Ray Tiller

Equipping Christian Schools is dedicated to assist Christian school boards, leaders and teachers to develop the Christian perspectives, values, and skills needed to pursue their mission of effective Christian education.


Review and “re-commissioning” your school’s operations

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Does your school need refreshment?

Most of our Christian schools have emerged between 20 and 40 years ago from a God-inspired mission to give excellent Christ-centred education to generations of young people to lead them to love God and desire to serve Him throughout their lives.  We always intended that our schools would help our students to be highly skilled, and to understand life consistently with their faith and biblical truth, and to be thoroughly prepared to transform their communities by living and leading in response to God's grace and truth.

We started well, but after 20 or 30 years of faithful service, hard work, growth and painful difficulties, some of us feel that our school's major "functional systems" (such as vision/mission, leadership structures, strategic planning, governance structures and processes, etc) are tired, out of focus, inefficient, ..... or that "we seem to have lost our way". 

When industrial leaders feel this way, they look to "re-commissioning" their facilities - a process to review and restore the effectiveness the systems in an existing production facility to the optimum intended operating performance.  Re-commissioning is needed because the functional systems (eg, electrical, air conditioning, access, communications, etc) get old, outmoded & less effective and need review and renewal. 

I think that we can take this idea of "re-commissioning" and apply it to the vision/mission, leadership, and operations of our Christian schools.

A practicable process for "re-commissioning" a Christian school

After 30 + years of pioneering and consulting with Christian schools, I have the insights and resources to quickly get an accurate picture of how a school is functioning, and to guide boards, principals and leaders through a "recommissioning" process.  Some of the processes & resources that might be deployed are:

1. Review of the current state of the school: We can use a detailed review tool to appraise the school's function across 80+ Christian school performance measures. (Click here to see a sample of the Christian School Review Tool.. After the review, the principal and school board are given a report of recommendations (Click here to see a sample)

2. Vision & Mission: We can work with various stakeholders in your school community (board, principal, senior staff, staff, & parents) to revisit and refresh your school vision and mission.  Depending on your needs, we can:

  • Work with key stakeholders to evaluate, rework and refresh the communication of the school’s vision/mission.  This process often involves researching the ideas (DNA) of the school’s founders.
  • Inspiring presentations re vision & mission to board, leaders, staff, & parents.

  • Strategize the communication of mission & vision to the school community and client groups.

2. Strategic Planning:  We can work with board and senior staff to evaluate the strengths and weakness of the school’s current operations and develop key strategies that will help your school fulfill its vision/mission.  Depending on need, we may look at:

  • The identification, refinement, and communication of the school’s niche in its community
  • Evaluation of the effectiveness of the deployment of people and roles in the school’s operations.

  • Professional development of the principal, leaders & staff.

3. Governance: We can work with the school board and principal to revisit and refresh the school's constitution and governance processes.  Some of the common needs in this area are:

  • Clarifying the constitutional/functional connection and functional harmony between a church and its school
  • Clarifying the functional relationship between the school board and the principal and executive staff.

  • Evaluating the expertise of board members and the ability of the board to function efficiently.(See the page re "Board Governance - getting it right")

4. Leadership Refreshment and Development:  Work with the staff leadership team to refresh leadership structures, job descriptions, and leadership skills.  Depending on need we might address:

  • Job descriptions and functional relationships between leaders.
  • Instruction in the concepts of “servant leadership” in the spirit of leaders’ functions.

  • Evaluation of and instruction as needed in the effectiveness of leadership skills.
  • Professional learning programs for principal and leaders.

** If you want further information about how we can help "recommission" your school, please contact Ray Tiller raytiller1950@bigpond.com or phone 0409 646 279

I found (Ray) to be a leader of the highest calibre, a man of utmost integrity and willing to face any challenge. I have the greatest respect for him and without hesitation confirm that he was the best leader I have ever worked for...

Continue Reading | Tony Bourke, Pastor, Grace Baptist Church Tainan