President Jason Allen opened Midwestern Seminary’s spring semester with an Academic Convocation message calling students to faithfully steward all the Lord has entrusted to them. The service took place in the Daniel Lee Chapel on Jan. 25.
Additionally, one newly elected seminary faculty member, Camden Pulliam, signed the institution’s Articles of Faith during the service.
With the convocation sermon, Allen began a semester-long chapel series that will feature Midwestern Seminary and Spurgeon College faculty preaching through the parables taught by Jesus throughout the Gospel narratives.
Preaching from the “Parable of the Talents” found in Matthew 25:14-30, Allen explained the parable speaks primarily to the issue of stewardship.
“At times, we limit the scope of this parable to comments about financial matters. However, this parable presents for us a broader lesson on stewardship,” Allen said. “Life is stewardship. Ministry is stewardship. Leadership is stewardship. We all have a sacred trust.
“Life is short. Time must be stewarded, and it is to be stewarded in a way that is distinctly spiritual, Christian, and biblical, not humanistic or material. We are called to have a kingdom mindset, a spiritual stewardship, and a biblical worldview that teaches us how to live, lead, and how to serve in light of eternity, which is set in our hearts.”
In the parable, Jesus describes a wealthy master who goes away for a time, leaving three of his servants in charge of his business affairs. Jesus uses the illustration to teach his followers how to use their time and abilities as they await his return.
From the text, Allen reflected on Jesus’s exhortation to his followers, noting the parable portrays Christ’s followers as “slaves” of Christ who are entrusted with the work of God’s kingdom while Jesus, himself, is away.
“We are slaves of Jesus; we belong to him,” Allen said. “We have no rights, but we have a great responsibility. We have a heightened stewardship as those owned by the King.”
Allen continued, highlighting the servants’ response in the parable as each one is given a different measure of responsibility from the master. The first two servants, Allen observed, fulfilled their responsibilities while the third went his own way, earning the indignation of the master.
“The master represents Jesus while he is away,” Allen said. “The slaves in the parable represent us—waiting, longing, stewarding, and serving. The talent represents all he has entrusted to us individually.
“We have a customized stewardship, and we will be held accountable for our stewardship of what the Lord has entrusted to us. For those in this room and beyond it listening in, the Lord has entrusted specific gifts, abilities, experience, and opportunities to each of us. We are responsible for them.”
Allen closed the address with several observations and points of application for individuals and the broader Midwestern Seminary and Spurgeon College community.
“I want to challenge us to view all of life as one of stewardship,” Allen said. “Your treasure—the gospel, your calling, gifts, time, money, education, and your words—see them all as stewardship.”
To Midwestern Seminary and Spurgeon College students specifically, Allen issued a further challenge to make the most of the time allotted to prepare and train for ministry.
“See your time training for and preparing for ministry as a stewardship,” Allen said. “You are already on the clock. Your stewardship may be taken to a new level after you get your diploma, but it is not suspended while you are here.
“Don’t be insufficiently ambitious; channel your ambition in God-honoring ways. Don’t under-dignify how God has gifted and equipped you and what he wants to do through you.
“If you aren’t serious about honoring Christ in your life and stewarding your life, this is not the best place to be. Here, the cupboards are filled with world-class faculty members who love you, give of themselves to you, and are committed to you. If you are nonchalant about the Kingdom of Christ and what he has called us to do, you are not stewarding well all that is available to you.”
Prior to Allen’s message, Camden Pulliam signed the institution’s Articles of Faith.
Pulliam serves as assistant professor of Christian studies and vice president of enrollment management at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary & Spurgeon College. Pulliam holds degrees from Southwest Baptist University and Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. In 2020, he completed his Ph.D. at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. His dissertation is titled Paternal Pastors: An Evangelical Approach.
Pulliam was elected to the faculty by the Midwestern Seminary Board of Trustees in October 2021.
The seminary’s Articles of Faith consist of the confession of faith of the Southern Baptist Convention, The Baptist Faith & Message 2000, and three institutional guiding documents: the Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy, the Danvers Statement on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood, and the Nashville Statement on biblical sexuality.
To view Allen’s message in full, visit mbts.cc/spring22convocation