Bob Arnold, an architect and lay leader in Shepherd’s Grace Church of Medina, OH, has found a unique way to reach out to business leaders in his community.
This Friday, April 29, for the third consecutive year, Arnold and Shepherd’s Grace Church are sponsoring and promoting a one-day satellite simulcast program entitled “Maximum Impact: The Influential Leader.”
Organized and conducted by John C. Maxwell’s Injoy organization, the simulcast is viewed in multiple locations around the country. It includes a stellar cast of speakers on various aspects of leadership.
In addition to Maxwell, a pastor-turned-author and leadership expert, the simulcast features appearances by Coach Mike Krzyzewski of Duke University, Coach Bobby Bowden of Florida State, former Ritz-Carlton Hotel president Horst Schulze, former US. Marine Corps General Charles Krulak, and more. In addition, a special bonus session on Thursday evening will include Bill Hybels, senior pastor of Willow Creek Community Church, and Bob Reccord, president of the North American Mission Board of the Southern Baptist Convention.
The idea for sponsoring the simulcast, according to Arnold, came from the church’s desire to reach into the community. “We wanted to provide ways for working people to connect with their co-workers,” Arnold said. The focus is to bring business people into the church. The seminar is not explicitly biblical in content, but the speakers are believers, and most of the content is biblically-consistent management wisdom.
“This year’s title is especially relevant,” Arnold says, citing a survey he did among 400 local community leaders last year. The number-one area where they desire more training and programs, he found, was “Influence.”
The Medina church, which is located in an upscale community about 35 miles south of Cleveland, needed to install a satellite dish and receiver. The cost was about $400, Arnold said. In addition, the host site provides lunch and pays a per-ticket fee. This year the church will buy 75 simulcast tickets for sale to the community. Although the broadcast organizers suggest a per-person cost of $129, the Medina church chooses to make tickets available for $79 each (less for “early-bird discount”) to enable more to attend.
The first year the church sponsored the event, about 30 people attended, with 18 from outside the church. One businessman in the church, a contractor for NASA, brought 11 people from his business, Arnold said.
Last year 50 attended, including a bank financial officer, five from a food processing company, a village council president, a school superintendent, and a number of employees from local social service agencies. The NASA consultant returned with six co-workers. Several educators attended, including a school principal and staff from Medina County Career Center.
More than 400 churches nationwide hosted the simulcast last year. Arnold says his church invited those who attended to participate in follow-up courses of study based on Maxwell’s book, with sessions held in the evening or at lunchtime.
A four-week follow-up course is available for any who wish to attend. In the fall an eight-week course is offered, and another four-week course will be offered later. One of the most exciting outcomes, according to Arnold, was that of the 50 who attended last year, 37 were not regular attendees of the Medina church.
“Our intention is to design a bridge that our church can use to reach business people,” says Arnold. “It is a simple and strategic idea-the goal is to invite business people to our church, and in a comfortable setting, meet their need for relevant leadership training and build the rapport necessary to develop ongoing relationships.”
Arnold, who owns Kohanski, Arnold, and Chin Architects, Inc., has been part of Shepherd’s Grace Church for about seven years, having joined shortly after the church started. In addition to his work in the church, Arnold is researching the potential of building a nationwide ministry among Grace Brethren men.
He serves on the board of his local Chamber of Commerce, is in Rotary, and is involved in The Medina Economic Development Corporation and several other economic development committees. Both he and his pastor, Will Lohnes, are graduates of a community leadership program.
Arnold, 49, grew up in Ashtabula, OH, and found the Lord about a year out of college. He and his wife, Teresa, have one 22-year-old married daughter.
Will Lohnes, pastor at Shepherd’s Grace, attended last year’s simulcast and said, “One of the most basic elements in Christianity is to reach people of all diversity for the purpose of presenting Christ. This simulcast is a broad bridge to businessmen at the level of their temporary need to touch the deeper level of their eternal need.”
Reflecting on the event, Arnold says, “Our church is trying to be a resource for our community. We’ve received a lot of comments on the quality and how well-run it was last year.”
Further information on the Maximum Impact Simulcast may be obtained by logging onto www.maximumimpact.com/mis. Any questions or comments for Bob Arnold may be addressed by calling his office at (330) 725-0628 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.