Being a Part of the “Chicago 7”
One of the highlights of my work is the opportunity to be a part of an informal group of peer leaders. The first “official” time we met together was six and half years ago in Chicago. It was in that meeting that we adopted the now infamous name Chicago 7 (why it’s infamous is another story which I won’t bother blogging about).
Currently the group includes Mario Zandstra from Pine Cove Ministries in Texas, Stan White from Forest Home in Southern California, Doug Goodwin from Kanakuk Kamps in Missouri, Jack McQueeney with the Navigators’ Glen Eyrie/Eagle Lake in Colorado and John McAuley from Muskoka Woods in Ontario, Canada.
This past week we met in Washington, DC. Our time together included a full agenda of items to discuss, people to meet and things to see.
One of our discussion topics was a review of our purpose and objectives as a group. It provided a reminder of why these men have become so important to me personally and professionally and why I encourage others to be a part of such a peer group.
Our purpose is to encourage each other in our leadership of our respected organizations. We accomplish this by doing the following:
Provide a safe place to talk about our lives both professionally and personally.
Openly share ideas, new programs, and organizational insights with each other.
Benchmark other organizations and meet with other leaders.
Provide accountability on issues we each face.
Pray together for each other’s work, family and personal life.
As a result of our intentional relationships each of these men has become a dear friend and partner in ministry. But even more important to us is the fact that over the years God has used our relationships to strengthen and expand His Kingdom here on earth – the most worthy purpose.