Greetings from the Global Generosity Network, the initiative that facilitates stewardship, generosity, giving and fund mobilisation among Christians.
I posted a number of exciting new resources on websites that I believe will be useful to reach our vision of a global Christian culture of Biblical stewardship, generous living, Kingdom-focused giving and Kingdom-appropriate fund mobilisation. Visit the Lausanne Conversation or the Global Generosity Movement website to browse, download, use and distribute any of these resources.
As in the past there are blogs, articles, links to videos, sermons and even books for churches, ministries, businesses and individuals. I just want to mention a few specific resources that I posted on the websites the past few months:
1) Get a free book before 19 April! According to The Business of Generosity generosity is big business in the 21st century. In this book Stephen Graves outlines different models of generosity in the market and asks tough questions. He reflects on what is possible in the world of generosity while reminding readers of the dangers of generosity pursued selfishly. Definitely worth downloading. Just hurry up before it is too late.
2) Theology that Works: Making disciples who practice fruitful work and economic wisdom in modern America is a must read for pastors and Christian leaders even though the book is focused on the USA. The book is a manifesto on discipleship and economic engagement. It explains the integration of stewardship and economics as part of our whole life as well as dealing with issues around wealth and poverty. Please post comments to the theology expressed in the book on the website since I expect that some might not agree with what is said.
3) Beyond the Pioneer: Getting Inclusive Industries to Scale is a secular report on scaling up business solutions to touch and transform the lives of billions of people who suffer the consequences of poverty. How can Christians engage in this process to help fulfil the rich promise of impact from these new business models?
4) Charitable giving in the U.S. vs the UK is a very interesting comparison between UK and US charitable giving. Note the influence of taxes, the difference in giving cultures, influence of the role of the state in dealing with social needs, religious involvement, etc. It is interesting that giving to religious institutions in the US is 32% and in the UK only 17%. This shows perhaps the decline of the church in the UK. Similar differences could be observed between other countries as well. These differences show the importance to adapt strategies to encourage giving among Christians in different parts of the world although the Biblical principles are universal. It would be interesting to get responses from leaders about differences in giving between their countries and that in the US and UK.
5) The Stewardship Summit 2015 takes place in Orlando, Florida, USA from January 6-8, 2015. I attend the Stewardship Summit 2014 and gave a paper on mission giving in the Cape Town Commitment. This paper is available in the Stewardship Summit ebook that can be bought through the website provided. Applications for presentations at the 2015 Summit open on May 1 while participants can already register through the given website. The Stewardship Summit is in a think-tank format. Please try to attend and if you live outside the US why not organising such a kind of Summit in your region.
6) An updated Generosity Resources List is available. The List provides information on various kinds of generosity resources available to encourage Christian stewardship, generosity and giving. Please send me any resources you are aware of.
7) Ten mistakes mission-focused people make is an excellent reflection on why and how people involved in mission struggle in raising funds.
8) With increased online donations, digital giving is growing in importance. Unfortunately churches and ministries do not always use this form of giving effectively. The essentials of online fundraising is outlined in The 2014 online fundraising survival guide, a very practical guide that will be useful to churches and Christian organizations as well.
9) GenerousChurch has excellent resources and information on their Facebook page including videos, discussions, stories and offers. Visit the page and look around for resources that might help your church and ministry.
10) Focused campaigns can be very effective in encouraging generosity. Loving our community – 40 Days of Generosity explains leaders can launch a generosity campaign in their churches and communities using Brian Kluth's material. 40 Acts 2014 – Do Lent generously is an award winning campaign organised by Stewardship in the UK. Mike O'Neill of Stewardship told me that thousands signed up this year.
11) Theology of Money Class is the link to the resources (videos, audio clips, powerpoint files, etc) from a class taught by Randy Alcorn. This is brilliant teaching. Download it and use them in your church, theological institute and ministry. Translate where needed.
12) The World Evangelical Alliance Stewardship Survey is the result of a survey among World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) members to understand stewardship, generosity, giving and fund mobilization in the WEA.
13) The Giving Journey is a guide to explore a personal giving course of growth. And while everyone's path is unique, there are distinct stages that characterize the overall process. The booklet explains this process from emerging giver to giving champion.
14) Generosity Exercises is an excellent book by Gary Hoag invites Christians to explore generosity passages. This format helps readers form a theology of stewardship and generosity that is rooted in biblical truth, rather than one formed by our cultural expectations and/or denominational traditions. Read and study it. It will be transformative!
15) Russell's Wilson's special wallet is a story about the generosity of American football star Russell Wilson. The story shows generosity is indeed reciprocal and life-transforming!
These are just some of the stewardship, generosity, giving and fund mobilisation resources and information that are available from the mentioned websites. I trust that at least some of the resources will be useful to you personally and also in your service in God's Kingdom. We are looking for more resources, articles and stories that can create awareness, commitment and engagement in Biblical stewardship, generous living, Kingdom-focused giving and Kingdom-appropriate fund mobilisation. Please send me information on any resources you might know about which would be useful to others.
Greetings and blessings
Dr. Sas Conradie
Coordinator Global Generosity Network
Skype – sas.conradie