Recently, I had the opportunity to speak at the FACTS convention in Orlando, Florida. FACTS is a major provider of executive tools for leaders of faith-based and independent schools from all over the USA. In fact, it was my second time as a speaker.
My topic this time was: Rethinking Leadership: Why Is It Such a Challenge? I’ve been pondering that question for quite some time; indeed, I hope to complete a book on that topic. Leaders struggle for many reasons. My goal through TBG is, therefore, to be a source of encouragement to school leaders by providing them with a willing ear and wise counsel. It can be both heartbreaking and a joy.
Upon returning home from that conference, I received this message from someone who attended my three-part presentation.
“Thank you for your great sessions today. . . . Thank you as well for your support of Christian Schools and school leadership. It is nice to have a commonsense voice out there and not just someone spouting off some latest greatest personal perspective as if it is some modern-day answer or remedy for what ails our schools. Especially appreciated was the back to basics from a standpoint of how God ultimately designed things to work.
Blessings to you in your endeavors.”
An Important Combination
As Larry Crabb noted many years.
ago in his book, Encouragement,
The Key to Caring, encouragement
is more than a compliment or a pat
on the back. It is a combination of
providing practical how-tos, a caring
relationship, and an expectation that
people will take active, positive steps
toward wrestling with difficult and complex problems.
That is what I seek when working with school leaders.
So, when people ask me what is it that you actually do with schools, I tell them I seek to be:
A brain to pick,
A shoulder to cry on, and when necessary,
A kick in the pants.
What Lies Ahead
Simply put, I want to help school leaders face the “brutal facts” of leadership in a fallen world while providing them with the encouragement and understanding they need to plow ahead.
Fifty years of experience in Christian schooling has provided insight into how best to accomplish the mission given us by our Lord to make disciples and how to do that in a world that has unmoored itself from true Truth and from the author of that Truth. To do otherwise would be to turn my back on God’s calling in my life. Thus, even though I hope to slow down somewhat in the days ahead, I simply cannot walk away while I still have the passion, intellectual capacity, and strength for the mission to which I have been called.
In that regard I’d like to share something of what lies ahead for me and my work through The Barnabas Group.
First: I will continue my work with the Herzog Foundation. I have two more strategic planning boot camps on my calendar through the end of 2023 and five currently scheduled for 2024. In addition, my wife Linda has been asked by the Herzog Foundation to lead a group discussion of school leader’s wives at the Hertzog offices outside of Kansas City. She will also be able to present her book, The Private Side of Leadership, which is in the process of being published. I will be joining her for that trip and will spend time with those school leaders.
Second: I have accepted invitations to speak at two international meetings during the month of October this fall. The first is the ACSI’s Eastern Canada Flourishing Schools Institute in Quebec. I will deliver the Keynote Address and will lead a series of round table discussions with school leaders from all over eastern Canada.
The second opportunity will once again take me to the Philippines where I have been asked to take part in the 25th anniversary celebration of ACSI in the Philippines. I was surprised and honored to be asked to deliver two keynote addresses to the entire group and also present several workshops.
As is usually the case with this kind of invitation, the ACSI country office will cover all of my in-country expenses. I must, however, cover expenses related to travel to and from the USA. The cost of that airfare is $2,200. If God lays it on your heart to help with that expense, it would be greatly appreciated. Checks should be made to The Barnabas Group, Inc and mailed to Dr. Alan Pue, President, The Barnabas Group, Inc, 7692 Bristolwood Drive, Castle Pines, CO 80108. All gifts are tax-deductible.
Third: I have been asked by Scott Barron, President of School Growth, Inc to serve as an adjunct consultant with him in his work with schools around the country. Scott and I met while we were both speaking at the Schools United conference in Ft. Lauderdale. We connected in spirit quickly and both of us were asked to develop the strategic planning Boot Camp for the Herzog Foundation. I’ve already enjoyed being part of a team again, having someone with whom to bounce my “manic musings”.
School Growth is one of the most significant companies working with faith- based and independent schools in the USA. Taking on this new role will help me with two things:
It will broaden my outreach to schools and school leaders.
It will lighten my travel load, as much of what I will do will be leadership coaching via Zoom. Anything I can do to lighten my travel load while allowing me to continue to work with school leaders plus spend more time at home with my dear wife will be seen in the most positive light.
Fourth: As I mentioned earlier, I continue to try and make progress on my next book, Rethinking Leadership: Why Is It Such a Challenge? If, as many individuals have observed, “everything rises or falls on leadership” it is an important topic. I’ve been a bit hesitant to jump back into writing. It is, frankly, hard work and takes a lot of time, energy, and focus. I do think, however, that it will be a worthwhile project.
One final project which is Linda’s, not mine. She is in the final stages of getting her book, The Private Side of Leadership, into print. At the risk of sounding like a proud spouse, it is a truly good, even exceptional book, written from a lifetime of insight and study. She has already gathered quite a long list of very positive endorsements. Please pray as we approach publication as the hard part follows, marketing the book to leaders and their wives (although several endorsements mention that any wife would profit from her book). Perhaps you can be part of those efforts through word of mouth. We’ll let you know when it is in print.
Again, I want to express my thanks for your prayers and financial support over all these years. I will continue to do that which God has called me to as long as I am able, and people keep calling.
Blessings on you as you continue to seek and serve our Lord.