I have to be perfectly honest. During the past three years I’ve attended JBU, I have paid very little attention to Leadership Week. I knew that it was hosted by The Soderquist Center for Leadership and Ethics and that it brought speakers to campus who had been largely influential through their leadership. Even after becoming a business major, Leadership Week services were simply more chapel credits for me. But all that changed this week when the Soderquist Center hosted arguably the most memorable Leadership Week in recent history.
Even before last week arrived, there was a buzz around campus about the speakers for Leadership Week. I felt like I had been living under a rock because, truthfully, I had no idea who Bob Goff or Jon Acuff were. However, it was obvious that their influence had spread further than I realized. The RA staff of Hutcheson Hall had read Bob Goff’s book “Love Does” and were anxiously awaiting his talk in chapel. Junior Chase Skelton stated that “the way his mind works—seeing God and his radical love in the pages of our lives’ stories really resonates with how I think.” Regarding Jon Acuff, Skelton exclaimed that he “is just flat out the funniest Christian alive!”
Both speakers brought messages that were intermingled with humor and extended far beyond leadership. Goff’s advice to “be you” is one that can resonate with not just leaders, but all individuals. In addition, Jon Acuff’s challenge to “stop looking for eureka moments” is one that I found particularly relevant. When I asked Acuff to elaborate on this statement during his Q&A, he said that life is more about finding your core dreams and what gives you the most joy. As a college student who sometimes struggles with knowing what I want to do in life, these words brought me great comfort.
I don’t know about you, but I’ll view Leadership Week differently in the future. I won’t just look at it as another opportunity to scan in and out of chapel. Instead, I will see it as a chance to soak up lessons from individuals who do not simply talk about leadership, but live it out in their daily lives and encourage others to do the same.