Like many organizations, Winebrenner Seminary is constantly organizing and re-organizing around mission and strategy. I was speaking with a colleague recently when she used the phrase “form follows function” as another way to illustrate this concept – the form of our organizations should be decided upon after we determine its function.
Winebrenner Seminary exists to equip leaders for service in God’s kingdom. A few words within this mission are worth further consideration:
Equip: In Ephesians 4:11-13 Paul writes, “11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” (You can read more from a recent InDepth post about this passage by clicking here). From this passage we discover that equipping is closely related to using our giftedness and should lead to unity and maturity. The fullness of the Body of Christ is experienced when we are actively using our gifts in this manner.
Leaders: One way to define leadership is simply as influence (John Maxwell is one who develops this understanding). Anyone within God’s kingdom has influence. Too often we limit and interpret leadership as those in charge of organizations. However, when we reconsider how we define who a leader is we invite many who have been overlooked in the past. While the specific path will look different for a stay at home parent in comparison to a youth pastor, each is called by God to his kingdom purposes!
Service: A basic definition service is an act that helps someone else. When this activity is directed toward God’s kingdom, it takes on even more significance. You can begin to see how this mission is building upon itself. Another way to write about equipping, leaders, and service is that Winebrenner exists to activate the giftedness in those who are pursuing God’s kingdom purposes.
God’s Kingdom: Jesus is the King of God’s kingdom. The Old Testament introduces and develops the story of God’s call to Abraham and his descendants. The New Testament reveals Jesus as the fulfillment of God’s kingdom purposes demonstrated through the lives of those like King David. All activities of Winebrenner are designed with the awareness that Jesus is Lord.
Winebrenner’s mission is foundational to all other aspects of what we seek to accomplish. As we paint the “big picture” of Winebrenner’s present and future, we begin with mission and consider how we can organize and reorganize all that we do as a way to give fuller expression to equipping leaders for service in God’s kingdom.
- Brent C. Sleasman, President