Having introduced generosity networks and generosity centres yesterday, today I will focus on generosity resources and ministries developed by Christian networks, denominations and local churches. There are also a few independent ministries that focus on encouraging stewardship, generosity and giving in especially local churches. This list is just a ‘taster list’. It is definitely NOT comprehensive! Because I cannot get all the information of all the Christian networks, denominations and local churches, I am only using examples of what resources had been developed and are available. This will hopefully stimulate the development of further resources and thinking.
As I started digging deeper in how churches encourage generosity and giving, I realised how many resources are available to help churches in their generosity journey. These resources focus quite often on fundraising for the ministry of the church or denomination but I was pleasantly surprised to discover the trend to enable generous living and giving beyond the needs of the church. It is clear that we need more research to understand how Christian networks (including mission networks) encourage stewardship, generosity and giving in and through their networks. Sometimes this is being done through Stewardship Departments or Commissions. Specific mission giving is quite often the task of mission departments, boards or commissions.
I hope this ‘introductory list’ will be useful. Please send me information on generosity ministries and resources from your churches that might be useful to others.
1) Christian network related
- The Association of Evangelicals in Africa (www.aeafrica.org/) has a Stewardship and Accountability Commission that looks at stewardship and financial accountability amongst evangelical Christians in Africa.
- The All Africa Council of Churches (AACC) started with a Campaign for African Dignity (www.aacc-ceta.org/en/about-us/the-campaign-for-african-dignity.html) to make the AACC more sustainable but also to help African Christians realise that they have the resources to support their own churches and ministries.
- The National Council of Churches of Kenya has a number of initiatives that engage with generosity and financial issues including the Empowering Communities for Self Governance and Development Project (www.ncck.org/index.php/ecsgd.html) and the Kenya Ecumenical Church Loan Fund (www.ncck.org/index.php/subsidiaries/kenya-ecumenical-church-loan-fund.html)
- The National Evangelical Christian Fellowship Malaysia established the NECF Foundation (www.necf.org.my/index.cfm?&menuid=83) that provides material and financial assistance to pastors and full-time workers in Malaysia
- COMIBAM (www.comibam.org), the Latin American mission movement (or actually the Missionary Congress for Ibero-America) launched a Latin American Survey on mission institutions’ fundraising in collaboration with Wycliffe Global Alliance, America. The aim with the survey was to understand local fundraising capacity within the Latin American missionary movement. It produced very interesting results. You are welcome to contact Nydia Garcia-Schmidt (Nydia_Garcia@wycliffe.net) for further information. Nydia is now working closely with COMIBAM in encouraging mission giving.
- The Movement for Africa National Initiatives (www.maniafrica.com/) has a working group looking into mission focussed resource mobilisation from within Africa. During the MANI consultation in September 2011 MANI adopted the MANI 2011 Declaration (www.maniafrica.com/docs/MANI%202011%20Declaration.pdf) with the following commitment to generosity: ‘We will develop a lifestyle of generosity, develop creative and efficient models of care, and generally handle God’s resources in a way that honours Him and draws others to Him. Because God gave his best to save the world, we will strive to live in such a way that we can increase our material investment in the expansion of God’s kingdom’.
- The World Evangelisation Network of South Africa (www.wensa.org.za/) is the South African national mission network, facilitating and promoting mission in and from South Africa. In 2012 one of their focus areas is to develop a mission resource mobilisation/generosity strategy for South Africa (www.wensa.org.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=97:wtlfti2012&catid=5:blog&Itemid=7).
2) Denomination or local church related
More and more denominations and local churches have stewardship officers and stewardship departments to encourage stewardship, generous living and giving. These departments provide generosity ideas, generosity resources and generosity training. Denominational mission boards and local church mission groups or commissions encourage mission focussed generosity and giving. There are too many to list all these stewardship departments. Here are some of the churches:
- The Nigerian Baptist Convention Stewardship Department (www.nigerianbaptist.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=11&Itemid=38) encourages Biblical stewardship in Nigerian Baptist congregations and individuals by providing church leaders with stewardship resources, training and consultations.
- The International Mission Board (www.imb.org) of the Southern Baptist Convention in the USA has extensive initiatives to encourage mission giving and generosity (www.imb.org/main/give/default.asp).
- The Nairobi Baptist Church has a Missions Allocation Committee (www.nairobibaptist.co.ke/index.php/ministries/outreach-ministries) that mobilises Christians to give financially to mission initiatives.
- The Church of England appointment a National Stewardship Officer in 2005. The different Church of England Dioceses have Stewardship Departments that provide resources and training while local church stewardship officers or champions share information and approaches to enhance the effectiveness of stewardship in each church. Here are some of the most useful Church of England generosity related websites:
- Parish Resources (www.parishresources.org.uk/) is the website of the Church of England’s National Stewardship Department and offers a wide range of resources to support all aspects of stewardship and giving in the local church.
- Giving for Life (www.parishresources.org.uk/givingforlife/GfL_pcc_guide.pdf) is a guide by the Church of England published in 2009 to encourage church members to live generously. More resources are available from the following website www.parishresources.org.uk/givingforlife/downloads.htm
- The Diocese of Blackburn Christian Stewardship Department (www.blackburn.anglican.org/more_info.asp?current_id=159) provides advice or assistance with any aspects of Christian Stewardship. Their website has various resources including a booklist, thematic articles and links to other websites.
- Giving in Grace (www.givingingrace.org/summary.html) is an initiative of the Diocese of Liverpool linking faith with giving as an act of worship, thanksgiving and ministry. The programme focuses on our Christian responsibility and personal discipleship in the sometimes sensitive area of giving. The purpose is to help Christians connect the call to generous giving with their personal journey of faith and with the ministry needs of the church.
- The Diocese of Lichfield’s Department for Christian Giving (www.lichfield.anglican.org/ourdiocese/christian-giving/) works with churches in the Diocese to communicate Christian stewardship as an integral part of church life. They developed various resources on Christian giving (www.lichfield.anglican.org/ourdiocese/christian-giving-resources/) including Firm Foundations that helps congregations think through financial issues as part of discipleship and Biblical principles related to that.
3) Independent ministries encouraging generosity in local churches
Most generosity focussed ministries serve local churches as well. However there are a number of ministries that have a specific focus on encouraging generosity and mission giving in churches:
- Leadership Network (www.leadnet.org) works with leaders of innovative churches to facilitate increased impact in God’s Kingdom. Generosity is one of the key themes that Leadership Network engages in. They developed very good material that made an impact on my own thinking. Chris Willard, Leadership Network Director of Generosity Initiatives and Premium Services, coined the phrase ‘generosity is the new evangelism’. Think about that ...
- Generous Church (www.generouschurch.com) helps church leaders release generosity in their churches through leadership development, campaigns and culture change. The ministry provides books, online learning, coaching, events, and web resources to facilitate this process. Generous Church OS (www.generouschurchos.org/login/) is a specific process for recruiting leaders and equipping them to build a sustainable generosity culture in their churches.
- CMS Africa (www.cms-africa.org) is a ministry that envisions, mobilises and equips churches in Africa to engage in God’s mission in the world. One of their key activities is to encourage stewardship and generosity in local churches. The ministry also developed African focussed generosity materials that are available from their website.
- World Thrust International (www.worldthrust.com/) assists pastors and church leaders worldwide to lead their local churches towards more effective involvement in and giving to world evangelization. The ministry encourages the use faith promise giving to mission with a Faith Promise brochure available from the website.
- A number of websites of churches and mission boards explain Faith Promise as form of mission giving. The Baptist World Mission (www.baptistworldmission.org/learning-center/church-mission-program-helps/1213-faith-promise-mission-giving.html) and the Christian Reformed World Missions (www.crcna.org/pages/crwm_mee_fpg.cfm) are some of the websites with more information.
- Kingfisher Mobilising Centre (www.kfmc.co.za) mobilises mobilise churches to reach out to those in need around them and then to the ends of the world as God directs. Generosity mobilisation that facilitates giving to ministry where it is most needed is part of this mobilisation process.
Please post information on church related generosity resources and initiatives as comment to this blog or send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Greetings in Christ
Dr. Sas Conradie is the Coordinator of the Global Generosity Network
 In research conducted during Cape Town 2010, The Third Lausanne Congress on World Evangelisation on giving in different countries, mission departments of local churches had been specifically mentioned as important in encouraging giving in Latin American countries.
 In the case of the Nairobi Baptist Church I literally did a random search on the Internet on mission departments in local churches. Many local churches have such a focus group.
 I am using the Church of England only as an example of a fairly extensive generosity focussed initiative in a denomination. The Nigerian Baptist Convention is another example.