WhyWeWork BrianVee
WhyWeWork BrianVee

Episode 94 · 1 year ago

#94 Shaun Alspach - Halifax Christian Academy - BrianVee WhyWeWork

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Shaun Alspach is the Vice President of Influencing Generations for Christ (IGC) and is the Head of the School at Halifax Christian Academy. Shaun has a heart to serve and he has learned that service first starts at home and then into the broader community. He would be the first to confess that we need the grace of God, through Jesus Christ, to do things well and this is Shaun's purpose.

Contact Info

Shaun’s Profile
linkedin.com/in/shaun-alspach-b40902132

Influencing Generations for Christ
https://www.gen4christ.com/kevin-plintz-5

Halifax Christian Academy
https://halifaxchristianacademy.ca/https://www.facebook.com/HalifaxChristianAcademy/

Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/shaun.alspach

About

Shaun was originally trained as a professional geologist, with 23 years of experience in the Canadian and United States Energy Sector, in a variety of technical, senior management, strategic planning and corporate governance roles. He has coordinated over $400 million dollars of commercial transactions, been on the senior leadership team of publicly traded companies with market value over $1 billion dollars and has started and sold various private enterprises. His diversified his background and experience through years of corporate structuring, strategic planning, team management, senior executive governance, financing, and investor relations experience as well as a wealth of acquisition and divestment experience give him a robust leadership, governance, financial management, strategic planning, marketing, capital raising, corporate structuring and business development toolkit.

Shaun was not raised in a Christian tradition but was invited by his wife Leah to attend church in his early 30’s. For the next two years a critical comparison of his secular education versus the foundations of Christian faith ensued. This period of discovery led Shaun to see the absolute truth of scripture, as well as the tremendous volume of evidence making Christianity the only viable worldview choice. Shaun’s journey from a secular trained, old-earth, agnostic evolutionist to a passionate young earth creationist has been a startling 180-degree turn. Discipling students and showing them the truth of the Bible, God’s sovereignty, and Jesus love through his ultimate sacrifice is what motivated Shaun to leave his corporate life behind, join the ministry of Influencing Generations for Christ to pour into Christian schools, in order to strengthen them, in order that they maximize the 900-1000 annual hours of access to each student for powerful Kingdom impact.

Shaun has been an active servant in the work of the ministry. Shaun is currently Head of School of Halifax Christian Academy, the largest Christian school in the province of Nova Scotia, a position which he assumed at a time when the closure of the school was imminent. Through God’s provision and Shaun’s leadership HCA has embarked upon an exciting new chapter, in alignment to God’s Vision and Mission. HCA is fundamentally stronger than prior to his appointment, with a new strategic governance structure, fiscal management plan, discipleship plan, marketing and community engagement. HCA is now praising God for hundreds of blessings and a 50% enrollment increase in just one year since embarking on this transformation. Shaun also is serving the Lord as an active participant in his local church, Regal Heights Baptist Church, in Dartmouth Nova Scotia, Canada.

Previously Shaun served Mountain Springs Calvary Chapel, on staff in the role of Ministry Assistant. This part time commitment followed on the heels of 2 years of volunteer service as a Ministry Intern and came in response to God’s unmistakable calling over his life, while standing at the Pools of Bethesda in Jerusalem, and following 12 years of growth after his salvation at the age of 34. In the 3 years on staff, he was privileged to have been given the honor of teaching from the pulpit, counselling members of the congregation, as well as leading and coordinating various ministries and programs.
Shaun graduated in 1993 from the University of Alberta, with a Bachelor of Science degree with specialization in Geology and later served his alma-matter for ten years as a sessional instructor. He has served as a Director of publicly traded as well as privately held companies, as well as several faith and non-faith based charitable organizations.

...welcome to why we work with your host Brian V. As he speaks to people like you from all over the world as we together dive deeper into our motivations, struggles, joys, seemingly missteps, hopes, warnings and advice which would be an encouragement to us all to get up, get going on and keep on working. Working is tough, but working is good. Now here's your host to why we work. Brian V. I'm Brian V, and this is why we work today at the great pleasure speaking with Sean All spot. He is the vice president of influencing generations for Christ. He is also the head of the school at Halifax Christian Academy in Nova Scotia, Canada. I want to find out how hard it is to be the head of the school, to be the principal, to be the leader, to help build it up. But I also want to know what he says about building up people. And how should we do that? Each and every day? Join me in my conversation with Sean All spa. I'm Brian V, and this is why we work today. Have the great pleasure of speaking with Sean. All spa. Good day find, sir. Oh, good day, Brian. It's good to see you. It's it's good to see you and to speak with you today. I thank you for your time for doing this. It's been E. I guess it was 2018 when I left. And so we're 2020 once we're already in three years. Time does keep ticking time flies, and I miss seeing you in person as much as I used to. But it's my pleasure to be with you today. Yeah, and I thank you what I'm starting to do. I just started it today. I usually said to say, What's this about? What are you about? What are you doing? But what industry are you in? And what is it that you're doing now, Sean? That's an interesting question. And even the word industry. I'm really in a ministry now. Brian. I work with a group called Influencing Generations for Christ, Christian Believer, Born Again Christian. But that's a been a relatively recent change in my life. Now, in my fifties, that didn't happen till I was in my thirties. I'm with I G C for short influencing generations for Christ and what we do is we pour into Christian private Christian schools around the world trying to strengthen them in their mission vision, Um, operations, financial capabilities. Why do we do that? We pour into them because they're the ones impacting the next generation. Hence the name influencing generations for Christ. So is it an industry? I Education obviously has aspects that are like industry, but it's not for a profit. Motive for colonel profit motive in a Christian lens. So that's what I've been doing. I've been working with them for five years. Gosh, now going on six years, You're right times flying. I'm actually the head of school of one of my G. C s former clients, Halifax Christian Academy, here in Halifax, Nova Scotia. That's what brought me east. And I got to meet you in that process once we landed eso I'm pleased and privileged to be the head of school. Think headmaster or superintendent or president of the Christian Academy here in in Halifax. Sean, I'd like to get more into that in a moment. But what would have been your very first job? Maybe is a teenager. Yeah, I was reflecting upon that. My mother actually sent me an email last week, and she was trying to remember the name of this place. My longest, Uh, my longest friend. His parents opened up a nice cream restaurant in the town in Alberta that I grew up in. And we were all under age to go get a legitimate job. So we all went wash dishes in the back, and as long as we didn't come out front where the customers were, we were fine. And I think probably got paid. I don't know. I'd be surprised. There was $3 an hour. How old were you then? I think I was 13. Okay. 13 and but we got paid Whenever the actual, um, regular employees screwed up a big sunday or something. It always went in the freezer. So let's just say we ate a lot of ice cream after our shifts were over. That was kind of our pay. What was What was the reasoning? You got that job? Was it directly? Because your friend said, hey, come. We can get you some ice cream and some money or yeah, I mean, obviously we lived on the same...

...street, and, you know, you can only play so much baseball and football and, you know, shinny hockey if you're Canadian. Although some Canadians would dispute that they play shinny hockey for 10 hours a day if they could on do you know honestly, it was that logical transition. We're capable. It wouldn't be bad to have a few dollars in your pockets. And the opportunity was there, and it was easy. And so I just kind of fell into it because of my friend. We didn't do it for very long, but it was, you know, six months or so and it kind of got our feet wet in what a real job looks like. And it certainly got our hands, uh, dirty for sure. What would have been your your first legitimate job after that, after you got your hands dirty? Yeah, I worked. I mean, as a kid, I really put myself through. During the high school years in India University, I worked at the golf course that I was a member off. I worked on the first of all in the pro shop cleaning members golf clubs and getting them ready to go, you know, washing carts and kind of all the menial sort of tasks that are needed to keep a golf course running smoothly for the members. And then I graduated. It was, if you want to step up in wage and in responsibility, you join the grounds crew. So for those of us that are old enough, not quite like that old movie Caddyshack. But, well, there were the cool guys. I was, of course, marshal in the sackful par three course in the day and the grounds crew. And just knowing a couple friends of mine who worked in some of the other bigger courses and the grounds crew, they're the cool guys. Yeah, it was. It was actually a great job. I mean, you got to spend time, you know, God's creation every single day. And although I'll tell you, it certainly destroyed me for working really early in the day, we run our mowers, probably in northern Alberta. I mean, it got light at five in the morning, 5. 30 in the morning, and you had to be out ahead of the golfers before the first tee off. And those you gotta be really early to get them were. So I remember, you know, running lawnmowers, big industrial lawnmowers at 4 30 in the morning with the headlights on eso, you could imagine what time we were getting up in the morning, But I agree. Mhm. That's a pretty good job, though, because 18 course was 18 hole course. Yeah, those were Those were pretty good jobs tohave into into high school. It was pretty steady. Caused a few things for me. Um, which leads into some of my work career. I was always living life kind of one chapter ahead, so unfortunately, I had a good job to go to, and I really didn't focus much on high school. I got good marks, but I was rushing through high school, so I finished high school in 2.5 years instead of three. Really? So what was what was driving you to finish a chapter ahead? What were you looking forward to? Yeah, I always, you know, setting my sights ahead. But probably for the wrong reasons. To be honest in high school have been you know what universities looming. I need to go make a bunch of money just to pay tuition. So, you know, didn't really engage much with high school peers except for a few Onda. The goal was to finish early. So that spring, instead of going to high school, I could go to the golf course and make some money. Eso Yeah, that really was an economic driver. Justo, try and pay tuition for that first year university. Since you were looking ahead, what were you thinking about? Even from high school as a career. So you took. What did you take in college? Yeah, I'm I have a bachelor of science in geology, ironically, which is a great position to do Christian ministry from because people would have you believe that science and the Bible are incompatible. And I've lived on both sides of that equation, and I could tell you, and I'm joyous that they're extremely compatible. But of course I know that back then, eh? So I was interested in the sciences and the maths. Wouldn't you say Sorry, would you say because you were working on the golf course you had that mawr ecological sort of outlook? Was that kind of the what you saw at that point? Yeah, a little bit. I mean, I was fascinated with the complexity of the earth that we live on just the systems. And of course, you know your normal grade school training, you know, the biosphere and the you know, ecosystems. You learn all that, but yeah, I mean, I lived in Alberta. The Rocky Mountains are relatively close. Um, you know, it's just anybody that lives in a mountainous area. The majesty of the mountains and themselves is captivating when you consider, um, you know, So it was really It wasn't It wasn't like I got a lot of career...

...guidance and counseling to make that it, in fact, kind of fell into. It was arguing with myself whether I wanted to go into engineering or or geology, actually, ironically started in engineering for the first semester, which makes me a very stereotypical geologist. There's ah lot of geologists that air geologists because they kind of washed out of calculus and engineering. And I actually was like that. I struggled with calculus, but I went in with kind of a dual mindset. So I had my course is the line that I could choose one or the other. So as a studying geology for ignorant people like myself, what would your career paths possibly look like versus what you actually did, right? Well, several fold. Geology is a very I mean, obviously, there's the earth is everywhere, so Ah, lots of different possibilities. Mining geology is certainly traditionally huge. Obviously, we need copper. We need, you know, metal metals. We need these raw materials for a lot of things. We manufacture eso. There's mining, oil and gas. Uh, natural gas, fossil fuel, geology, trying to extract fossil fuels from the earth. You know, responsible manner, water. Hydro Geology is obviously huge, fundamental of life that leads itself into a whole different branch of geology. Yeah, it's It's extremely wide ranging. Actually. It Z diversity. How did you start Thio Narrow your focus down and into your career? Yeah, probably second or third year in university I I had an uncle that was in the oil and gas, the energy business, and he was an influence on my life. And, you know, I lived in a town where there was none of that. It wasn't an oil and gas center, but he kind of piqued my interest in it. And I ended up going down that road. I was in the energy business for close to 20 years probably more than 20 years now, actually. So So what? What made you transition into more of a ministry? So rather than the industry into the ministry, right, Well, there's There's an extremely long story which I won't obviously not way just jumped. We jumped 20 decades or two decades, right? That that was that was a pretty big jump. You know, Um, didn't it wasn't raised in a strongly Christian home, really was kind of ambivalent to all of the world views. Um, to this day, still have friends professing in most of the major world views. Um, you know, it really wasn't too immersed in it until in my early thirties. And my wife, Andi I started dating, and it was very fundamental to her that faith foundation. And I mean, you don't know what you don't know. It's that simple. I was willing to walk into that arena, if you will. A za secular, non believing geologist, which I guess if you give me any credit, at least I was willing to walk into it. You know, to be honest, I e You know, there was a lot of that. I was intimidated. I was scared and of What? What did I What was I so scared of? And that's the whole story and itself. Whatever. I thought, you know, church was from television. Probably Onda. Of course. What I found was nothing like what I was fearing. It was pleasant and good people and certainly some challenging thoughts to my ad hoc worldview, I suppose. And so yeah, over the course of time I tested it. I'm a scientist. First and foremost. I really did. Oh, come on, Sean. Science doesn't. Not really. Science doesn't believe e I put Christianity to the test. I wasn't, You know, there there is no such thing as blind faith. But I would have said that at the time. And for me, it was, uh it was an intellectual exercise. First, you know, that's not the same for everybody, but for me, that's the way it waas. After 20 years of chasing the corporate dream and doing some big things and some successful things and some things that were dismal failures, of course, you learn more through the failures. My hard, I guess, was prepared for something different. And but I didn't treat it lightly. I actually did a critical analysis of Christianity,...

Islam and Buddhism. And at the end of the day, the overwhelming evidence to adopt the Christian worldview in my eyes was just that overwhelming. And, of course, then I had an intellectual integrity problem. If I ran a science experiment that tested the hypothesis and 200 times in a row, it can. The the experiment proved the hypothesis. What conclusion would I draw? I would draw a conclusion that the hypothesis is true and I stop experimenting. I would need 200 Maurin orations of the same result. And that's really where I got to in my faith discovery. I spotted people do that. They keep testing more right e finally, you know, after you, after a year and a half of testing and seeking data and, you know, accounts and proofs, independent proofs, not using the Christian Bible, but using extra biblical sources from actually anti Christian sources that also backed this up, his historicity of it. For example, At the end of the day, I really realized that if I didn't accept this, I was kind of committing. I was being a hypocrite, I guess, intellectually but kind of committing intellectual suicide because I would never do that with a with a science experiment. A chemistry experiment. So was all of this going on while you were in oil and gas? Yeah. Yeah, The discovery was while I was still a senior executive in the oil and gas complex. Um, you know, and your original question was, how did I end up in ministry? And until I tell you, step one of how did I end up Gin? It really doesn't make any sense to answer the second one. Absolutely. I was standing, you know, it's Ah, very personal story. And again, we don't have the time today to go into it in detail. But I was standing in Jerusalem, in Israel, and, Ah, few conflicting thoughts hit my head all at the same time, and I really couldn't process it in real time. So, really, just a sentiment of, you know, why have you been chasing this corporate dream for so long? And I had been I'm a recovering workaholic. Sometimes I have a relapse. You know, the industry that I ended up in certainly reward you for going that extra mile, and that was kind of applauded. And any insecure young professional. They're looking for affirmation. Sometimes in all the wrong places. For me that manifests itself as a workaholic. I was pouring my life into my downtown career. And, you know, by all accounts, I was deemed to be successful, and the pay raises seemed to indicate the same. You know, it seemed to be going along, but at what cost? And eso. You know, really, The Lord gave me a kind of a poke in the ribs, if you will. You know, obviously, that's not accurate. It's just kind of fun visual for me. Andi just kind of said, you know Hey, why are you doing this? Why are you chasing this dream? And why aren't you serving me and uh and then do you want to be healed? And that's a passage out of the Bible. Do you want to be healed where Jesus actually healed? The lame man that had been sitting lame for 30 years, a tremendous miracle and a little did anybody know. But I was undergoing tests for a very significant health scare. And so But God knew that. And so he found three ways to hit my head in a very relevant way for me and I'll tell you, that'll get your attention, especially when you're standing in Jerusalem, of all places. So So that was really the door opening to consider something new, something more aligned to serving him and maybe not chasing the dollar. Uh, and and that led into a ministry career. I didn't start in ministry with I g. C actually started volunteering at my local church as a ministry assistant. You've done some of that in your background, and it's an amazing role because you get to learn from experience professionals. But it's in a safe environment. They've kind of got your back. You know, it's a it's kind of the old apprentice model, and it works. Eso I did that for three years. Onda, Of course, my heart for going back hard core into the into downtown life had waned after that three years, so that was, you know, kind of the transition. It wasn't an overnight thing. It was It was a slow walk, sometimes a quick run, all but all in the same direction. So as you did make that transition into influencing generations for Christ, it...

...was soon thereafter. You took the headship at Halifax Christian Academy. So was that kind of one and the same. Going to this will also lead to the other. Yeah, it was about a year and a half. Almost two years of working with I G. C and the I G C model is We're always going to a school. So it's a lot of travel, obviously, Right now with Cove, it it's not as prevalent as it used to be. A little more difficult to get where we need to go. But I was able and blessed to be able to sit with some. I wasn't a founder of I g. C, but I was able to travel with some of the founding members who had mawr experience. I had some school leadership experience just from my own Children schools, but I had some useful tools, apparently. But I got to follow them around for a year and a half and and over that time, that was kind of my apprenticeship there, and I learned there was a lot of patterns within the the private Education Christian education system, and that equipped me, um for I didn't move toe Halifax to become the head of school at Halifax Christian Academy. I moved here to actually help a mutual friend of ours not burn out in ministry because I had lived that in. You know, Berta had helped a couple of pastors by being a good volunteer. Not that's That's what I remember before meeting you. I was told you were coming to help write. You were coming to help and then kind of looking around. And then this other position came up right? And so, you know, God had a different plan. I you know. And of course, I hope I've helped at my local church. And, uh, you know, Onley God knows. And but I've tried to be a useful servant, but not in the role that I envisioned when we moved all the way across Canada to come to Halifax and God had a different plan. So the school at Halifax Christian Academy, which I was familiar with and had been trying to help from afar a little bit was was struggling, Just to be honest, it was very, um it was at risk of closure. And once I got here, some very concerned and very dedicated parents reached out to me and basically presented the crisis and asked for my assistance. As for the assistance of I g C. But that was really threw me because I was the one here. Spokesman. Yeah. Yeah. And you know, I have a whole team behind me and I g c So I look smart by extension, The tool kit is very full. Of course, I knew where to look in the tool belt for the right tools. Eso I again look smart by extension, but it's not me. It's on the face of it, Sure, but there's a whole team behind me, and I think most people that are watching will be able that will resonate with them, that it takes a team. And then that's the case here as well. Sean, I've been teaching for over 10 years now, but knowing some of the schools that I went to even in Halifax have always just had a nine I for the principal or the more so the vice principal position for me. So the principal or the head of the school position is an interest to me to see how they move and work. Can you comment on how you said it was difficult when you got there. I believe that you guys were doing much better. You could say exactly how complete. How difficult is it to to build and to maintain, from your position, a school such as Halifax Christian Academy? Yeah, that's a great build them up. Yeah, I appreciate you asking it. E won't sugarcoat it. It's extremely difficult, even with the blessing of the Lord, which I feel Halifax H c A for short HD A bless. It's been an inordinate amount of labor, and when we think about it, even with God's blessing, he expects us to participate. In fact, he invites us to participate. He could do it. He could snap his proverbial fingers and and transform it. But we learn in the process, and we grow in the process. And sometimes when we're challenged, I don't know if it's the same for you, but I definitely for me when I've been challenged in life, walking with him is actually some of the the times when I grow the most in my trust in my piece things that really the world, especially these days. I mean, it doesn't seem like a very peaceful world. Um, you know and So So. Those are some of the lessons that I've learned in the extreme challenging times. Sometimes, you know, I'm a I am not perfect. No...

Christian is. That's why we need him. But I have learned a little bit. Mawr Thio Trust in Him and h. D. A. Had to learn the same things and, you know, solid, solid teachers, solid foundation. But unfortunately, that strong foundation in Christian circles. Obviously, that's Jesus. But even in the secular workplace, if you're and I've seen this in my corporate career, if the foundation of your company is not strong, it's really difficult. Thio launch and implement and succeed with a phase of growth. Uh, you know, it's really when you look at building a skyscraper, you spend more time on the foundation, and it doesn't look like you're doing much. You know, it's pilings. It's lots of concrete. It's solidifying the base. And of course, from the outside it just looks like a big hole in the ground. There's a lot of noise impressive, but then, of course, once that foundation solid, all of a sudden the floors start going up pretty quickly on day, and that's the visual that I prefer with H A and other schools, and sometimes we just need thio pour a lot of concrete in the foundation and shore that up. And then, you know, then we can build and whether we're gonna build a three story apartment block or a 30 story, you know, high rise, that's up to the Lord s. Oh, that's that's really the transformation in HD. It's been an inordinate amount of work. It's not just me. I'm in 3.5 years. I'm probably into it for I don't know, 10, 11,000 hours again, just to be riel. Heavy lift is heavy, Um, but I'm not the only one again. It's it's been a whole team, but the direction you know you can lift all day long. But where you lifting to? And maybe that's useful to some that are watching until you a line in the team. Nobody would have a tug of war with everybody pulling in a different direction on their side of the rope, you have toe be able to pick up the rope. First of all, locate it, then be willing to pick it up. Sometimes in business, that's the two hardest things. How do we even locate the rope bond? You know, I've helped some companies with us to this kind of visioning strategic planning. Um, how do we find the rope? And then are we willing and courageous enough to pick it up? Because that's really the engagement with the mission, whatever it may be. And then are we willing to pull with all of our might? We say we are quite often, but are we really? And that's the only way we can succeed. Or else we're going to get pulled into the mud if you go back to a kids camp kind of analogy. So, Sean, ever since I have known your since I've known you and even knowing why you went to Halifax, I see you as a person who is able to build people up, and I think that's what you're doing in the school. So how is it that you do so? And how important is that in the workplace building people up? That's a thank you, Brian, for mentioning that. That embarrasses me a little bit, but thank you for that is true. But you're welcome. I appreciate that. The the goal of a good manager, I believe. And I've worked for some in my corporate career that were amazing. And I've worked for some that, unfortunately, weren't so amazing. Uh, the goal of a good managers, frankly, to as quickly as possible, Um, find who's going to replace them, I believe. And I, my staff would would laugh because I used quite often the analogy that if I got hit by a bus, unfortunately, hopefully there's a good party, Um, you know, to celebrate a life well lived, but that aside, who would be instantly able to step in so that the organization, in my current context, the ministry doesn't suffer or if it suffers a little just because transitions are hard, it doesn't shake that foundation to the core bond. That's been one of my motivators. As long as I've been a manager who and I and because of that, I'm always trying to discover. Sometimes it's easy, sometimes not so easy. Discover who those new leaders that next half generation people that have gifts that have never been encouraged, um, and so I'm always looking for that. Next, a Zeiss a half generation to take over, and some of the team and Halifax Christian Academy. If they ever watched this, they know who they are. So being able to communicate that with integrity...

...and openness not to put pressure but just to enable and empower people to dream a little bigger. And and you could only do that by lifting them up, there's no way you're going to encourage somebody to take over an organization. If you've got your oppressive thumb over them, that's just not going to work. So you have to breathe a little oxygen into the organization. And sometimes that gets messy. And there's certainly been people that have taken advantage of me because of that approach, because I've I've kind of loosened the reins and then all of a sudden they start to go the other way and they're taking advantage and they're not really being diligent. And of course, you know, uh, no judgment. It's just the way some people are wired. If you space, they'll find ways to avoid actually pulling on the rope. But for the most part, I've been, you know, I'm very encouraged, so it's easy to try and build people up when you've had so many great examples of that being a joy in your past experience. So you know. And I love working with youth because, of course, their canvases wide open at the moment. And this current role gives me the ability to do both. Besides building people up. What is the process of the head of the school? What does that look like generally for schools, whether principles or the dean? Yeah, in a private, private school setting and not even just private Christian school. You don't typically have a large school board above you. School, public school board, publicly funded school board would do everything from budget to members. Of course, is payroll um so all of those functions typically get foisted upon a principal Ah, principle. As you will know, Brian, better than I. Principles usually are groomed from your teaching faculty, so they're usually the better teachers. And then they get promoted to the vice principal ship, which is kind of usually a hybrid role administrative. Plus, you know, a little bit of frontline connection. And then, of course, you get promoted because you're a good vice principal into a principal ship. Once your principal, you just lost your mission field because you have very limited connection with the students. That's a totally different role. And the skill set that made you an exemplary teacher and an excellent vice principal is now no longer necessarily your go to skill set. You know, classroom management. When your principal you don't have one, you're mentoring and but in a private setting, all of the added things budget, client relations, governance, how to build a board, how to, you know, what are our bylaws? How about our marketing plan again in a private school setting, your you need a marketing plan because you need students or else you don't have a school and they're not, by law mandated to come to your school. So all of those kind of nontraditional educator rolls end up being foisted upon a principle. And, of course, what do you think the percentage of principle burnout is? It's gigantic. Well, then, of course, now you've taken an already stressed school, and you're only giggling because you can see where I'm going. And you know, even if you're here now, your principal burns out and it starts a spiral, and unfortunately, and it breaks my heart. I've seen good school spiral two very deep dark depths and so having ahead of school is basically the best friend to the principal. The principal gets to maintain what they're best at encouraging staff and professional development and wrong long range planning and curriculum And, yes, some student discipline. And some of the things that Air Corps Thio Well, uh, functioning school. But they're not burdened with all those non classroom things, is how I put it. So the head of school is really more like the president. If you were to use a corporate analogy, there are a lot of client relations, a lot of strategic planning, a lot of vision work, a lot of partnership work. Um, you know, HR would fall under me. Budget would fall under me on again. My principal currently at H C. A. Loves the fact that they don't have to worry about the budget. Um, and it makes them more effective in their role. And again, I, you know, effectiveness is what is attractive to people. No matter where you're working, if you're effective in what you do, people will be interested in learning more. I'm shocked when I when I look for whenever I look for jobs or to see what the teaching market is. There's almost a one for one...

...teaching position and principal position. So I think that burn note is pretty high. Yeah, that's why. And yeah, if you ever wanted to be a principal in a Christian school, Brian, I'm pretty sure I knew where to put you. Quite a few different places, Sean. What would you say is a skill set that you had to develop as you moved into this position? Most recently you were in the last few years? Yeah, the that's a great question. And you know, I haven't done a ton of reflection on that, but definitely some key learnings patients being the first in the corporate setting. You know, I've run publicly traded companies on stock markets. Every day you get a scorecard every day your stock chart goes up, goes down every day. There's another pressure upon you, and I think that's why in corporate life, so many people do burn out. Um, because you're continually under the microscope. Those indicators don't exist per se in the same way in, uh in a ministry setting, let alone in a Christian school setting. It's not a daily review you don't have, you know, 20 stock analysts scrubbing down your numbers every 90 days when you put out a quarterly report and and the knives can fire pretty quickly in that world. Um, now the bouquets, if you're doing a good job, also flow very. It's very straight up. If you're doing well, they'll tell you. And if you're not doing well, that's not great, right? Well, the in the ministry, What are those leading indicators? You know you don't you know, cash flow, accretion and revenue expansion and all the things that we use in our business lives. What what expansion looks like in a ministry set? Well, there's no, I mean as much as I get around about you can't get that to a Microsoft Excel or Google sheet. You know, two decimal points of precision. There it is, right there, like there's our expansion. It's very it's much more esoteric. It could be sensed it could be felt, and eventually it could be quantified. But the lag time from sensing it to quantifying it is a lot longer in ministry. So I had to learn patients, and I have to say, Yeah, go ahead, um, in the corporate life. Typically, at least traditionally, training programs were pretty robust. I mean, I entered work life in the early 19 nineties, which gives everybody an indication of how old I am now. But on Lee Young chap on Lee Young bless you. But in in modern context, I mean, nowadays you can train up notionally. You know, watching 10 YouTube videos like training has become much more dynamic, but no less critical. And so in corporate life, if you needed to be trained back in my day, the company went, Yeah, no problem. Let's get that done in ministry training is kind of through the school of doing, I mean, obviously academic training. And but the experiential training takes time. And what I in corporate life you always ran with a baseline of people are already well trained by the time they get to your company, and then you, of course, you're continuing on with that training in ministry life. That's not that is not monolithic in any way, shape or form, because training takes so many different forms in ministry. So they may be extremely well trained in this band with the ministry. But now you're asking them to cover this much bandwidth well, how do you identify usually with a small ministry team? The gap? How do you resource into the gap? Unfortunately, ministries do struggle with financial and manpower resources. Everybody's time is stressed, so volunteerism is down. For example, how do you train into that gap so that you can have a well functioning ministry? I had to learn that once I went into ministry, because my assumption coming out of corporate life is people are already well trained. And, of course, ministry is a much more emotional undertaking. Business is emotional. I mean, certainly way rise and fall and anybody that's in a public company. Sometimes we do rise and fall with our stock chart, which isn't, you know, admirable. ITT's just, uh the way it is in some ways, but but in ministry, it's much more emotional. There's a person behind the incident. There is a an interaction behind the offensive, and it's it's...

...meant to be a it za people industry, if you will. It's not ah, manufacturing industry or ah you know, a Silicon Valley startup. It's a people industry, and because of that patience and trying to figure out where the gaps are so you can address them becomes a more difficult undertaking. First, I have patients personally and then toe have patience while you're figuring out the gaps. That's the biggest lots, and I've had to learn it. You can't put patients in our pockets. Say, Yeah, I got that right here. Hey, amen to that and the other way to I think that makes it emotional and maybe more solid and just, um, or founding as he's talking about the skyscraper. More foundational approach to doing doing work and in this ministry is you have that underlying grace and forgiveness so allowing people who don't know to learn to give them the time or whoever didn't offenses or the parents that air coming in and they hopefully you're bringing their kids in for the good reason that you're representing on your mission statement or your vision. The reason why. And they're in a full blown investment in this, not as you mentioned. You're not required to go to the school right, and then you're looking at more the numbers, even in the school and that sort of setting. But you have people who have a heart for their Children to get a full, well rounded education and for the teachers to grow along with them and understanding. No, you can't just have this. This is a lifelong journey for all of us here, all right, that's that's well, said the, um, you know, we're God has infinite resources, but he gives us a finite amount of resources. And if nothing else, a 24 hour day and the need to sleep at least some should show us that we have a finite set of resources. If we tried to go 24 7, eventually we would really crash. We have a finite set of resources. What are we choosing to invest those resources in? That could be your time, your experience, your financial blessings and in in ministry. What I find is people are very willing to consider making those investments of their resources. But you you have to continually keep aligning to people to the rope. There's the rope. Pick it up. Well, no, I want to pick up that rope over there. We'll know that Z not where we're at. That's not who we are. That's an awesome idea. And if you want to go serve in that charity instead. Awesome, please. Like, how do we help? But no, this is our rope. This is what we're pulling on. And this is why so the once aligned It's a beautiful thing. People have a tremendous amount of talent. They have a the the TOC, a rowing team. If you will think of an Olympic rowing team where they only have one or and there might be seven other, um, or Zeman or women in the boat? Well, if one of them gets out of rhythm, they're done. That's the end of the race. It's a great visual, but they didn't start that way when they were eight years old. And somebody put them in one of these huge boats that tips over about as easy as you can imagine. You know what? I bet you they got wet from time to time and it didn't look like a well oiled machine that came with time and training and reminders. And then you get some Oh, this is right. This is heavy, right? And they're getting up, you know, six in the morning before school to go practice. And it's, you know, raining. It takes dedication and it takes. But that continual alignment. And that's the one thing from not not the only thing but one of the major things from my corporate career that apparently was useful in ministries. Eso in strategic planning, governance, work, visioning. I do a lot of that because ministries need that, too. Andi. Each ministry has its own ni shit has its own subset of the greater mission. Um, so, yeah, it's been a joy to see people align, pick up the rope and poll, keeping them pulling in the same direction in times of crisis. That's actually quite easy, right? If somebody skids off the road, what's the mission? Are the people okay? If not, get help and three get the car out of the ditch. The mission is...

...actually quite simple to define in a crisis when you're back on the road. Now there's 100 different roads leading in 100 different directions. It's sometimes most challenging toe lead when you're not in a crisis situation, and that is something I've learned over the years and all of the ups and downs of corporate life and ministry life and eso, that's where it's it's doubly important to make sure everybody knows where the rope is and how to pull on it. Because then when things stabilize, everybody keeps pulling on the same rope, and maybe you can pull a little more efficiently. And maybe there's a few more people to pull on it. But you're still pulling in the same direction, and ultimately, you'll have organizational success that way. Sean, how are you pulling the rope in that? How are you maintaining your productivity? How are you and what's getting your feet on the on the floor personally? Brian, is that what you're referring Thio? Actually, a complete transparency. After 3.5 years, I hit the wall in December, actually had a little mini breakdown Just, you know, had gone too far into the well. Onda well was dry, had a couple of crisis personal crisis, death deaths that treat it in December and just didn't have the resiliency. So a caution to those hard driving individuals that might be watching. Um, you know, learn from my big time missed aches and I've made a lot of them, you know, you have to be what's filling your tank has to be something you can't keep drawing and drawing and giving and giving and pouring out because eventually you'll be empty. And that may feel good. And people maybe affirming you because you're doing such a great job or you're working so hard. Um, you know those can lead to great despair. It can feel good in the moment. It certainly does. Massage your pride from time to time. Uh, maybe cover some insecurity. Like I mentioned in my early days in corporate life, you're the lowest man on the totem pole. You work really hard because you don't want to get fired. It's that simple. Um, some of those insecurities live a lot longer than your early days in corporate life. What do you covering it with? And then what are you feeling it with? Is that you know, trusted set of friends, that you could go too early a mental health depression Anxiety is such a pan that's really the pandemic of the world over and above co vid. And so what are you doing to fill your tank? So I hit the wall in December. I just threw too hard, and then a couple crises. I realized I had nothing left. I just had no resiliency. That's my caution. But on a positive front, what do I do to stay productive for me when you're forward looking? I get blamed for being a visionary. Um, now I've worked for visionaries that couldn't develop a plan to realize that vision if you gave them all the resources in the world those I called dreamers, they're just dreaming. And it's not bad if you partner a dreamer with kind of a do er, sometimes you know forever. You know, every text startup. There's usually somebody that's the division Eri dreamer. And then there's somebody in the background coding like Crazy right, you need both. But actually I get blamed for being a visionary because I have a dream and a vision for where the ministry could go. But then my corporate background, I'm able to put a framework of a plan around it. So when I'm most productive, I'm I'm equally balancing those two major tests. There's a vision, and then I go a little bit more granular and go, okay. I'm not going to get it right. What would a plan look like to maybe take it there and then I share that with my team open handedly and say, you know, Hey, do you hate this idea? Is this the dumbest thing ever on? If they say no, this actually is a pretty good idea. Then I can hand them a plan that isn't. I always say the cement is still wet. You can shape it and move it. It's not a vacuum, but hey, shape it, make it better. Well, of course, you do that to three times, and now they feel part of it. But not all of your team are initiators, right? Ideation. People are a precious commodity, but they need to be coupled to implement Er's. And so when I'm most productive, I've got some kind of balance between those two. That's my major focus. And then, of course, in a Christian school, every once in a while, it's It's not a bad...

...thing. Thio, you know, be able to get a hug from a kid in grade two that'll keep you motivated for quite some time. Obviously, with Cove it it's not, uh, no where we used to be, but but yeah, I get I get, uh, my tank gets filled in many, many different ways and not helped me stay productive. Speaking of kids and as you were an ice cream dishwasher, uh, getting into work for the first time and people who change their career as you have and as many people dio Do you have any tips for people just getting into work or changing their careers? Yeah, that's great. Um, don't be afraid to change careers. I've had several. I taught it Ah, university for 10 years. Part time. You know, I've tried many different things. At one point, I thought I was gonna be a teaching professional golfer back in the day when I was golfing All the time, Um, I would advise, and from my own experience, it don't restrict yourself from dreaming a little like, you know, if your ah, great swimmer and you're 12 and you know what dream of the Olympics. It's okay, but don't make your identity have become Hey, I'm going to be an Olympic swimmer because, you know, obviously a thin percentage of people that are very exemplary swimmers are ever going to make the Olympics. The same is true. You know, I'm gonna I'm gonna start the greatest thing since sliced bread, and, you know, the high tech space. I'm gonna live in Silicon Valley, and we're going to sell it to somebody for a billion dollars. Well, of course, those are the stories we know. What about the thousands of equivalent stories that failed miserably? And people lost houses, right? Because they had to mortgage their house to get the startup funds to even give it a go. So I guess my advice would be don't be afraid to dream. And on occasion, that dream will become a reality and the door will swing open for me. It was into ministry, for example, and for everybody listening. I'm sure they have instances that were equivalent. Okay, if you've dreamed about it, you thought about it? You you obviously have a skill set. Um, you know, don't be afraid to tiptoe through that door, and it may not end up being a career change. It could be a volunteer opportunity. It could be a ministry opportunity like mine. Or it could be a corporate career change. But don't be afraid to tiptoe into it, but I always make sure that you're not going to have thio fully. Immerse yourself in it because you'll lose yourself in the process. And then it's really hard to backpedal to get toe unwind that, um, you know, so that, you know, I I would say Just don't be afraid of it and and keep dreaming and then step into it. There's lots of people who mentioned how difficult the question is for Children or anyone. What do you want to be when you grow up? And I heard someone say, rather than ask that, just ask, What would you like to experience? What are some things you'd like to experience while you're young or as you get older and then try your hand and those things and some things. If you excel at them, you go ahead and some things that fall on the wayside. That's perfect here in Korea, even in elementary school, and I'm sure it's the same all around the world. But parents will pick the elementary school based on where they want them to go to middle school, to go to high school because they already have their university and their job picked out for them. And if it's a career job, they're set that way. If they want. If a parent wants their kids to be an athlete. There's an athletic school, so they never go in that other lane of being an academic. It's right familiar with that. Yeah, we have an international school at Halifax Christian Academy, and at the moment, a large percentage of our international students well before the borders, all closed with Kobe. We're actually Korean. Eso they come here and of course, we don't have that approach. You can try the basketball team or you could try calculus or, you know, play in the band, pick up the flute, whatever you want to do. And I have to say, Brian, for some students, especially our Korean students, that's a challenge because it's so counter cultural to what they've grown up in, you know, in their first 8 to 10 years of grade school. Um, it's it's and I'm very empathetic to their, um, challenge, sometimes choices paralyzing. And, uh and I think you're right. You know, I said, Don't be afraid to dream and try, But people,...

...that's hard for some, that's hard. And I think we have Thio, you know, a career, anything. I've been a you know, ah, middle manager in a manufacturing business for 35 years and then, unfortunately, that business has hard times and there's layoffs. How many stories do you hear of individuals now middle aged, where that's their whole identity and they're scared to go retrain or or worse, And this is my encouragement. What I've learned it might be encouraging to your listeners, um, your skills arm or transferrable than you will give yourself credit for appearances. You may not know where to transfer them to. That's fair enough. But no matter who's listening, your skills that you already have arm or transferrable than you will give yourself credit because quite often we're our own worst critic. Do you think? And I find this is true for myself is that people have difficulty articulating their skills and showing that to other people. Versus you know, I know I could do X y Z, but to express that and allow people to really have a good appreciation for what I could bring to the table, what they could bring to the table. Do you think that's ah, barrier for people? It's an interesting thought, you know, you're probably right, and it may be rooted, you know, just off the top of my head. Um, it may be rooted in that, you know, Don't be prideful. Don't brag. Um, you know, you're you're not good enough. Maybe a guilt complex from years ago. We're not really taught. And of course, we see the other side, the want and self promoter where you know, they invented Rice Krispies and post it notes, and they figured out how the combustion engine, like they're just so far off the cliff the other way. And we don't like that. Obviously, we will repel that. And then we've kind of been taught. At least anybody that's in middle age has been taught, you know, be humble. Don't speak much about yourself. Let your actions speak louder than your words. And then, of course, you get into that setting where you're trying to really promote yourself yourself. Yeah, right. And and it And it really comes from a different you know, if it were a square peg trying to fit into a round hole in that job interview, for example, eso again. I think the middle ground, you know, don't go here. I've obviously hired a lot and interviewed a lot, and unfortunately, have determinate a few over the years. You know, it's the extreme positions that are the most vulnerable. Actually, um, they might feel the safest, but it's OK to say, you know, I'm not an expert in it. Everything, but I'm an expert in this. And if this fits your needs, I would love to help you realize your mission. What about also Sean? Not so much an expert, but willing to improve in a particular area to meet your need. Tremendous. I mean, absolutely essential. The world is changing so quick. The work world is changing so quick. You know the skills I I took FORTRAN of all things back in university as a programming language. Well, good luck. Like if I would have relied on my FORTRAN training, I you know, I didn't see that on your LinkedIn profile. Yeah. No, it's obviously and you know, it's OK to take on a new challenge and learn how to learn. I think you know, that sounds cliche, but that's so key. Eso being willing to flex, I think, you know, if obviously be true to yourself. There's people I've worked with that actually aren't willing to flex. They want to occupy this little box And then that's you push them, You know that much further, and they get uncomfortable, like so. But assuming you're not one of those folks and that you're willing to flex and open your mind and take on some of the challenges convey that. Convey that to your employer. You know, this is my I'm a subject matter expert here. I'm functional here, but, you know, from the research I've done on your company, it looks like we might need to go there. Okay. With that, I may never become the subject matter expert in this block, but I'm willing to pitch in because I see it as important to the greater success. I think this says this next question about character, what What is important as a teacher or is ahead of school or what do you see is high quality character trade among people. You know, the I don't know how many you know, teams have been involved in and had the privilege of leading over the years. But character, you know, the...

...integrity being the biggest thing in in that, um, toolkit integrity being, what do you do? And usually nobody was watching. Now someone God's watching um, you know, if your if your team knows that you carry yourself with integrity, not perfect. But I'm going to work very hard to treat people with respect. And when I make a promise, I'm going to do everything I can to make sure I follow through. Um, that builds people up and builds people together, and character is personal. But then there's also the character of the team. Pop culture represented themselves, the words thrown around the culture, the culture of the type. Nowadays you know the community. And of course, if if there's corrupt character at an individual level, there will be corrupt culture. Um, in the organization, the character of an individual is really quite simple. I mean, honesty, uh, integrity. These are all almost cliche because they're so self evident. But to be honest, I think people, when they see them, are attracted to them. Um and you know certain individuals in all of our lives, you know, as I speak, there's people that probably have, ah, visual of a person in their mind. They freed themselves with integrity and was honest. And when things refreshing, so refreshing to hear. And when people like that right and And it stands apart, doesn't it? Um, you know, there's kind of this average My father had a saying growing up, that's always stuck with me. And he always used to say, Sean, it's mathematically impossible for everybody to be above average, and that's something that's always stuck with me on. But that's not a judgmental statements. We all have weaknesses. There's areas where asked my wife. I'm sure I'm completely asked my dear wife, to anybody being open and honest to write, even from a Christian perspective, way struggle. And we fail daily, right? Right. And but we don't live there. Bond, not living in your failure character is actually going through a trial and not getting derailed, Can you? Through a trial, You know, when the when the pressure's on what comes out, you start lying your face off. Do you start selling out your co workers and throwing them under the bus because you're worried about getting fired? You know, I'm making up very extreme examples, but it'll get people thinking that cares. Things happen to, you know, those things happen all the time, and that's why having someone above average is refreshing and nice. to see right, and they might not be above average and they're actually vocation. But they could, of average in their personal character. And of course, they make a huge contribution to the culture of the organization. You need core competencies. Of course, nobody's gonna hire you because of you know, of the great jokes. You tell it in the coffee station E. I mean, it's nice to have somebody that's funny in the team, so you need core competencies. But then how do you compliment the rest of the team? Culturally is important as well. I was thinking of asking this question that I wasn't going to ask him. Then I am going to ask it about where you put education in the lives of people. And how important is it obviously is the head of the school. So I was like, Well, this is This is quite obviously maybe that he's going toe answer. But whether formal education or informal education, however it comes for people and and listeners and where do you place education? Mm, You might be surprised with my answer. Um, education is absolutely crucial. But what I've seen is almost a night idolatry to good marks. Well, anybody that's, you know, our age, my age. How many things did you learn for about 24 hours? Because there was an exam that you have never used since. And if my students ever hear this, you know, probably the way you mean I could do that, too, but I mean situation, and there's things we need to learn. But we don't need to retain Andi life. That's true, right? But by the flip side, how many times have you needed to learn how to start a carp...

...once, twice those air lifelong lessons, right? You know, back in the day, it would have been how to drive using a clutch. Once you've learned it, you've learned it. You don't have thio consciously make your foot move anymore. So my definition of education might be different. And unfortunately, with a system that it's kind of designed, forget the best marks. Get the best marks, get the best marks, like you're saying in an extreme example, in Korea, this is vital in Korea, right? It's who you are. It's the only scorecard that matters when you're a student. Sometimes, of course, I've had interactions with students that have come to Canada from Korea, and they affirmed that it becomes get great marks at all costs. And we've got, you know, double working parents that never see their kids because the private school they're going to is 30 $40,000 a year on a side note. I have kids outside playing here and they're not singing songs, just any old songs. They're singing multiplication songs. Toe right, right. It could be all immersive is my point. So education supercritical? What's our definition of education is where I would take us down a different path. Um, when I failed in business tremendously strong lessons learned never to be lost again, but not success by a traditional definition. So his education extremely important. Absolutely. It is because it builds core competencies again. My FORTRAN example. I never used for trend never have used for trend didn't like for trend wasn't even sure why I was taking the course. But I learned how to get through a course that I thought was useless back then, and I stuck it out so that that steadfastness that diligence, the how to deal with despair when you're four. Trend term project won't compile on an ancient old computer, right? How to deal with the stress of that? How to come out the other side and realize you're gonna be fine. That's a bigger picture of education. Of course. Then you had a faith component at a Christian school where there's, ah, whole another amazing discovery process ahead of you, which is who created me. Why does he love me? You know, why did he die for me? These air, all amazing questions. And when you're six, their questions and maybe by the time you're there, you're 16, you've got your answers. That's a whole nother level of education. And that's why I'm so attracted to what I'm doing now because you couple the best of both worlds. But we learned Mawr. The greatest example. The greatest lesson givers in our lives Are the people in it good, bad or otherwise? We're learning lessons from the people in our lives all the time. Obviously, a baby newborn needs everything from somebody else. Right? But then eventually, they start to mimic mum or dad, right? They're learning lessons as a toddler. Or, you know, the eight year olds trying to shave like Dad pretend right we're learning lessons all the time. That's all part of education. Education is super critical, but I I really don't want our students toe live and die on whether figuratively, obviously, on whether they get, you know, 92 on a math test or 94 on a great seven math test idolizing the grades. Do you remember what she got in great seven math? No, but I could e could say it surely wasn't good. And then there's my point, right? Andi? Lessons need to be relearned, but then new lessons need to be learned as well. So education supercritical. But it isn't Onley measured by the marks you get on a report card. How about that, Sean, You mentioned that you always were living a chapter ahead. What is your overarching goal for? Maybe your career or for H. C. A. HTA has gone through an unbelievably transformative period. The last three years. We have We know where the rope is. We've actually picked it up, and we're pulling more or less in the same direction. But it's early days for hcea, and it breaks my heart. Um, as you know, Brian, the public school system is is very stressed in this region. It struggles. It's not the teachers the teachers air well, meaning they got into it for the right reasons. The system is, you know, not designed. Well, if I was to be blunt and it breaks my heart that students are getting lost, Um, you know, they're kind of the mediocre student.

They're not the troublemakers, and they're not the high scholars. They just kind of drift through the system that breaks my heart and a Halifax Christian. You know, with God's blessing. Our goal is to grow not for numbers, not for revenue growth but for impact growth. We want to be able to be thought of and practically a landing spot for some of those kids that are going to get lost. And for some of the high scholars that would like to explore some faith while they learn math. And obviously for the younger learners that air just on their journey. So HDs canvases. I mean, we feel like we've painted a picture, but it's probably the corner of a much larger painting, and it's been a great revival. Um, I I sing God's praises every day, and he did it, but he did it through us and so that that's easy. That's multiplication of an amazing blessing that we've been given a Halifax Christian personally. The goals, to be honest with you, Brian, or a little more esoteric at the moment I'm in my early fifties. Um, you know, I have lots of other than the last month. I have lots of gas left in the tank. You know, theoretically, I don't know when God's gonna call me home, but I've got lots of years left. My heart is too encourage. I encourage you at the moment, lots of schools, they all have their own foibles. They all have their own strengths. So I'm looking forward to Cove it being in the rear view travel starting to open up again so I can start to help a few other schools is well, that's the short term, definitely looking forward to raising up the next set of leaders at H. C. A. We're really just starting that process. Using my car in the ditch analogy, the car was in the ditch and on fire at HD A 3.5 years ago. We got it back on the road and you know, maybe we're not doing 100 miles an hour down the road, but we're clipping along. So now it's time to look forward. Raise that up. But personally, I wanna be a better dad. I want to be a better husband. I've drawn heavily on the well, personally, I e don't exalt the hours I've put in. I've screwed it up. I've pulled heard over these last 3.5 years. Andi, my family has suffered very gracious and, you know, it's a family ministry. Both my kids go to this and you have a great wife and wonderful Children to daughter. I have two amazing girls 14 and 12. They're both in high school and then middle school. High school school. Yeah, already on. And my wife, Leah, is an amazing, much better person than I'll ever be. Um, she gives me a beacon to strive towards in faith character. Her heart is bigger than her little body. I really admire her. Not just because I'm married to her. I feel blessed. Um, she's working part time at the school. We gave a little bit of a break Thio teacher that was going through some family things so she's working part time, so it's really become a family ministry and that's actually a blessing. We have a common context, which is great, but it could become too immersive. You know when you're at your dining room table and all you're talking about is Halifax Christian Academy. That's not good, Andi. I wasn't wise enough to catch it early, so it's actually my goal for the next for this year, if you will. I've had so many twists and turns in my career. I'll never, ever give you a five year plan because it's really not worth the paper it's written on. I have to say I was trained. I always have a five year plan, but my own life really hasn't rolled that way. So in the short term, reinvesting re balancing the school will be just fine. There's an amazing amount of good people running it underneath me, but I want to reinvest at home this year first and foremost and then get hopefully past Cove, it be able to share some of the I get to speak at conferences and I get to do some work like that. I want to encourage people with even the story. Um, you would come into a school, you know, three or four weeks before it was going to be closed. And if that gets some other people dreaming or even hoping just a little bit more, I wanna multiply that blessing. So you know, not a specific plan. And then ultimately, you know, I, uh I'm looking forward to the day when my wife and I can, you know, kind of enjoy the fruits of our labors a little...

...bit more. It's been a heavy lift these last few years. We don't we don't decompress well in this household. So I want to get better at that as well. You might need to pick up a golf club once in a while. You know, it's sad. I used to be proficient, and now I I struggle. I only play once a year. Maybe eso, yeah, golf clubs and Scotia sure is. It's a beautiful spot in the world. Yet for anybody that hasn't seen it's it's Sean. You've kind of touched upon this and kind of painted the picture. But is there something about you that people may not understand? And by understanding this, they would have a better appreciation of your work. Just that dedication, Brian. I mean, people would see me as a hard worker, but I haven't elevated sense of urgency. Sometimes that's a blessing. And sometimes, to be honest, it's a curse. Every day that goes by is a day we don't get to influence anybody. You know, if I choose to stay in bed all day today, I'm not going to get that day back. And so I've always had that and maybe that come from an early age of living life. You know, I chapter ahead. Um uh, I get frustrated with people that don't share that urgency. Apathy is the thing that drives me crazy. And for business minded people, apathy quickly leads to business failure in a corporate life. Um, it's a little more self regulating, but we have. We have apathetic husbands and wives. We have apathetic parents in the world. I'm not talking about anything local. We have apathetic learners. We have apathetic government. We have AP. Apathy is my. That's what frustrates me because I see people that have an opportunity to influence, to grow, to produce, Um, and they're never going to get that opportunity back that day is gone. Sean I was interviewed Jeff Deskovic the other day. He spent 16 years in prison being wrongfully convicted of a crime that he didn't do. And that's what he's saying. He comes out of jail and people are just wasting their time. And he spent 16 years of his life behind bars and and that's the picture. And I wouldn't want to sound like a hypocrite because I think I'm apathetic at times is the idea of being a Christian and being bound and sinned and then being freed. And then what are we doing with our remaining time that we have here on the earth, right? I often say to people, you know, taking it out of a faith based circle or even an organization. If you won the lottery, how many people would you tell you tell everybody you know, because it's a joyous event, right? You know, let's just say I mean money is not the end all and be all I've had, some I've had done first anybody's bubble that's worshiping at the altar of just money. But you know what? It doesn't hurt to be able to pay the bills right So let's just say you want a significant prize. Maybe not millions and millions in the lottery, but a significant prize. You tell everybody, Are you telling everybody about the learning that you're doing? Are you telling everybody about you know, the friendships you're making the business successes, that again not to be prideful, but just to praise. Ministry, of course, has a whole nother layer on that. The person that's been encouraged by what they're learning, you know, from the Lord, and it's it's giving them a solid foundation. We would. But we don't tell the world that stuff, you know, and that's my job at HTA, and that's why I'm so committed to it. I think it to sing God's praises every single day, the testimonies of my students, which could be two sentences in the hallway. Then I reflect back and go. This organization by human eyes should have been closed. You know, if sometimes it's useful. Thio not know what you need to know makes decisions. It took time to find all the data, but by then we were into it into the turnaround. So yeah, we would celebrate, wouldn't we? When our favorite athletic team scores a goal. What do we do? We throw up our hands. Do we do that in life? You know, um and that'll be my challenge to people is test where your apathetic and don't get me wrong. I'm not saying it isn't right to rest, but don't rest there forever, right? Yes, we need to rest. But when it when it moves toe apathy, um, now your opportunity is drifting away on you. You're talking about encouragement now, Shawn, and the idea of adversity have you faced any...

...adversity where you can turn that into encouragement for others who are facing maybe something similar? Absolutely. Um, again, long story will go. The short version. Um, you know, when we picked up and on God's leading moved all the way across this continent, we were driving through three us. We decided to do the U. S. Highways to cease, um, different territory and, you know, going from corporate life to ministry life. Our material goods had been stripped down quite a bit before we moved. And, you know, the big house was gone and so on and so forth. So, really, the remnant of our Western Canadian life was packed in a 34 ft long travel trailer and my one ton truck, and we were on this big family adventure. We're weaving our way through Middle America and seeing the sights and learning as we went and overcoming some obstacles, flat tires and things like that. And we were leaving Northern Kentucky into Ohio and, uh, slowed down for a traffic jam. And the next thing you know, we were upside down and they fully loaded 53 ft long semi trailer, didn't stop for the traffic and drove right through the back of us. Flipped our trailer, flipped the truck. The trailer ended up on the truck. We have the interstate shut down for about six hours. Um, by God's hand, in a miracle, we were protected from significant injury. But all of a sudden you're already doing something crazy, leaving all the people. I lived in Alberta for almost 40 years. Um, you're leaving all that behind anyway. And now all of a sudden, everything literally is upside down. You have no transport, no accommodation, no clothes, no plan, no friends. Been working in ministry for a while. So you've got no money, and you're still you know, 1,502,000 kilometers away from home from new home, a pretty deep valley bond, extremely deep valley, and everything that you thought you owned is now strewn across the interstate, some of its soaked in diesel fuel. It's a pretty low moment. Not to mention being there. I told you should have went left s Let's just someone saying, uh, yeah, but yeah, I talked about, you know, obviously that's a trial. Yeah, but talking about how living through that trial brought blessing. And there's still residual trauma from that accident. When the first responders come up to me and say there's absolutely no reason you guys should be alive. Usually when I roll up on something like this, we're calling for the coroner. Well, that's a pretty poignant memory. Eso there's still trauma, and every once in a while I still get triggered. Um, you know, in a driving at night when a semi trailer goes to pass you on the highway, for example, um, but to give encouragement, we were stranded in northern Kentucky for nine days. We didn't know our insurance company was extremely poor. They wouldn't even tell us if we could go get a hotel Onda family put us up in their basement. Family of strangers happened to be believers. Christians. Um, well, through that we got eight or nine days of, of course, people. We needed to rely on the Lord, frankly, but through his people. Well, I can't tell you, Brian how valuable that lesson is to realize how he showed up in that moment. Now there's other instances in my life where I was praying he would show up and he chose not thio. That doesn't make him mean and vindictive. He's got a bigger plan. Did I really want to get racked in Northern Kentucky? Of all places? Nope. Would I change it for the world now? No. We have an entire new family adopted who adopted us, quite frankly. And then we adopted them in northern Kentucky. We Minister the gospel. We made lifelong friends. Um, you know, I know in a heartbeat, if we're ever to try and relocate down there, we have instantly have community. We've already taken a group of kids from Halifax Christian Academy back to that region on mission work. Um, have the opportunity to go back into that region and encourage others through some public speaking in the Christian circles. Well, none of that would have come about had I clung to my trailer...

...and truck. What? I wish it upon ourselves ever again. No, but if it happened, I'd be able to, at least in the moment go. Hey, I've been here before and I saw God show up in a mighty mighty way. Hmm. I wonder what he's going to do this time. And, you know, for non believers, obviously, we can come up with a secular example of going through the trials on Lee to see the purpose in the trial. Later, it's that I think they call that wisdom. I think they call that maturity in the moment. No, it was horrible, but now I I wouldn't trade it. And although there's still trauma and we don't diminish that, we deal with it. Eso yeah, there's the most. At least in the last four years. That's the most stark physical visual and spiritual challenge we've gone through. So, somebody out there Yeah, I was interviewing someone today, and they said as I mentioned to you before we start recording and she was reading in a court, she was going through a difficult divorce, and it said In God we trust and even this shall pass something along those lines. So whatever it may be, even this shall pass. Is there anything else we haven't touched upon? Sean? Anything else you wanted to add? In particular, I'm thankful for the opportunity to reconnect with you, Brian, but also just, you know, if there's one person out of our the time we've spent together that's been encouraged may be challenged, maybe slightly less apathetic. One organization that actually takes a little bit of time in the busy run of a week to rediscover where the rope lies, to invite everybody to pick it back up and pull again. Or, you know, on overworking team of execs that really just needs to decompress and have a bit of fun and some joy together and ignore the stock chart for a day. You know, that's that's my heart. If there's people out there that are in ministry, that air despairing, um and and you know would love to connect privately for some encouragement. I certainly don't have all the wisdom in the world, but he does, you know, sometimes just knowing somebody else has gone through some hard stuff is encouraging, You know, to somebody that we you and I might never meet. So, you know, that's my heart. That's why I was really thankful for the opportunity to sit down with you people. People get in touch with you. Actually, pretty easy. The influencing generations for Christ website is Jen for the number four christ dot com. So g e n four christ dot com. That's probably the easiest way in my emails there. I've got a handle on the instagram and a Facebook account, So messengers Well, um, not a big Twitter guy. Too old. I don't know what the problem is there, but anyway, not a big Twitter guy, but instagram Facebook people could get a hold of me if if I g can help in any way or I can help in any way, reach out and yeah, just just stay strong. I mean, the challenges come, but that's where the growth comes. And if we can set our sights on the other side of the valley, you know, that's where the good sunsets are. You know, on the other side of that valley, you can't see the sunset from the valley or the sunrise. You gotta get up onto the hill to see it. Really? Well, so yeah, just just a challenge to people. Thio. Take it, take it on. But don't make the same mistakes I did. And immerse yourself so fully you burn out, then you're no good to anybody. John, I have one final question for you. Yeah, and that is Why do you work? Yeah, I thought you might ask that Brian actually being a fan of your podcast. Um, why do I work? I work because, quite frankly, I have things that I think should be shared. And I don't want to hoard them. I want to share them. And through working through not just paid work but volunteer work. We can share the gifts we've been given. People can learn so they don't have to maybe make some of the mistakes you and I have learned. But we also are so blessed we get to learn from everybody else we interact with, and there's a lot more of them than there is us. And so when you're working, when you're pulling on the rope together, it's a blessed time When the best of us can come out. And yep, we're all flawed. But if we took the best of you, the best of me and the best of, say, 10 others and we're working together now we have the best of the best, and it's one of the outside the family. Um, it's one of the rare occasions where people spend a substantial amount of their to waking...

...hours focused on accomplishing a common goal. And that's the blessing of work. John All spa, head of the school a Christian, the Halifax Christian Academy and the vice president of influencing generations for Christ. Thank you for your time. And I appreciate the work that you dio. It's a privilege, Brian, to be with you. We miss you back here in Canada, but we know you're doing great things there in Korea. Thank you for listening to this episode of why we work with Brian V. Be sure to subscribe, follow and share with others so they too, can be encouraged in their work. I hope that you have yourself a productive be a joyful day in your work.

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