16 Mar A Word From Dr. Satterly—March 16, 2023
Dear WA Community,
When our girls were little, they loved the movie The Sound of Music. As a result, I’ve watched it more times than I can remember or count. However, those days are long gone, and while I can no longer recall the dialogue, these words of Julie Andrews are forever etched in my memory, “Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start….”
The Westminster Academy lexicon includes something with a similar theme, “Begin with the end in mind.” I never had the chance to ask Dr. Wackes if he was inspired by the singing Van Trapp family as captured by Rogers and Hammerstein, but they certainly strike a familiar chord. Collectively these two colloquialisms speak to the significance of what some organizational leaders have coined “The Why.” Perhaps this has best been captured by leadership guru Patrick Lencioni in his book, The Advantage, or social commentator Simeon Sinek’s work, Start with Why. Ultimately all of this points to a powerful truth—mission and purpose matter.
Our theme for this academic year is Cultivate, based on Colossians 2:6–8. This is an oft-cited passage in Christian schools, and for good reason, as it captures the essence of our why. One way we are exploring the depth and beauty of these verses is by examining a word or phrase each time our faculty and staff gather for devotions and prayer. Another has been in my own study in exploring its implications as we navigate this contemporary age.
If you haven’t spent much time reading, meditating, and praying through these verses, let me urge you to do so. As you do so, you might note how the directives “walk in him” and “see to it” rests on the reality of “Christ Jesus as Lord.” Paul reminds us that thinking in biblical categories and their application begins with and relies upon the redemptive work of Jesus. He also highlights our mission, “rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught….” This is the work of the Christian school, in partnership with family, church, and community. In this, we find the weight behind the “16,000 hours proposition”—the time allotted to be in school from kindergarten to graduation. It is to this end that we begin. This is our why.
To God be the Glory!
Dr. Joel Satterly