Rick L. Stephens
Pinnacle Peak, Scottsdale, Arizona
Pinnacle Forum was inspired by Dr. Bill Bright, Founder of Campus Crusade for Christ International. Dr. Bright challenged a handful of leaders in Phoenix, Arizona saying, “I believe the only way we can change our culture is to find a way to network our high influence leaders and inspire them to use their influence for God.” Three of these leaders later hiked up Pinnacle Peak in Scottsdale, Arizona. They prayed that God would raise up leaders who would respond to this challenge and steward their influence accordingly. Their prayers were answered, which led to an official launch of Pinnacle Forum.
Pinnacle Forum was formed to grow a national network of leaders committed to personal and cultural transformation centered on the values of Jesus. Pinnacle Forum inspires Christian leaders at the pinnacle of influence on each of the seven “cultural mountains” (arts, education, business, family, government, media, religion) to exercise their influence to begin a ripple effect that leads to a wave of change toward God. These leaders find and follow their God-given passion to serve, and then bring their highly influential peers with them.
I was invited to become one of these leaders in 2003 by a good friend, Roger Roberson. PF was growing quickly in Scottsdale and the next step was to take it national. Roger, Greg Lykins (another good friend), and I started PF in Central Illinois by inviting Ken Blanchard (author of One Minute Manager and Lead Like Jesus and co-founder of Lead Like Jesus) to Champaign, Illinois to speak to influential Christian leaders about PF. Out of that grew a local chapter of PF.
Today there are 10 forums and about 100 influential Christian leaders in Central Illinois Pinnacle Forums. PF was an easy fit for me because I had experienced the benefits of being in YPO forums for many years, made up of owners and CEOs of businesses in various industries throughout downstate Illinois. The forums I was a part of encouraged and equipped me to grow my business like nothing else. So, creating forums to encourage and equip Christian leaders to be more effective came naturally for me.
Currently I am a member of a national Zoom Pinnacle forum, a national couples forum, and I occasionally lead or co-lead local forums as the opportunity arises. In all cases, it’s a wonderful opportunity for building strong relationships with Christian peers, and encouraging each other in what God has called us to do.