Last week, I had the opportunity to reconnect with the faculty and cohort from the year long executive management program I am taking through the Van Lunen Center at Calvin College. The Van Lunen Center provides training to school administrators in their first ten years of service, and this week’s topics ranged from strategic planning to HR, from spiritual leadership to advancement, and from marketing to the technological impact on teaching and learning. It has been amazing learning from peers, mentors, and experts, and I truly thank the Board and faculty for allowing me to pursue this and be o campus a few times this year.
An added bonus to this week at the Franciscan Renewal Center in Scottsdale was to very intentionally “be in the desert” and find time to fill my soul spiritually. Some of my personal time alone with God included walking the labyrinth. One of the attendees briefly told us that labyrinths have been used for centuries as a “pilgrimage” of prayer, refocusing at each turn on God- praising, listening, and unburdening ourselves. For me, I often lose focus while I pray, and as I took each turn, it reminded me of the many turns our lives take and that in ALL THINGS, God is beside us. When we are busy, when we don’t stop and rest, and our time with our heavenly Father can be hurried and unfocused. As a Christian school leader, it really is critical that I spend quality time with God and listen well to His leading.
All of us are leaders – as parents, employees, in church etc. – and we truly need this time with God. As you serve God in the areas in which He has called, may you be blessed and encouraged. Let us continue to rest in God and pray with and for each other.
This past summer, I began a year-long Fellows program through the Van Lunen Center at Calvin College. A program for Christian school leaders, the Van Lunen course will allow me to put into immediate practice the skills that I am learning in a practical way at SJCS. My first very intense week in Michigan this summer has already impacted my thinking and skill set.
Several times, as a reflection activity, we were asked to make a LIST OF 5. List 5 things that you want to learn in this program. List 5 words to describe your school. List 5 ways that you can encourage a teacher.
It was great. A terrific way to think, focus, and be clear. Listing three is too easy, and listing ten can be hard, but five just takes a little more thinking. So, here is a SJCS list of Five:
Five Characteristics that describe a SJCS students:
1. An active learner
2. An efective communicator
3. A growing believer
4. A wise decision maker
5. A collaborative worker
Wait. These are five of the SJCS Throughlines. And these are DEFINITELY the outcomes that we desire for EVERY SJCS student.
So, just a bit of homework for you.
**READ about the SJCS Throughlines.
**Start a fun family conversation over a List of Five.