Owning the Vision

Owning the Vision

Thursday, 17 March 2016  | Gerry - Administration Manager
Who do you associate with? Friends, family, like-minded people? The people we hang out with or associate with reflect in some way what we are most passionate about. Hold that thought.

Apart from my role as the Admin Manager at MECS I also ‘wear another hat’. That ‘hat’ is my role as the President of Christian Education National (CEN). CEN is the umbrella body of Christian schools that MECS belongs to, or rather should I say participates in and contributes to. The value of CEN in bringing together and serving around 80 schools across Australia is inestimable. It’s a real privilege to be a part of this organisation (you can check out CEN at

The legal form of CEN is a company. This company does not have shareholders, rather it has members; these members are not people but rather legally formed organisations. They exist to run schools. In May CEN will be getting together for its annual meeting. Of course legally formed organisations cannot meet unless there are real live humans embodying those organisations. Those organisations are in some sense distinct from the schools that they operate. From my point of view as President of CEN, the health of those organisations is a critical issue to the wellbeing of both CEN and of the schools that they run. This will be a focus of our get together in May.

This brings me back to my observation that who we hang out with somehow reflects our passions, values and aspirations. The legal body that runs MECS is an incorporated association. Around 230 people have formally committed to belong to and participate in the Association. Our challenge is that the notion of formal belonging does not now fit comfortably in Australian culture. Today it seems that people tend to consume rather than participate. My point is that associating with the MECS Association can reflect how very significant you believe Christian education is.

Of course if belonging and participating only means coming to a couple of general meetings each year that perhaps does not seem very important. On face value participation is easier to make sense of in the day to day of school – helping on a school camp, reading in class, working your heart out at a working bee (thanks for that), plus, plus, plus.

The meaning of belonging to the Association is more subtle. While the Board, Executive, and the wonderful Nicole Nyhouse, endeavour to make the general meetings of the Association interesting and interactive, these meetings are not as critical as we might think. It is our members holding and protecting the vision for what we do at MECS and Ranges TEC that is paramount. The vision of seeking the Kingdom of God in education is one that has to be held in high esteem. Belonging to the Association is about protecting, supporting and promoting that vision (Of course there are some very active ways to participate in the Association through the Board and its sub-committees.)

In the first of our parent seminars I like to use the metaphor of MECS and Ranges TEC as sailing ships –1800s style trading clippers if you like. It is our Association that is the owner of the sailing ships and therefore decides where they will go. How the ships get there is up to the captain and crew (Executive, staff and volunteers). Simply sailing in a ship doesn’t make you an owner of the ship, but you can become one by joining our Association. Contact Nicole Nyhouse or one of our Board members to find out how you can become a ‘ship owner’. 

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