The Dunn Institute, held annually on Oklahoma Wesleyan University’s campus, provides pastors and lay leaders with practical, biblically orthodox business instruction in the areas of budgeting, finances, business plans, and capital improvement strategies. It’s one of the many ways Oklahoma Wesleyan University remains committed to advancing the Kingdom of God through local church ministry.
This year’s conference took place March 9-10, with the theme “From 2020 Scramble to 2021 Strategy.” Dan Reiland, Executive Pastor of 12Stone Church in Georgia, served as the keynote speaker, with additional seminars presented by Kyle Hubbard, President of Arvest Bank in Springfield, Missouri, and Dr. Randy Thompson, former Vice President of Development at OKWU.
Over 40 people attended the conference, including pastors, district superintendents, and students from OKWU’s School of Ministry and Christian Thought and Chesapeake Energy School of Business. Attendees came from all over the United States to receive this biblical business instruction—an education that is sometimes overlooked when preparing people for church ministry. But according to Reiland, it’s vitally important to become skilled in these areas.
“Money is a real and inescapable part of life, leadership, and ministry,” he said. “Not only are we responsible for teaching stewardship, but we’re also responsible to be good stewards of God’s resources for Kingdom advancement. Scripture teaches much about money, and if it’s ignored, life is far more difficult—from marriage to ministry and business.”
Dr. Thompson, who delivered a seminar about developing donor bases, agrees.
“Money is a real and inescapable part of life, leadership, and ministry. Not only are we responsible for teaching stewardship, but we’re also responsible to be good stewards of God’s resources for Kingdom advancement.”
“In Jesus’ teaching on money and resources, we see at least three themes: giving resources, receiving resources, and handling resources,” he said. “For a pastor or church, this teaching relates to the need for believers to give, the need for the church to receive gifts, and the need for the church and the believer to be wise stewards of the received gifts. As chief shepherds, pastors must fully engage these themes to understand and influence what is going on spiritually in the lives of the people of God.”
The event took place over two days, with seminars ranging from big-picture topics to more in-depth content, such as Hubbard’s seminar, “I Wish I Could Ask a Banker.”
“The context within which smart financial principles live best is in healthy and growing leaders,” Reiland said. “We can be taught great financial principles, but if we ourselves are not whole, healthy, and growing, we don’t have the margin to make appropriate changes. From leadership development to topics like resilience and spiritual life, [this event] helps build a reservoir that can help people absorb and implement practical financial practices.”
To learn more about the Dunn Institute, visit www.okwu.edu/dunninstitute.