Why the name Emmaus?

Why the name Emmaus?

24 February 2023

So often the one conducting interviews - we felt it high time to turn the tables and interview our Managing Director Liam Dowds on his own sense of calling and journey with Emmaus Leadership.

So what's the story behind Emmaus Leadership?

Prior to setting up Emmaus, I had a 20 + year career in Executive Search & Selection within Industry and Commerce. As many of us know, trying to live out one’s faith can be difficult and I regret to say, within the corporate world my faith was known to the few not the many. I’d always tried to be active in my local parish and, in seeking to take an interest in the spiritual and educational development of my four children, I began to realise some of the unique challenges facing our Church Schools. Friends involved in teaching and educational leadership described recruitment experiences that were clearly very frustrating for them and to my own eyes quite sterile and outdated, almost unwelcoming; as opposed to efficient, engaging and relational. And so began a stirring to bring some of the expertise I had acquired in the corporate world and tailor it to meet the needs of our Church Schools. It felt like a bit of a leap of faith at the time, but then that’s only what I'm so often encouraging candidates to do!

Why the name Emmaus? 

To me the recruitment process is best described as a journey, and I’m a firm believer that journeys are best walked with God - even if, like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, we don’t always recognise Him or understand what on earth He’s doing at the time! As Christians, with unrivalled expertise and a unique focus on Church Schools, we want to be good companions through the highs and lows of the recruitment journey – so the name had to be Emmaus.

Tell us about the high points with Emmaus Leadership? 

The obvious answer is the successful appointment of a candidate. As a team we are incredibly invested in the work we do, so getting the right person in role and receiving such positive feedback for the service we provide is a pretty great feeling. The deeper answer is seeing candidates grow into all that God has created and called them to be. This is often a journey that takes time, patience and perseverance in the face of setbacks but is remarkably rewarding.

What are the low points? 

There have been various low points over the years. Seeking to pioneer and innovate in a sector that is somewhat set in its ways is not without its challenges! Like our candidates, we don’t get every job that we pitch for. This can be disheartening when we feel we have so much good stuff to offer. However, I also believe that the process of putting ourselves out there, sometimes facing rejection and having to pick ourselves up and keep moving forward helps us stay authentically in touch with the experience of candidates and better equips us for the work we do.

Why does Emmaus Leadership have such strong advocates? 

It often feels like Emmaus Leadership is a well-kept secret. Those who have worked alongside us will often sing our praises and highly commend the valuable solutions we provide. Those who are unfamiliar with our work can struggle to appreciate the distinctive nature of what we do. Our vision stretches beyond just ‘filling’ vacant roles; we want to invest, encourage and develop the kind of resilient leaders our Church Schools will need in the years and decades to come. Once people catch hold of this vision and experience something of the expertise we have to offer, they quickly become enthusiastic supporters of what we do.

What next? 

Continuing to do what we do best - offering our gifts, skills and experience to help our Church Schools, MATs, Dioceses and leaders be all that God has designed and desires them to be. Author and theologian Fredrick Beuchner once said that “The place God calls you to is the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet." We feel that describes something of where we've arrived at with Emmaus Leadership, and it's where we want to resource, equip and encourage others to step into too.


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