What Development Means to Me by Matt Bond
By Matt Bond, Director of Development at St. John's Catholic Student Center at Oklahoma State University
As many people in our field, I fell into the profession of development by happenstance. A great priest walked into a classroom of my former student center where my sister-in-law just happened to be sitting and said I’m looking for … and he proceeded to list a number of attributes he was looking for in a development director. She said, “call my brother-in-law” and it was all downhill or uphill, depending on the specific point in my career, from there. Truthfully, I had no idea what I was getting into and looking back through the rear-view mirror, I really had no idea.
When it comes to ministry, I have a unique take. I came from a ministry position where I was leading all of the programming, each year I was given a budget, and I led the team. Now, I am a development professional helping ministries fund their programming.
In my previous time it was always this constant battle of I need this or that in order to do the best work possible and to bring the kingdom of God to my students. However, it always seemed that there was never enough: never enough staff, never enough funds to help those who couldn’t afford to participate. When new budget discussions came around each year the conversation was always what do you need and what is the bare bones you can operate the ministry.
I changed or rather fell into another career, development. As I was learning everything I could about this profession, I had a wonderful realization. There are a lot of saintly people who want to help either through their time or treasure they just don’t know how or the opportunity hasn’t presented itself. I found myself in a world of abundance and gratitude coming from a world of never enough and what if.
Development to me is a wonderful marriage of these two sides of the ministry world. Sharing our organizations ministry with saintly people who have this deep sense of a giving ministry themselves, so to not only change the world, but to help lead souls to Heaven through the work of amazing ministry priests and staff. It’s truly been an honor to not only do it as a development professional but to also teach other development professionals how to do it as well.
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