Dion's random ramblings

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

outcomes based education....

William Morris, one of the most famous sons of the City of Oxford, a bicycle repairman, motor-car manufacturer, and later Lord, once commented,

"The value of an education is not what you put into a man, but what you get out of him"

This kind of gives new meaning to the term 'outcomes based education'...

Today I had the singularly disturbing task of having to motivate for the discontinuance of some students who wanted a great deal more than they were prepared to put in to their training. It breaks my heart. God calls, the Church affirms this call, and then in good faith places the money of faithful people on the line to train these called ones. Some of them simply don't understand the sacrifice made by the poor so that they can have the privilege of an education.

Once again I am reminded that with great privilege comes great responsibility. I love this Church, a creation of God, I love its work and hope for the greatest success in its mission, to be used by God to heal and transform society. I love it because God loves it. I love it when it is easy to serve. And, when it is not easy to serve, I am grateful that I love it.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Leading versus simply obeying...

My friend Graham Power once shared a pearl of wisdom with me. He said that what gets to most leaders is not the busyness or the demands of the work that needs to be done, but the pressure of bearing the responsibility. He said "Just about any person can perform tasks, and do that pretty well. But not everyone can take responsibility for the choices that need to be made". I have found this to be so true.

Being a servant of Christ in ministry is often extremely challenging. I found the following quote quite inspiring as I read it this evening. German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche spoke of the difference between leadership (what he calls 'commanding') and obedience in the following manner.

"Commanding is more difficult than obeying. And not only because the commander bears the burden of all who obey, and that this burden can easily crush him. But in all commanding there appeared to me an experiment and a risk; and the living creature always risks himself when he commands"

Taken from Zohar and Marshall's exceptional book 'Spiritual Capital', (London. Bloomsbury, 2004:142).

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

humility and the shift from success to significance...

Today I had the joy of meeting with three students that will be coming to John Wesley College next year.

I always find such meetings to be exciting and humbling. Such occasions excite me because I love meeting new people! I have a sense of naivete that always tends to see the best in people, seeing something of their giftedness and the blessing that they will be to our community! These occasions are also incredibly humbling, perhaps for a similar reason. These are such gifted and committed people! They have skills, abilities and passion that could make them so very successful if they should ever choose to follow a secular career path.

They are adept at business, they have a wealth of life experience, they are gifted musicians, and most importantly they are deeply committed and spiritual people! Of course not everyone is like this. I can assure you that I have my fair share of disappointment and struggle with students who are less than scrupulous, lacking what is required to lead persons to heal and transform society.

Those gifted persons who give up so much often tell similar stories. They speak of the realization that success can never compensate for the need to be involved in something significant!

I am also humbled by the fact that these persons come with skill and experience that far outweigh mine! Partnership, sharing and mutual responsibility! These are the things that enrich the community. I hope that my style of leadership is one that seeks to empower, to bring out the best in my colleagues, that allows gifts and abilities to thrive and shine through.

I wonder what it must have been like for the disciples whose feet were washed by Jesus? God humbly blessing the unworthy.

Sometimes it is wonderful to be so young in such a responsible position, many times I just feel unworthy...