Christian generosity is not a new phenomenon. The whole Bible is a depiction of the generous God who blesses people with resources so that they can bless others with those resources. Christians throughout the centuries understood this Biblical generosity and their compassion became a channel for showing God’s generosity to people in spiritual, physical and emotional need. However unique generosity ministries that encourage, facilitate and enable Christian stewardship, generosity and giving emerged only really in the second half of the 20th Century and especially since the 1970s. Today there is a wide variety of generosity focussed ministries not only in the US but in other parts of the world as well. The links to the different websites mentioned in the list provide access to resources that can be used in envisioning, sermons, teaching, training and engagement.
Here are some of the generosity ministries that I discovered in my generosity networking journey the past few years and especially when I developed the generosity resource list. This is not a complete list and I am looking forward to hear about more such ministries. Because of personal linguistic constraints mostly ministries that operate in English are included. We would very much like to hear about ministries that use other languages.
I hope the list will stimulate thinking on how to encourage stewardship, generosity and giving in different contexts. There are a few models of generosity ministries that really struck me while developing this list. Similar models could be developed in different contexts:
- Christian Community Foundations inspire and empower generosity and giving in national and local contexts. The best known one is the National Christian Foundation in Atlanta, USA that operates on US national level. However it is on a local level where these Foundations can play a significant role. There are very good examples in the USA but I think different forms of Christian Community Foundations can play a significant role in other countries and communities as well. There can be tremendous potential in these local Foundations in linking with communities in other parts of the world. While I was in June in Chattanooga in the US, the idea of linking the Generosity Trust (the Chattanooga Christian Community Foundation) with Alexandria in Egypt was mentioned. Just think about the potential of this kind of links across the world ...
- Out of the Christian Community Foundations in the US the concept of generous communities developed. Christian leaders in these communities work together to encourage Biblical stewardship and generosity, sharing of resources and giving to address needs and Kingdom causes. Just think what can happen if we can encourage generous communities across the world!
- The one initiative that really surprised me was the Christian Community Foundation of France. Especially when I discovered that they are not based in Paris, France but in Marietta, USA! This Foundation is unique in the sense that its purpose is to encourage US Christians to help the French evangelical community financially and connect American Christians with evangelical French ministries. Just think of the potential impact if we can get a similar Christian Community Foundation of Mali based in Pretoria (South Africa), or a Christian Community Foundation of Laos based in Perth (Australia), or a Christian Community Foundation of Bihar (India) based in Singapore ... The possibilities are endless. I must stop dreaming!
- In the present financial and economic context where we hear and read about greed and questionable practices in the financial sector, initiatives such as Kingdom Advisors in the US has great potential. These ministries can encourage Biblical values in the financial sector and help Christians with their financial planning including their giving.
- I was really privileged to be part of a discussion on the Missions Africa Trust Fund (MATF) in March. This Fund will mobilize financial resources from Africa to support mission initiatives in Africa and from Africa to the rest of the world. Africans are therefore taking greater responsibility for their own mission funding. I believe there is great potential to develop similar kinds of Funds in other regions of the world.
Having perhaps carried too much away with the above reflection, here is my incomplete and uncategorised list of generosity ministries:
- The Global Generosity Movement (www.generositymovement.org) is a small team of generosity leaders supporting and facilitating a movement of radical life transformation through generosity. The Movement partners with individuals, ministries and churches to accelerate discipleship in generosity globally.
- When the Resource Mobilization Working Group asked participants at the Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelization about in Cape Town in October 2010 about ministries that encourage giving in their countries, there was only one mentioned in all the regions - Crown Financial Ministries (www.crown.org). Crown equips Christian leaders to follow Biblical principles in their finances, work and life. As part of this mission Crown fosters a culture of biblical generosity, generous living and gracious giving through modelling, teaching and equipping. Based in Atlanta, USA, Crown has a presence in over 100 countries. These different offices translated and in some cases wrote generosity resources in different languages. They include: Crown Europe (http://crowneurope.eu), Crown Life Switzerland (www.crownlife.ch), Crown Life Germany (www.crownlife.de), Crown Bulgaria (http://crownbulgaria.org), Crown Finland (http://crownlife.fi), Crown Hungary (www.keve.org), Crown Latvia (www.crownlatvia.lv), Crown Nederland (www.crownhome.nl), Crown Poland (www.sklep.bibliaofinansach.pl), Crown Portugal (www.crownportugal.org), Crown Romania (http://crownromania.ro), Crown Life Sweden (www.crownlife.se), Crown Ukraine (www.crown.org.ua), Crown Financial Ministries UK (www.crownuk.org), Conceptos Financieros Crown (http://conceptosfinancieros.org), Crown Pakistan (http://local.crown.org), Crown Financial Ministries Taiwan (www.crown.org.tw/home), Crown Financial Ministries Australia (http://crown.org.au), Crown Financial Ministries New Zealand (www.crown.org.nz).
- El Instituto para la Cultura Financiera (The Institute for Financial Education - www.culturafinanciera.org) is a generosity ministry that encourages Biblical generosity, financial stewardship and giving in 13 Latin American countries
- The National Christian Foundation (NCF - www.nationalchristian.com) is the largest Christian grant-making foundation in the world. With a vision to ‘mobilize an unprecedented abundance of Kingdom resources to accomplish every good work’, the NCF enables Christians to give wisely to advance God’s Kingdom. The NCF has 27 offices in the USA to serve givers, professional advisors, ministries, and churches.
- The Canadian National Christian Foundation (CNCF - www.cncf.ca) seeks to advance the Kingdom of God by challenging Christians to be good stewards of their time, talent and treasure. The CNCF’s mission is to see Canadian Christians releasing their resources so they may fully experience God at work in their own lives, in Canada and across the world.
- The Genesis Charitable Foundation (www.genesisfoundation.org.au/) in Australia helps Christian organisations with strategic planning and seed capital in order to multiply their work and implement projects that become self funding, so that they have the greatest impact in Christ’s Kingdom.
- Christian Community Foundations inspire and empower generosity and giving in local communities. These Foundations also serve as a bridge linking generous Christians to the ministries that are most meaningful to them. Some of the most prominent Christian Community Foundations in the USA include Northwest Christian Community Foundation (www.nccf4christ.org/), Hope Christian Community Foundation in Memphis (www.hopememphis.com/), and the Generosity Trust in Chattanooga (http://thegenerositytrust.org/). The Generosity Trust is also taking a leadership role in encouraging a whole community to live generously. These generous communities become examples of generous living together.
- Though based in Marietta, Georgia in the USA, the Christian Community Foundation of France (www.ccfof.org) encourages US Christians to help the French evangelical community financially and connect American Christians with evangelical French ministries that are making an impact in France.
- Mission Increase Foundation (www.mif.org/index.cfm) offers generosity and fundraising training together with matching grants to help ministries grow.
- Stewardship (www.stewardship.org.uk) is a UK based ministry that encourages generous giving. Stewardship also supports generous givers who are passionate about resourcing the Kingdom and making an impact. The ministry offers a range of services and resources to churches, charities and individuals. Some of the resources include:
- Budget Builder (www.stewardship.org.uk/budgetbuilder)
- Stewardship short theological papers on generosity (www.stewardship.org.uk/money)
- SEL France (www.selfrance.org) is an association of French Protestant Christians that aims at improving the living conditions of poor people in developing countries. As such it might be more of a Christian relief and development ministry but SEL France also developed generosity related resources in French (http://selfrance.org/index.php?id=897 and http://selfrance.org/index.php?id=917) and is playing a leading role in encouraging generous living and giving amongst evangelical Christians in France.
- Women Doing Well (www.womendoingwell.org) is inspiring a movement of women living and giving generously. They believe that as women move into their God-given role as stewards, the Christian community will see tremendous economic, intellectual and spiritual strength unleashed for the Kingdom through the family, into the community and extending to the world.
- Royal Treasure (www.royaltreasure.org/) is an organization dedicated to teaching Biblical stewardship to women that will encourage them to give more of their treasure, time and talents for Kingdom purposes. The ministry provides a network for women to discuss stewardship, giving and ministry.
- Stewardship Ministries (www.stewardshipministries.org) is a teaching, training, mentoring and content ministry working with churches and ministry leaders. The aim is to equip them with biblical knowledge and training resources needed to serve Christians to effectively live their lives as good and faithful stewards. Stewardship Ministries developed curriculum from preschool through adults that enables congregations to teach life-stewardship principles to church members of all ages.
- Christian Management Australia (CMA - www.cma.net.au) serves Australian churches and ministries, in areas of leadership and management. Fundraising and financial management are two of the topics of particular interest to CMA. These themes are regularly addressed in events, publications, and in the CMA our annual conference.
- Maximum Generosity (www.MAXIMUMgenerosity.org) is the ministry generosity speaker, bestselling generosity author and generosity minister-at-large Brian Kluth. Maximum Generosity advances generosity and increased giving through resources for churches and ministries. More resources are available from www.kluth.org.
- International Steward (www.intsteward.org) is a teaching and training ministry that advances local resource development. The ministry has developed three 3-day workshops that assist local ministry leaders in developing mature stewards who can fund these ministries locally.
- World Mission Associates (www.wmausa.org) promotes self-reliance through the use of local resources and local funding.
- Generous Giving (www.generousgiving.org/) spreads the Biblical message of generosity and grow generous givers among wealthy Christians. Christians can learn more about the joys of generosity during retreats and events. Generous Giving had also been instrumental in the development and distribution of generosity resources.
- Generous Journey (www.generousjourney.org.uk) is a group of Christians, based in the UK that helps Christians with wealth cultivate a lifestyle of generosity, utilizing their time, talents, and resources to their fullest in God’s Kingdom. They inspire others with generosity stories, explore what the Bible says about being generous and gather with like-minded Christians to encourage one another.
- Stewardship Council (www.stewardshipcouncil.net) develops resources and directs Christians to resources that will enable them to serve as God’s stewards.
- Generosity Monk (www.generositymonk.com) provides biblical teaching for local congregations, spiritual counsel for stewards, and professional advice for leaders to encourage Christian generosity.
- Ministry Spotlight (www.ministryspotlight.org) connects donors and ministries using the internet as communication platform. Information and stories of especially smaller ministries are shared to introduce them to potential donors.
- Kingdom Advisors (https://kingdomadvisors.org/) helps Christian financial professionals to live out their spiritual calling in the financial sector including by helping Christians to give wisely.
- The National Association of Christian Financial Consultants (www.nacfc.org/) is a US group of investment professionals committed to investment and financial planning centered upon Biblical principles.
- Giving Wisely (www.givingwisely.com) helps givers on their journey of generosity by connecting their needs and passions to knowledge, experiences, community, and opportunities.
- Halftime (www.halftime.org/) encourages those who have arrived at midlife having achieved worldly success while still yearning for significance, to redirect their time, talent and treasure toward making an impact for the Kingdom of God.
- The Kern Family Foundation (www.kffdn.org/default.asp?L1=Education&L2=AHER&L3=AHER-OikonomiaNetwork) launched the Oikonomia Network () as a learning community for theological educators and evangelical seminaries. The network equips future pastors to cultivate biblical wisdom in how believers do their work and become stewards of the resources that God has entrusted them. Generosity and giving are aspects of this understanding of whole-life stewardship.
- The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA - www.ecfa.org) is an accreditation agency in the USA that helps Christian organisations develop and maintain Biblical based standards of financial accountability and stewardship. These standards focus on governance, financial transparency, integrity in fundraising, and proper use of resources.
- Gospel Bankers (www.gospelbankers.com/) is a Nigerian based ministry with chapters throughout Nigeria that mobilizes finance, prayers, human and material resources for ministry amongst unevangelized people groups in especially Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Mission Supporters League (www.mslonline.org/index.html) is another Nigerian based movement of committed Christians who raise prayer and financial support for missionaries working in Africa and beyond.
- Issachar Initiative (http://issacharinitiative.org) encourages Christian giving to where it is most needed so that the Great Commission can be completed and fulfilled.
- Strategic Resources Group helps Christian donors evaluate strategies for reaching the lost in areas that contains most of the world’s non-Christian population. SRG works with ministry partners to review their strategies for reaching people with the gospel, bundling these strategies into a portfolio and presenting them to prospective donors. By uniting the worlds of missions and business, SRG seeks to mobilize more resources into key areas of the world where the gospel is most needed.
- The Missions Africa Trust Fund (http://community.generositymovement.org/en/resources) is a new initiative to mobilize financial resources from within Africa to support mission initiatives in Africa and from Africa to the rest of the world.
Dr. Sas Conradie is the Coordinator of the Global Generosity Network
 Gilles Gravelle in an unpublished manuscript entitled ‘The Age of Global Giving: A Practical guide for the donors and funding recipients of our time’ identifies the emergence of the baby-boomer generation as key to the emergence of specialized generosity ministries. Many baby-boomer Christians in the US decided to shift their giving from church giving to donor-designated giving. Since this form of giving needs specialist organisations to help direct and manage giving, various kinds of organizations emerged.