God, Giving and Asking at Biola University. That’s the title of a booklet we’ve been sharing with alumni, parents and friends who are considering a gift to support the work of Biola. Its contents are quite simple, yet its message is profound in articulating five biblical truths that guide our fundraising efforts as a Christ-centered university. As you read this issue of Biola Magazine and consider the part you might play in helping Biola achieve its ambitious vision, it’s important to us that you understand our heart as we invite your generous financial support.
First, Scripture is abundantly clear that God owns it all. In David’s prayer of praise at the dedication of the temple in 1 Chronicles 29:14 he says, “Everything we have has come from you, and we give you only what you first gave us.” At Biola, we remind our many supporters that giving is actually returning to God what he has already entrusted to us.
Second, we are instructed by God to be managers of his resources. Since God owns everything, we are to “manage” or “steward” all that God has given us. Two parables in Luke 16 make it abundantly clear that God pays attention to how we manage our possessions. As Biola reaches out to its thousands of friends and supporters in this campaign, we do so recognizing that we all have a stewardship responsibility before God.
Third, we believe that your giving is to God. Giving is a worshipful, obedient act of returning to God from what he has provided. The Philippians understood this principle as they faithfully shared their resources in support of Paul’s ministry (Phil. 4:17). As The Campaign for Biola University unfolds, we pray that your financial support is an intentional and genuine act of worship to God.
Fourth, our giving is a reflection of where we place our treasure. Luke 12:34 says, “Where your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” At Biola, we encourage you to invest in “treasure-worthy” endeavors — places that make an eternal difference. We hope Biola is on the short list of places you deem worthy of your faithful support.
And finally, God desires that we give cheerfully. While faithful stewardship is our responsibility, God desires that our giving comes from a heart motivated by joy. Biola’s desire is to encourage alumni, parents and friends in their journey of generosity — that all might embrace the true joy of giving. In Paul’s second letter to the Corinthian church, he says that the one who gives cheerfully out of sincere gratitude for what God has done is the type of giver God cherishes. To those, Paul says, God multiplies their gifts beyond measure!
In the coming 18 months you will be asked multiple times in multiple ways to prayerfully consider investing in The Campaign for Biola University. You will likely receive letters in the mail, get an occasional phone call from a student (hopefully not during the dinner hour!), and be invited to regional campaign events across the world. Please know that our approach to raising funds clearly recognizes that your stewardship of God’s resources is a spiritual matter between you and God. We would never presume to know how the Spirit of God is guiding your stewardship, or to whom he’s directing you to give.
We do, however, want to make known to you the incredible impact Biola University is having and give you every opportunity to join with us in support of Biola’s compelling vision for the future. Gifts of any amount will make a measurable difference and we pray that you will take seriously our invitation to participate. These are such exciting days in the life of this institution and I can only imagine what the future might hold if God stirred tens of thousands of people to give to The Campaign for Biola University. The ripple effect for God’s kingdom would be transformational.
Adam Morris (’90, M.A. ’97, Ph.D. ’02) is vice president for advancement at Biola University.