and what, exactly, is a director of development?
by David Crowe
Find out more about the ministry of Free Will Baptist Home Missions by visiting www.homemissions.net.
IN FEBRUARY OF THIS YEAR I assumed the role and responsibilities of Dr. Richard Adams, retiring director of development for the Free Will Baptist Home Missions Department. Richard served in this position for 18 years and helped secure financial stability for the department. He raised funds for missionaries, the general fund, and endowments that continue to provide perpetual interest income to support many aspects of the ministry of Home Missions.
When I joined the Home Missions’ staff in 1996, I was the director of missionary Assistance. For five years, my responsibilities included visiting home missionaries to encourage, equip, instruct, and motivate them in the church planting process.
In 2001, I became the director of church growth. For the last seven years I have visited 45-50 churches each year, preaching in churches, camps, and colleges while raising funds for the ministries of Home Missions. The job description for the first two positions was straightforward and easy to understand.
Now, I have another title, director of development. To be completely honest, I’m not sure exactly what a director of development is, or what a director of development does. I thought it might help to understand the definition of the words director and development. Webster’s defines director as, “one who leads or directs” (that wasn’t much help). Development is defined as, “a step or stage in growth or advancement.”
Therefore, I assume that a director of development is one who leads a plan, a program, or a department in steps or stages of advancement. With that being stated, allow me to share my goals for the future.
The main goal and priority at Home Missions has and always will be the missionaries on the field. Everything at Home Missions revolves around the missionaries and their needs. Without the missionaries there would be no need for Home Missions to exist.
In regard to finances, my goal is twofold. First, is to raise the million dollars for the Richard and Carolyn Adams Endowment. This will provide interest income for years to come that will strengthen the general fund as well as missionary accounts. The Build My Church Endowment and the Dr. Roy Thomas Endowment are presently providing income for all aspects of the ministry of Home Missions. When this third endowment is completed, I have no plans of starting another one.
Free Will Baptists have responded generously over the last 18 years as the first two endowments were raised and completed. Second, I plan to continue promoting the Benjamin Randall Offering and the Heritage Book Club. These two programs provide necessary funds for the department and help strengthen the daily cash flow needed to operate and keep the missionaries on the field.
In regard to the Church Extension Loan Fund, I will continue to promote the fund to investors as a great way to earn a good rate of interest and will oversee the application process for loans to Free Will Baptist churches. Investments in the fund are being used to plant and build Free Will Baptist churches across North America. Hundreds of Free Will Baptists have invested their money with CELF and hundreds of churches have been able to secure loans through Home Missions.
In regard to church growth, I will continue to visit as many churches each year as I possibly can. My heart is with our churches, our pastors, and their families. My great love is preaching, and I must continue what God called me to do more than 30 years ago. While I will reduce my travel schedule in light of new office responsibilities, I will stay on the road as much as God will allow. I would rather come to your church and be a blessing and help to you, than to just ask you to give. It is my desire to give back for what you have already given and for what God has given me over the years of my life.
In regard to promotion and publicity of our offering and our programs, we will constantly evaluate every item we publish and promote. Every trip that we sponsor for our donors will have a three-fold purpose. First, we will learn from our past. I will emphasize areas where Free Will Baptists once had a significant presence that has dwindled or disappeared over the years. Second, we will listen to present home missionaries from the area as they share what God is presently doing through Free Will Baptists there. Third, we will look to the future and ask God to give us a burden of what we can do to plant churches, win souls, and once again establish a strong presence there for Free Will Baptists.
I’m still not sure that I completely understand everything involved in being a director of development, so I would greatly appreciate your prayers. If I can ever be of service to you or to your church, please let me know. If you have questions, feel free to contact us. My secretary Sarah Hadley or Sue Hayes, bookkeeper for the Church Extension Loan Fund, will be happy to assist in any way they can. Also, please pray for General Director Larry Powell and Director of Missionary Assistance Richard Atwood. At Home Missions we don’t believe we have been placed here for you to serve us. We believe that we are here to serve you, our missionaries, our churches, and our denomination.
ABOUT THE WRITER: David Crowe is the director of development for the Free Will Baptist Home Missions Department in Antioch, TN. He and his wife Kathey live in Cane Ridge, TN. Learn more about the ministry of Home Missions at www.homemissions.net.