Many of us think deep down that we’ve lost the culture and there is nothing we can do about it. Nothing could be further from the truth. Every Tower of Babel stood against the truth will fall. What is required is for us to steward our cultural influence together.
Peter Bruegel the Elder, “The (Great) Tower of Babel”, c. 1563, oil on panel, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria.
I serve as Executive Director for Pinnacle Forum Chicago and Wisconsin. Our tagline is “transforming leaders to transform culture”. One question I’m often asked is, “So what does success actually look like?” Perhaps like this:
- a national network of leaders each of whom is clear on their personal calling
- nurturing relational connections within this network
- a collective commitment to steward personal and institutional influence together
A National Network of the Called
The first criteria for success is a national network of the called in which each leader is clear on personal calling. Within our national network leaders connect in peer Forums of 6-12 leaders that meet regularly for encouragement, equipping, engagement, and execution on their respective callings.
With respect to calling, let’s define it here as the set of commitments that uniquely reflects an individual’s personality, spiritual gifting, and life history. As Os Guinness points out, we each have a primary calling to follow Christ. We then have a set of secondary callings in which we live this out in the realms of family, work, and community. For me, engaging culture for Christ is a compelling interest. I pursue this thru reading and writing (as here), thru my family, and thru my work with Pinnacle Forum in Chicago and Wisconsin.
One resource to help us get clear on our callings is The 210 Project. The Project is named after Ephesians 2:10 which says, “We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God has prepared in advance for us to do.”
What other resources would you recommend?
The second criteria for success is that leaders with similar interests can find and help one another. Within Pinnacle Forum nationally, we offer leaders the opportunity to connect in the following ways among others:
In what ways do you most like connecting with other leaders?
A Collective Commitment
The third criteria for success is a collective commitment to steward cultural influence together. We are all called as Christians to this: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good, and acceptable and perfect” (Rom. 12:2).
We replace passive conformity with active renewal. We turn off the TV, take care of our bodies, read, plan, and move strategically in everything we do whether in the spheres of our family, friends, co-workers, or community.
This kind of living gets noticed more readily than we realize. I sat down this morning for a Pinnacle Forum we hold at the Hudson Business Lounge here in Milwaukee. My friend Jenny brought my coffee over and said, “Is your group meeting this morning? Good! There will be some positive energy in here.” This is a pointer toward “what is good and acceptable and perfect” and these pointers keep me coming back for more.
Just as the Clapham Sect transformed the culture of 19th Century England so is there a similar opportunity for us today. Are you with us? I plead with you as a fellow leader to do something, whether thru your local church, thru Pinnacle Forum, or thru that collective effort to which God is calling you.
What has God put on your heart to pursue for his glory?