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Upcoming leadership convention explores caring for creation

Written on June 15th, 2011

Christian Schools International’s (CSI) upcoming annual leadership convention will dig into sustainable issues relating to God’s creation and the Christian school movement.

Registration is open for the July 18-21 event, which is focusing on simplicity in lifestyle at a time when the world is fast-paced, says CSI president and CEO Dave Koetje.

During the first half of the convention a number of speakers will share their perspectives on what it means to be trustees of God’s creation.

The event then shifts focus to how sustainability ties into the Christian school movement, such as sustainable financial models for schools.

Koetje notes these topics seem like two different programs, but sustainability is at the core of both.

Life was quite different 50 years ago, when the majority of people lived on farms, learned how to sustainably plant crops, and rode bikes instead of cars because it was more affordable, notes Koetje.

He says the issue of being caretakers of God’s creation is significant because it’s hard to predict what the future will look like when today’s students will be adults.

“(Sustainability is) important today because kids need to understand their responsibility for thoughtful stewardship of God’s creation and God’s Earth,” he says, adding this includes helping shape a mindset for care and caution.

The convention is geared towards principals, vice-principals, school executive directors and board members. A new feature to this year’s event is offering two strands: a stewardship and sustainability strand as well as a mission advancement strand.

There are plenty of examples within the CSI family of schools who are intentional about their environmental efforts, and Koetje says he hopes participants walk away with a clear understanding of what can be done from an institutional standpoint to make decisions around environmental stewardship.

Participants will also know where to find instructional resources for the classroom around sustaining God’s creation

Convention keynote speakers include Tom and Christine Sine, who assist organizations in adapting to challenges of the 21st century; Dr. Matthew Sleeth, who teaches, preaches and writes about faith and the environment; and Jim Skillen, former director of the Center for Public Justice, author and speaker.

Koetje says the entire program is exciting, noting Skillen’s presentation will be intriguing to hear how fixing the brokenness of God’s resources relates to CSI’s desire for students to feel compelled to have an attitude of restoration.

The 82nd annual convention is taking place at the Hilton hotel in Baltimore, Maryland. Click here to learn more or to register.