“Go to 2 Corinthians 8 and 9, and make them your manual,” was Chancellor John Piper’s exhortation to me when eighteen months ago I assumed an entirely new-to-me role in higher education development (i.e., “fundraising”) at Bethlehem College & Seminary. Such a specific instruction from such a respected teacher is not to be ignored, and thus I have spent many hours since looking at the book in the kind of slow, intensely focused, deeply ponderous way that characterizes all study here.
In the process I have come to know Titus better. Before he had seemed to me as one of so many extras in the screening of Paul’s life, as I drove too quickly by him in 2 Corinthians, Galatians, 2 Timothy, and even in the eponymous letter directed to him by Paul. Focused on 2 Corinthians 8 and 9, I saw Titus as the fundraiser, the one dispatched to Corinth to make known both the need of the Jerusalem earthquake victims and the generosity of the Macedonians toward them.
The role model given me in Titus was not that of an able representative of a ministry to a group of people with means to be responsive, but rather that of an intermediary between ministries: Corinthian, Macedonian, and Jerusalemite. Titus was not a collector of gifts, rather an encourager of the spiritual giftedness of the saints. By becoming better acquainted with Titus I have seen so clearly that ministry is happening here at Bethlehem College & Seminary as if on a multi-tiered chess board. There is a ministry of Christian higher education taking place on-site here, to be sure, but there are also almost 500 other ministries for Jesus Christ being undertaken by individual men and women who in expressing generosity have made these students instruments of their personal evangelism.
WWTD? What would Titus do? How, in his role as Paul’s fundraiser, would Titus do the job of fundraising? We need only look at the book. Were his qualities itemized as desirables in a “Fundraiser Wanted” advertisement an incomplete list would include provider of spiritual rest, comforter of the downcast, refresher of spirit, joyful, affectionate, finisher, earnest, tested, collaborative and loyal. There are recorded no box scores of monies raised, campaign goals reached, no word of unique access to “high-capacity givers,” nor of any specific techniques.
The truth is that while funds were raised, Titus was no fundraiser. He was instead a certain kind of minister to ministries, individual and corporate. I want to be a Titus, too. The intersection at which he stood, and I now stand, is a glorious one. I pray I may be equipped, even in small measure, to comfort, refresh, and love as he did.
Rick Segal is Vice President of Advancement
and the Distinguished Lecturer of Commerce and Vocation
Faculty panel featuring Jason DeRouchie,
Andy Naselli, and Joe Rigney.
Join us for our weekly Chapel Service on Friday, September 18th, 12:45-1:45pm, featuring Dr. Andy Naselli.
Every resident student receives a Serious Joy Scholarship. Please pray that God might lead you to be among or help identify:
- A few who would gladly underwrite all the scholarships in entire future years
- Some who will supply scholarships for multiple students
- Many who will underwrite one Serious Joy Scholarship
- The growing community of friends that together funds fractions of scholarships