Since 2011, OKWU has hosted The Dunn Institute, a yearly gathering dedicated to equipping Wesleyan pastors to face the administrative, management, and leadership challenges of the local church.
Maxwell, this year’s keynote speaker, is a #1 New York Times bestselling author, speaker, coach, and leader who has sold more than 34 million books and is the founder of Maxwell Leadership, an organization helping people lead powerful, positive change.
“John Maxwell is one of the world’s most influential experts in the field of leadership,” said Dr. Jim Dunn, president of OKWU. “We were so excited to bring him back to Bartlesville. We are dedicated to developing students who will one day become leaders in their field.”
OKWU welcomed Wesleyan pastors to campus for the event on March 21-22, and also hosted sessions for local educators and community leaders.
Tomorrow Needs LEaders
The event began on Tuesday with sessions led by Kirk Jackson, OKWU’s Vice President of Business Affairs, and Charles Alcott, the Bartlesville Market President of Stride Bank. Both sessions focused on the financial aspects of church leadership.
Tuesday was highlighted by the Tomorrow Needs Leaders Dinner with John C. Maxwell, held at the Bartlesville Community Center. Over 300 attended the sold-out event. Maxwell gave a keynote on the topic of “How to Get a Return on Failure.” It was an impactful message for Steve Russell of the Steven Russell Real Estate Group with McGraw Realtors.
“What I had viewed as a failure really wasn’t,” Russell said. “And it was really freeing to realize from Dr. Maxwell that in order for me to get to where I want to be, I had to give that up.” Russell’s team was one of the event’s sponsors.
“You have no shot at success in life with downhill habits. The dream is free, the journey isn’t.” – Dr. John C. Maxwell
Add Value to Others
On Wednesday, Maxwell led several sessions in the morning, including serving as the speaker for OKWU Chapel. He gave a message on what it means to be a servant and a leader.
Ariela Nettleton, an English major, was moved by Maxwell’s message. “I liked that he emphasized valuing people and gave us tangible ways we can live that out.”
Community members were invited to the final session in the afternoon as Maxwell focused on the power of potential and provided insight into how each of us can get away from the finish-line mentality. Todd Landers, the superintendent of Wesleyan Christian School, was one of the community leaders invited to attend.
“I’m incredibly grateful to have had the opportunity to hear John Maxwell. I appreciated his discussion on leadership blind spots. It’s essential for me to allow my team to expose my blind spots in order to eliminate them. In order for me to lead well, I must become more aware.”
“I appreciated his discussion on leadership blind spots. It’s essential for me to allow my team to expose my blind spots in order to eliminate them. In order for me to lead well, I must become more aware.”
In all, over 500 people participated in the various Dunn Institute events hosted by OKWU. Billy Wilson, the Superintendent of the Mountain Plains District of the Wesleyan Church, is a regular attendee at the Dunn Institute.
“The Dunn Institute is an event that has never failed to add value to the pastors I bring. This year with John Maxwell has connected, inspired, and taught us in some extraordinary ways. It was phenomenal.”