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Grand Rapids, MI

Embarking Blog

...on the journey towards restoration of all things

Summit: Session 7

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from Willow Creek Leadership Summit 2008: Session 7, Catherine RohrFounder & CEO Prison Entrepreneur Program, Risk Taking, Barrier Breaking, Bold Leadership Catherine Rohr goes into the prison system, loves inmates, and trains them in business practices to be able to be functional in society when they get out.

"Yeah, my life is on the line, but it's a calculated risk."

1 out of 15 Americans go into prison in their lifetime.  Prisons have a 95% failure rate.  "It's the organization with the greatest failure rate of any that I know."

PEP is only 4 years old, but has 1000 CEO's involved, and a 0% recidivism rate, which is generally 50%.  Employment rate is 98%, and 4 guys making over $100,000 in their first year out of the program.  47 men have started their own businesses.  70% of the graduates are donors back to the program.

"God doesn't need me.  He just needs me to follow instructions."

Her pastor says to her: "Just show up in the morning and get your orders for the day and then execute with obedience."

Talking about her personal life:  "I sacrifice privacy for accountability."

"I'm just a regular person with a skill set who gave it to God."  "We sang, 'I'm going to give you my everything, Jesus.' But how come we don't just do that?" 

"I dare you, pray, 'bring it on God,' and see what God will do."

Comments:  Catherine has hutzpah!  Wow, I was impressed by her passion, excellence, diligence, commitment, risk-taking, and creativity.  She is a primary example of a next generation leader in the Kingdom.  It's people like her who give me hope for the church.  She really challenged us to actually "be" and "live" what we "say" as Christians.  But, even more than that... this Christian woman could be a key to prison reform throughout America.  Think about.  What if, seriously, we implemented on a large scale across the country what she's doing in prison ministry?  What if we got serious about prison reform that was committed to people transformation, grace, love, and renewal? 


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