By Vicar Lewis Eggleston
Who in their right mind would want to ask people for money for a living?
My name is Lewis Eggleston (he/him/his), and I’ve asked myself that question many times now. Now is probably a good time to mention that Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries recently hired me as the Associate Director of Development and Communications. Surprise! But do not worry, I have a plan.
My struggle is that the word Development is a loaded word, and it usually makes eyebrows furl upward like perhaps I might have some agenda in our conversation. Development people get a terrible rap. Yet, every good and thriving nonprofit is thrilled to have us! Let’s unpack that. I graduated seminary in 2015 with an MDiv from the Pacific School of Religion in
Berkeley, CA and I am currently on Internship through PLTS at Spirit of Joy in Seguin, Texas. Yes, there are gays in Texas and on Sundays I wear my boots and collar.
I learned in seminary one can pick apart words at great length, which for some, can get tedious. I did this at some point in my career with every word that is in my new job title. Here are my findings.
A few years ago I attended a faith-based development seminar where the whole room picked apart the word “Development.” My worlds of the intentionality of words, faith & praxis had collided, and it was glorious. While others in the room may have audibly groaned, I became fidgety with excitement.
Someone who shared my frustration with the term, said this, “I’ve quit calling myself the Director of Development, and now I call myself the Director of Generosity.”
Her words set off a significant paradigm shift for me as it better articulated my inner belief system causing the Marketing side of my brain to explode too. Director of Generosity! The trait of being generous is a virtue to all of us, and I get to be a facilitator of people’s generosity towards a cause that can, and is, changing the world for the better. What a privilege!
I love connecting people and to connect people to a purpose or mission gives me great joy.
So for those still wondering, “What about Communications”? Go with me here, if you think about Communications from a pulpit perspective, to me, Communications in ministry is nothing more than an extension of the Great Commission. Go and PROCLAIM the Good News! The ELM community has been doing this for years by overcoming tremendous struggles, at first with what seemed like zero power but with continued determination, Proclaimers continue to make an impact on the world.
It will be my honor to share the Good News of every proclaimer out there who brings the Gospel to the world in bold new ways. What a joy!
Associate Director of Generosity and Good News. Regardless of how you look at it, or whatever words work for you, I look forward to this journey with y’all as we continue together to transform the church and the world. Blessings my friends!
Vicar Lewis Eggleston (he/him/his) is an Air Force spouse currently living in San Antonio, TX with his husband Mitchell and dog-child Carla. He’s been an advocate for children’s access to the arts through museum and symphony educational programming and has worked with homeless individuals and families for the past ten years. In his free time, he loves to attend musicals whilst fighting every urge to sing-along.