Development & Faithful Activities: Defining the terms

In Galatians 5, “faithfulness” is included as one of the “fruit of the Spirit.” An organization that is Jesus-centric should produce similar fruit, including faithfulness. So, how can we think about faithfulness within a context focused upon theological education? Our daily tasks work toward some goal, whether we are intentional about it or not. Unfortunately, many jobs are carried out simply for the sake of getting them done without any real sense of intentionality. When we begin to recognize that even the most basic task during our day contributes to reaching some goal we can begin to see how we can demonstrate faithfulness in our actions.

I was first introduced to the idea of “faithful activity” when talking with and reading the work of Dr. Gary Hoag. Since that first introduction I have found other seminaries and writers who use the phrase as a way to describe how they carry out their daily tasks.

A “faithful activity” places the emphasis upon our individual and organizational actions and leaves the results in God’s hands. To help make better sense of this idea I will explore it more fully in relation to the work of Development.

Development is the work of building trust and relationships for the purpose of securing the necessary resources for an organization. These resources include items like people, buildings, and finances. Very often Development is reduced to “fund raising” but this misses the importance of trust-building and relationship-building.

To continue the theme in our previous series about stewardship, I’ll narrow down Development to focus on how we can focus on “faithful activities” as we work with those who are givers to an organization like Winebrenner Seminary. Next week we’ll explore how these ideas begin to tie together.

– Dr. Brent Sleasman, President, Winebrenner Theological Seminary