Over the decades there have been diverse and conflicting views about the real purpose of Adventist Education. What are the common threads that bind us together? What is the narrative that unifies our system, and drives a common purpose, vision and mission?
A long time ago, when I was talking with a good friend, he pulled out his iPhone and said, “You can go anywhere in the world and this phone has the same operating system – yet across your 48 Adventist schools in Australia, they are all off doing their own thing with no unifying, consistent way of doing business.” There is no doubt that all Adventist schools are different, that they each have a different context and culture. This means that conformity is not the answer, but there is strength, efficiency, direction, and clarity in unity of purpose.
One hundred and twenty-five years ago in ‘The Bible Echo and Signs of the Times’ there was published a notice regarding the opening of a new Adventist School, now known as Avondale School that read as follows: “This school will be established on a different basis and conducted on different lines from any other school that we know of in Australia. The great aim of the school is to lead the student to God. All that will be taught and the methods of teaching will be to reveal God to the students, and thus make them acquainted with the character and dealing of God.”
We must never lose sight of this original purpose. Within Adventist Education in Australia we have renewed and reclarified our purpose statements:
- Our Purpose (why we exist): To reveal Jesus
- Our Vision (what we aspire to be): To be a thriving Christ-centered learning community
- Our Mission: (what we are there to do): To enable every student to flourish
We are a ministry of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. Our schools exist because we believe in the profound love of Jesus and the hope, peace and joy that comes from knowing Him, and living with Him and for Him. As leaders in this ministry our calling is to reveal Jesus to the staff, students, and community.
We know that when staff are intentional about sharing their own love of Jesus and encouraging their students to walk the journey – their impact is immeasurable. Let us all be that person, the person who authentically and passionately lives a life for Jesus so that through their influence and the leading of the Holy Spirit – others can see and feel the beautiful love and peace of Jesus Christ.