Robert, a friend and co-worker, invited me to the 1993 High Tech Prayer Breakfast. I wasn’t sure how to respond to the invitation. After all, I had never been to a “prayer anything.”
“What is it?” I asked.
“It is the single biggest networking event in the Atlanta technology community. You’ll see all the leaders in technology there. I’m sure you will feel like you fit right in,” he said.
“If it is a networking event, why do you call it a prayer breakfast?” I asked.
Networking and Sharing
“We call it a prayer breakfast because the speakers are business people who will tell their faith story. The keynote speaker will speak to trends in our industry, but he’ll also talk about his faith journey,” he said.
“It sounds interesting. Will I be called on for anything?” I asked.
“You are my guest. You’ll meet some new people and hear an inspiring message,” he said.
I accepted the invitation.
I did meet some new people and caught up with other people in my network. I don’t remember the keynote speaker or his story. I do remember Bill Leonard closing the prayer breakfast. He spoke of his belief in Jesus Christ. I still remember the conviction in his eyes and voice. It had a real impact on me.
I asked myself, “Do I believe in anything as much as this guy believes in his Jesus?”
Searching for Answers
I left the breakfast wanting to know more and meet more people from this community. There was a goodness about the people in the meeting. They had something I was interested in knowing more about.
So I called Bill and asked him to meet with me. He is in the commercial real estate business, and I was looking for office space. At least that is what I told him the meeting was about.
We met, and I described my plans for my business and asked if he could find me space. He agreed, and with that out of the way, I brought up my deeper need.
“It appears to me you know a lot of Christian business people in the tech community. Can you introduce me to them?” I asked.
He said, “I recommend you go to a Bible study which is held on Friday mornings at a restaurant on the Perimeter. You’ll meet some great people there. You’ll also learn about God and the Bible.”
Discovering a Home and Destiny
The first morning I attended the study, I was as nervous as I ever was attending anything. I dug up some old, previously waterlogged Bible from my house and walked in the door of the restaurant.
I was greeted as an old friend and introduced to the friendliest people in Atlanta. I found a home. In time, I found my relationship with God through Jesus Christ.
Bill then started inviting me to other technology events. I met more and more people from all kinds of tech businesses. He opened his network to me.
These relationships led me to become involved with the Business & Technology Alliance which hosted High Tech Month every October. Within two years, the contacts I made blew up my network.
It’s About the People
Every person I met in life had an impact on me. Some more than others, but each one had an impact.
Bill certainly made good on my request. He introduced me to his Christian business network who introduced me to everyone in Atlanta technology.
Thanks, Bill. And the office space worked out pretty well, too!
Wm. Leonard & Co. specializes in real estate for start-ups and fast-growth companies. They’ve been doing it for thirty years here in Atlanta. You will do well to give them a call.