Adventist Health Executives Focus on the Leadership of Moses

“Where there is risk, where there is unknown, where there is great venture and opportunity, smart leaders frame their work, think deeply about the story of Moses,” said Alex Bryan, Adventist Health chief mission officer, to executives gathered in Roseville, California, in February 2023 for a day of conversation about the mission of Adventist Health.

The daylong meetings focused on “Leadership Lessons from the Story of Moses” and featured speakers Alex Bryan and Sam Leonor, Adventist Health mission identity and spiritual care executive, who presented four sessions about Moses: A Humble Leader, A Wise Leader, A Constructive Leader and A Prophetic Leader.

Bryan spoke about constructive leadership and the advantages of leading with humility as Moses did, including unlocking the power of team collaboration and making space for work that transcends our own lives. Breakout sessions followed for executives to discuss what humility can look like in their personal leadership experience.

Leonor spoke about prophetic leadership and how, like Moses, wise leaders talk with God and seek mountaintops where their hearts are so captivated by that transcendent experience that it changes the way they lead.

“Everyone knows when you’ve been with God,” said Leonor. “Everyone knows when you’ve been to your mountain because your face shines.” In response, executives reflected on their own mountaintop experiences and the resulting practical benefits, including being prepared to care for their teams by practicing personal mental, spiritual and physical self-care.

The leadership gathering was part of the Executive Mission Formation program at Adventist Health, which focuses on developing organizational leaders grounded in the unique mission of Adventist healthcare as a living expression of the ministry of Jesus.

“Our mission at Adventist Health is: Living God’s love by inspiring health, wholeness and hope. That mission is a unique identifier of why we do healthcare,” said Kristine Johnson, Adventist Health director for Executive Mission Formation.

“Our mission is what sets us apart from other nonprofit health systems. We are living and breathing our mission every day for communities across the West Coast as an example of Jesus’ ministry of showing love and compassion to everybody," she added. "It’s important that we spend time cultivating and building a culture that helps our mission thrive and carry on to future generations.”

At the end of the day, Leonor turned the attention of the group back to trusting God. “God’s goals don’t hinge on any one person. We will come and go, and the mission will continue,” said Leonor. “You and I will be part of the story, but it’s not our story. It’s much bigger. God provided both a challenge and a promise that appeared repeatedly in the life of Joshua — the challenge, ‘Be strong and courageous,’ and the promise, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’”

Featured in: May/June 2023


Kim Strobel

Adventist Health program manager for religion, faith and mission