On Thursday, May 12, I hosted, as the director of the Wellspring School of Leadership, a Seminar on Christian Leadership. It was a phenomenal event, if I may say so. It was everything I could have hoped for. Those involved did a tremendous job putting it all together.
The idea was essentially twofold. First, our goal was to raise the profile of the Wellspring School of Leadership (WSL), which launched this past autumn. Not many people know we exist, so it’s important to tell them, “We exist.” Second, we wanted to get people together to begin the conversation on Christian leadership. Or leadership by Christians. Really, it’s about representing Christ wherever you find yourself vocationally.
So we had a tremendous reception to kick off the evening. Live jazz wafted over the crowd, which was already awash with small talk and quickly filling with splendid hors d’oeuvres. I and many of my colleagues and students met so many from all over Connecticut who were involved in key leadership positions and excited about what we were doing at WSL. In time, we moved into Wellspring Church‘s sanctuary for an introduction to the school’s mission (see below), a brief presentation from one of our students, and an address from John G. Rowland, former governor of Connecticut.
Unfortunately, I cannot make available the governor’s remarks, though they were pertinent, encouraging, and inspiring. I d0, however, have here what our student representative, Jody Davis, shared about her life and work. She was terrific. And I have below my own remarks on WSL’s purpose in our world. I enjoyed writing and sharing them. I hope you enjoy them too.
Ladies and gentlemen, students of the Wellspring School of Leadership, Governor Rowland,
On behalf of the Wellspring School of Leadership, allow me to welcome you to this Seminar on Christian Leadership.
My name is Mike McKinniss. I am the Director of the Wellspring School of Leadership and I am delighted that each of you has decided to join us in this conversation about what it means to lead. And specifically, what it means to lead by faith.
Indeed, it is this very question – how to lead by faith – on which the Wellspring School of Leadership was founded.
Eighteen months ago, the elders of Wellspring Church commissioned a committee to explore possibilities for training men and women for leadership. Expressed in this commission was an urgent need, which I’m sure many of you have felt keenly as well. That is, an urgent need throughout this world (not just in our churches) for leaders who embody the Kingdom of God, which Jesus proclaimed and promised.
Whether it is aware, the whole world craves business leaders, for example, who have a deep desire to do right by their employees (even unionized employees), customers, and the created world – business men and women for whom the bottom line includes far more than just dollars and cents.
Or how many of us have turned to the arts for inspiration – that we can be better than we are – only to find reflections of our worst qualities, the very things we had hoped to transcend through art? I don’t know about you, but I rarely get through a day without coming to the precipice of one or another chasm in my character.
Likewise, the shelves of our society are well stocked with “public servants” who with their lips speak platitudes to their constituents, while signing off on self-serving policies with their pens.
Even in our churches do we find the loudest and most prevalent voices laden with bickering and infighting. We become more concerned with who’s in and who’s out than exhibiting the love of the Creator that makes everyone feel like they belong in God’s family.
In these and every other sphere of society are there desperate needs for leaders who walk and talk like they are a part of a Kingdom of faith, hope, reconciliation, vision, and love.
It is towards this end that the Wellspring School of Leadership is seeking to train men and women in all spheres of society. Whatever a student’s individual calling, our goal is to equip her with truth, integrity, and authority to lead.