize what their calling is,” he said.
Rodgers said Pinnacle Forum sees Jesus’ model of discipleship as the cornerstone for advancing the culture. “God designed us for this type of relationship, this type of calling, and to find fulfillment in our lives,” he said.
While personal transformation and relational encouragement is one way to transform the culture, it also can take place through collaborative and individually-led initiatives and community-wide efforts, he said.
The network’s vision is to see Pinnacle Forum impact the entire nation and all of the “Seven Mountains of Culture” promoted by Bright. Those seven areas of influence are: arts and entertainment, business, education, the family, government and military, media, and religion.
Rodgers said one example of the impact Pinnacle Forum partners have had is in the filmmaking industry, through the production of movies that honor rather than denigrate faith and family. He said it was Pinnacle Forum members who started the Pure Flix studio that has produced such films as the God’s Not Dead series. Other Pinnacle Forum partners caught the vision and raised $6 million for distribution of the films. Because of their success, many more faith-based films are being produced today, he said.
Once established, forum meetings usually take place every other week and all discussion is confidential. Carpenter, longtime Hillsboro pastor, arranged for Rodgers’ visits and has set up a “sample” forum for prospective members 7 to 8:15 a.m. Aug. 14 at MyBinding, 5500 N.E. Moore Court in Hillsboro. For details, contact Carpenter at email@example.com or go to pinnacleforum.com
“We believe this is a season in whch Pinnacle Forum is to play a greater role than it ever has before, simply because the culture demands it,” said Rodgers.