Associated Christian Schools ACS – Navigating Christianly the Age of Disruption
The President and Vice-Chancellor of Monash University, Professor Margaret Gardner AO, in an address to the Melbourne Press Club on 8 June 2016 made this point:
In 2011 Clayton Christensen and Henry Eyring opined:
“A disruptive technology, online learning, is at work in higher education, allowing both for-profit and traditional not-for-profit institutions to rethink the entire traditional higher education model. Private universities without national recognition and large endowments are at great financial risk. So are public universities, even prestigious ones …”
Christensen is the father of the notion of disruptive innovation and here he is applying those thoughts to university education.
These comments from higher education were directed specifically to higher education. Do they have a wider application?
A common factor gleaned from the 2019 ACS USA Study Tour visits to ten schools and four colleges or universities was the generally recognised need to be agile, or nimble, organisationally. Driving that need are the disruptive technologies referred to above, and the resultant cultural milieu in which we live is thus an age of disruption.
Whether we like this cultural milieu or not, we must navigate it. Where can we find help to do this Christianly?
The temptation is to look at the myriad of wellness programs that are emerging in response to the uncertainty ushered in by this age. Many of these are well-intended, and interestingly, often include meditation techniques.
For ACS Christians, there is a much more ancient method available, that of Biblical meditation. This is not a prescriptive method, but a practice easily integrated into the Christian’s normal devotional time.
It begins with calming the mind. This is something that may take a little time, as breathing and heart rate slow, and the mind begins to clear.
What follows can vary: it may be that we already have a particular Scripture on which we wish to meditate, but if not, a next step would be to ask the Holy Spirt to put a Scripture on our mind. As the Scripture is read, there will come a time when the reader may sense a need to pause and read no further, until the Holy Spirit makes known what He is seeking to reveal from God’s Word.
A Biblical basis for this can be found in Deuteronomy 29:29 (NKJV)
29 “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.
This quickening of the spirit is what John wrote of in John 6:63 (NKJV), and results in renewal of spiritual life,
63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
This applies not only personally, as it may also be used to quicken and revitalise organisational life, but for this to happen, the organisational leader must take the lead. In a ACS Christian school, this is the Head of the school.
Meditation is a vital addition to all he or she might have in their armory of natural talents or gifts. Yet is almost certainly the most vital one for organisational direction, and to neglect it is to succumb to the pressure a waiting devil is wishing to inflict upon the already busy, time-pressured leader.
For such a leader though, there is a particularly encouraging promise to be found in James 4:7 (KJV),
7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
This Scripture is remarkable because it requires only two things for spiritual success against that relentless pressure we feel from the demonic realm: submission to God and resistance of the devil; no further action is required unless God directs otherwise – His promise is the devil will flee.
Through Biblical meditation God has provided us an avenue through which we may experience personal and organisational calming – just what is needed to help us navigate an age of disruption.