Ask anyone who works at Auburn Adventist Academy why they do what they do. Why work countless hours? Why work in a field where one is constantly under pressure from a multitude of directions for less than they can make somewhere else? The questions go on, but they have one common denominator: the word “why.”
In Daniel 3, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego found themselves in the fiery furnace because they chose to obey God rather than bow down to the golden image. They knew the consequences.
Nebuchadnezzar was so angry, he asked his men to make the fire seven times hotter. In fact, it was so hot, the men throwing the three friends into the furnace were instantly killed.
They knew what would happen if they chose God, but they did it anyway. Why? Because they knew God had a plan when He put them in that position, even if death was the outcome. Everyone knows what happened next. While looking into the fire, Nebuchadnezzar saw four men instead of three because Jesus was standing with them, and they were unharmed.
Everyone working in ministry, whether it be for a church, school or any Christian organization, is under fire.
The ultimate goal is to bring His precious young people closer to the Kingdom of God. The very nature of that goal will bring the fire. When people look from the outside in, what do they see? Who do they see? Do they see Jesus?
When the students see the faculty teaching or administrating, do they see Jesus? When parents visit, do they see Jesus? When a fundraising campaign is underway, is Jesus at the center of that campaign?
The AAA department of growth and development is tasked mainly with raising funds and building a sustainable fundraising program to keep the academy functioning, not only on a day-to-day basis, but for years to come.
On the best day, that can be a difficult task, especially in this less-than-stellar economy. But when Jesus is at the center, whether it be a smaller targeted campaign, a matching campaign, an event like Committee of 100 or Hearts of Gold, a letter appeal or a major capital campaign, God will bless it every single time.
So, back to the question: why? Why do this? Why be in this ministry? Why be in any ministry?
It comes down to this: God puts His people in positions where they can carry out His plan. In the case of AAA, it’s about the students. It’s about providing a haven in a world that’s falling apart. Most importantly, it’s about helping them know Jesus, if not for the first time, in a more intimate way.
So, if asked why, whatever the role is, no matter how hot the fire is, it’s because of the students, and it’s well worth the heat.