LeaderShift Conference to become an annual event

Cookeville – The Holy Spirit has a place within the business climate. 

That is the core foundation of LeaderShift, an initiative set forth by two Cookeville pastors, Bobby Davis (pastor Bobby) of Life Church and Steve Tiebout (pastor Steve) of The River Community Church. The goal, “bring Christian leaders together,” and it began somewhat organically.

The friendship between the two men grew to advance a cause. Life Church sponsored the first event May 2 when 250 people showed up to hear Peter Demos, business owner, restauranteur, leadership expert and author, speak on the keys to Christian leadership at Leslie Towne Center in Cookeville. 

A question was asked. 

How many in attendance would be interested in being part of a group of businessmen and women who would meet and speak on the importance of Christianity in business leadership? Forty people heard the call. On Aug. 8, pastor Bobby and pastor Steve met at Life Church to spread the word of God and speak about their friendship and how that connection has been a blessing in their lives.

Pastor Bobby told the Upper Cumberland Business Journal leadership can often be a lonely road.

“A couple of years ago, I went to visit a local business leader at his office,” he said. “As we were talking, the leader said his office is often a very lonely place.”

The bottom line can mean a lot more than numbers on a spreadsheet.

“Leaders have to deal with the bottom line, and that office is often the loneliest despite being surrounded by others,” he continued. “I believe biblically that isolation is not good for anyone, and leaders can often do this because of their position. The church does a great job of tending to those who are in need, but successful people are often ignored in the church setting.”

1 Corinthians 15:58 in the bible reads, “Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.”

“We all need people in our lives to encourage us,” continued the Pastor

After the LeaderShift Conference in May, many expressed interest in making the conference an annual tradition. According to pastor Bobby, faith is important to successful leadership, and the annual conference could help to grow the idea across the region.

The key is figuring out to whom and where to place that faith.

“There are two kinds of faith that exist – world and biblical,” he said. “Which one we operate in depends on whom or what our faith is placed in. Throughout my years of ministry and in talking with business leaders, I have met lots of people who are successful in business but failures in life.”

What is the definition of success? It’s not how much profit or the bottom line or how much wealth one obtains, according to the pastor. It is a biblical view that has been elevated over a world view.

“As god says, seek me first,” he says. “If God is not your priority, then you are not a success but a failure. Faith is not just important – it is everything. The wealthiest and wisest man who ever lived was Solomon. Today, his net worth would be estimated at over 2 trillion. However, he said that he has owned it all and had it all, but the biggest failure in life is if God is not first.”

Faith-based initiatives or practices are a rarity in today’s business climate. The pastor says there is a stigma, even controversy. 

Especially in today’s culture.

“It is such a toxic environment, and many businesses believe they will get canceled if they state faith-based initiatives,” he said.

What would a leadership group like Leadershift achieve in a perfect world? In a word, peace.

“The goal is to connect business leaders so they have a support system of others who think and believe like them,” said pastor Bobby. “When you have connections like these, it can bring peace and reduction of stress.”

Is there room for the word of God, Christian values and the Holy Spirit in business? If you ask those welcoming the opportunity to gather and discuss the possibilities, the answer is a resounding yes.

The LeaderShift Conference will be held annually at Leslie Towne Center in Cookeville (2024 date to be announced). For more information visit https://www.livelife.church/lead

This is an ongoing story. As future meetings are announced, they will be reported here. Check back for updates.

Image by wirestock on Freepik.

Ron Moses is the managing editor of the Upper Cumberland Business Journal and can be reached via email. Send an email.

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