I want to thank God for this opportunity to graduate from Hope School of Leadership. I thank God for the directors who work hard and diligently to make sure that Hope School is running and performs to its best. I wish to express sincere appreciation to Mr. Darren Wilson for believing in me and giving me an opportunity to be part of the Hope School family. This is indeed a blessing and an achievement that presents me and all of us, the grandaunts with a platform to go out there and make an impact in the world.
To the grandaunts, since we have graduated today and all in attendance today, let us understand one profound thing, Hope school is a genuine school of leadership, it provides what it says, holistic leadership training, Hope school does not exist to impress donors for their donation, it provides training that is authentic which is aimed at presenting leaders who have stood the test of time and fire.
We all have a responsibility after this graduation, to ourselves, to those we lead, and to God.
To ourselves, we owe it to us after the hard work and lots of time put in to the training period to keep on working to develop ourselves, this is not the end of study, it is just a day to put a seal to the beginning of what lies ahead of us, the task of leading. As Harry Truman puts it, “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” We should keep on working and seeking knowledge to build on what we have learnt in Hope school, as Paul tells Timothy, in 2 Timothy 2:15, “Study and do your best to present yourself to God approved, a workman [tested by trial] who has no reason to be ashamed, accurately handling and skillfully teaching the word of truth.” (AMP). Let us keep on seeking knowledge, read sound books and build our own capacity thus developing our leadership skills. The journey has not been easy, the datelines to beat, the pressure we feel when we lag behind in submitting assignments, some of us we expectant along the way, gave birth but still held on and managed to finish strong and that is why we are here, it has not been an easy ride, but worth it, so let us not throw all of it away, let us work hard and build on the foundation that has been laid by Hope School.
We also owe it to those we lead to be the best examples in our leadership mandate. One of the best courses in the training that carries this is the Spiritual Leadership Unit that emphasized on a leader smelling like sheep. Let us understand that our position is not just a pedestal to announce how great a leader we are. For example, a father who keeps on reminding his children that he is the father of the house by yelling “Do you know that I’m your father?” this father has a problem, he is trying to verbally remind them what he is not in terms of the role and responsibility by forcing his title down their throats to compensate on his shortcomings, this is a father by name and not by role. We are leaders, not by name but by duty, we are not like political leaders who give empty promises to get what they want, we are not leaders who are out to sound politically correct, we are leaders to them that we lead, and we must come down to their level and smell like them. Let us remember that we have been called to be the light and salt, so ask yourself, with this leadership crisis in the world, are you just salt or a tasty salt? Are you a bright light that outs of darkness or are you a dim light that dies in darkness? We must lead by example as Paul puts it in 1 Timothy 4:12 “Let no one look down on [you because of] your youth, but be an example and set a pattern for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in [moral] purity.” This is our calling, to be examples in all these as the Bible instructs us, that is our duty to those we lead, smell like them and be an example to them.
We owe it to God by understanding that He has mandated us to be leaders in this world. The world as we see it today suffers a leadership crisis and that is why we exist, the crisis in Aleppo tells us how professional and political leadership is failing, it is time for us, the leaders mandated by God to take on the challenge and bring a change in our world. To us, leadership is not a position, it is a gift given by God, we are not professional leaders, we are leaders who are called and mandated for higher purpose. As Paul tells Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:14” Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, [that special endowment] which was intentionally bestowed on you [by the Holy Spirit] through prophetic utterance when the elders laid their hands on you [at your ordination].” This graduation day is not just a ceremony, it is a prophetic event where the gift of leadership will be bestowed upon as, this is the gift that we should not neglect, the moment we receive the charge from Darren, that will be a prophetic moment, to bestow unto us the mandate of going out there and being the ambassadors of the Kingdom, that is what separates us from the secular style of professional leadership, we are ambassadors of our Kingdom. Let us follow His instructions written in the Word, because the Word is our guide book in all that we do, and with this I will end with a word of inspiration “The Bible is our guide book, our instruction manual, and failure to follow the instructions therein will make you a successful failure”
God bless you BIG and God bless Hope School of Leadership.