I recently heard the testimony of a pastor who took his youth group to Guatemala on a mission trip. They visited the trash dump on the outskirts of town and met the people who make their living by picking through the garbage.
Later, they visited a local church where the people from the dump would gather for a meal every day—a meal freely provided by the church. When the pastor asked how this outreach ministry was funded (assuming of course, that funding for such a ministry would come from donors in the USA or wealthier people in Guatemala), he was surprised by the answer. The local church members who work in the dump give generously from their meager earnings so that their neighbors could also have food!
The gift didn’t come from some outside wealthy anonymous, faceless, organization. It didn’t come from child sponsors or a relief committee in the USA or Europe. Rather the food was freely given by the poorest of the poor—Christians who daily demonstrate the love of Christ to their neighbors in the most tangible and personal way through radical generosity!
This powerful story illustrates one simple truth: The ministry of giving is for everyone!
As the Ministry Fundraising Network (MFN) kicks off its new website and the consulting, training and consulting services that will help majority world ministry leaders increase their capacity to raise funds, this simple truth, that everyone can become a generous giver, is at the heart of why the Ministry Fundraising Network exists.
Our purpose is “to nurture a movement of Biblical Stewardship, generous living and Kingdom appropriate fundraising and giving so that the whole church is resourced to take the whole gospel to the whole world.” While that’s a big task, the church near the Guatemalan dump serves as a prime example of how it is happening right now. There are many examples of this all over the world. We hope to inspire every Christian believer to give both proportionally and sacrificially to make it happen. Such a movement of generosity would greatly accelerate the fulfillment of the Great Commission in our generation.
One of the common misunderstandings we want to address is the idea that the West is responsible for funding Christian missions for the rest of the world. For many majority world leaders, their dependency (either real or perceived) on western money, has been a source of both relief and frustration: relief because they have not been forced to personally go raise funds, and frustration because they never seem to have enough! This model is unsustainable.
When majority world ministries become dependent on foreign donors, they are deprived of the blessing of giving generously and depending on God to meet their own needs. This perspective hinders the church from rising up to its calling to reach the whole world with the whole gospel of the Kingdom. The act of generosity is not just for donors in the west. It’s for every believer, globally, no matter who they are or how much they have to give.
Before sending the disciples out to the villages of Judea, Jesus taught them one simple truth. “Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have been given, freely give.” He gave them the authority to impart the blessings of the kingdom of God—physical healing and release from spiritual bondage. They understood that God had already freely provided every resource needed to fulfill his purposes and they simply obeyed by passing it on to others—freely.
The ministry of giving is for everyone! May this simple truth grip the heart of every Christian believer regardless of who they are, where they live or how much they have.