In strategic planning terms, a Vision Statement articulates what a organisation wants to be in the future. It describes an aspirational state or place that the whole organisation is working toward. Having a Vision is essential as it serves as the common standard around which all that happens in the organisation is measured.
The Vision of Bayside Christian College is, “To nurture and prepare young people for a life of responsive discipleship”. Because of this vision, it is important that everything that happens at and around the College intentionally works toward becoming a place that nurtures and prepares young people for a life of responsive discipleship.
It is this Vision that differentiates Bayside Christian College from many other school. At Bayside, we want students to excel academically. We are, after all, a learning community. The difference is we don’t stop at excellent academics because academic excellence is moot if it can’t be applied correctly.
Let me share an example. A number of years ago I met two doctors - both extremely smart, attended top universities and both graduated top of their class and are now successful specialists. They both drive really nice cars, have nice houses and go on overseas holidays. What differentiates them, however, is only one is thriving. To cut a long story short, if you ask them why they became doctors, one will say the money and prestige, while the other because they knew God had called them to help people. Both are professionally successful, both very wealthy, but only one is thriving.
Responsive discipleship does not mean second best, or not aspiring to do big, amazing things or not making lots of money. Responsive discipleship can and does entail all of these things. Rather, it means doing what you do in response to a life given and driven by Christ. It means thriving in the world and using your gifts (whatever they are) to serve the Lord. Thus if you are gifted in commerce, be amazingly successful at it and use what you create to serve the outworking of God's kingdom plan.
Now, if you are looking at the Vision and thinking, “but, we do this now - Bayside is nurturing and preparing young people for a life of responsive discipleship!”, you would be in part correct. Yes, the College does a very good job in this regard. The College works hard to ensure that students are being nurtured and prepared. It is in fact, one of the reasons why I chose to bring my children to the College.
I also know that we are not there yet. There are things that we could and can do better. There are things I suspect we have not thought of yet that will better equip students for a life of responsive discipleship. Thus the Vision remains relevant and centring; it remains aspirational. I get excited when I think of the possibilities for our young people, as we continue to partner together striving to build a learning community that nurtures and prepares young people for responsible discipleship.