TWR took a giant corporate step today with the click of a mouse. It’s also a step that TWR invites every believer to make.
Lauren Libby, TWR president and CEO, clicked to electronically sign the Global Generosity Network’s Corporate Generosity Declaration. In making the commitment, Libby said, “This is not a signal that we are giving a gift. There is no commitment to a dollar value. It’s a signal of our desire to reflect God’s generous heart as a global ministry.”
Last year the Lausanne Movement and the World Evangelical Alliance joined forces to form the Global Generosity Network (GGN). Its purpose is to encourage Christian individuals, churches and organizations to commit to bringing together the resources needed to reach every language group with the message of Jesus Christ. TWR’s Global Leadership Team agreed in February to sign the Generosity Declaration and become a member of the Global Generosity Movement (www.generositymovement.org).
Statistics vary significantly but most indicate that Christians give less than 4 percent of their income to Christian causes and that less than 2 percent of all Christian giving is spent on ministry among the unengaged and unreached people groups of the world. As an organization whose technical expertise lends itself to going where traditional missionaries cannot go, TWR feels the need to ensure that giving is part of the discipleship process in its media content and practice.
“For too long, money and giving have been a subject avoided in mission work, particularly in poorer nations, often creating an unhealthy dependency on foreign funding instead of teaching the joy and discipline of giving,” said Barbara Shantz, TWR’s global development liaison. Shantz has been spearheading conversations on this issue for a number of years. “The receiving culture often loses dignity and does not join the global effort to reach the unreached. In a way, the wealthy nations have stolen their birthright in Christ and the discipleship process of learning to depend on God to be part of his movement to reach every nation.”
How can churches around the world move their disciples and communities to become generous givers? In 2003, TWR began researching this subject, leading to the creation of a Global Fund Development Team and implementation of an internal process called Faith Reliance. The process’s tenets include the following:
- Turning over the excitement and ownership of Christ’s Great Commission to local churches along with the goal of funding the decisions needed to help them accomplish their unique part in God’s global plan.
- Teaching the joy and discipline of generous giving as part of the discipleship process in content and practice.
- Training and coaching regional and local staff to ensure that all fundraising efforts are culturally adapted, biblically based and accountable to donors.
Leslie Black, an initial donor to TWR’s Faith Reliance research when it began, said, "The vision that all believers are blessed to grow in the grace of giving is powerful. It is impressive to see an organization willing to wrestle with the implications of these Faith Reliance concepts and commit to meaningful change."
GGN Coordinator Sas Conradie wrote, “TWR is one of the first major international ministries who committed themselves to foster a culture of biblical generosity and stewardship that will transform individuals and communities. I hope that many more ministries, churches, Christian networks and Christian fellowships will follow this example. It is exciting to work with TWR’s Faith Reliance network in catalyzing a global culture of Christian generosity and wise stewardship in support of global mission. “
For more information, call Barbara Shantz at 1-800-456-7897 or visit http://bit.ly/yE9Xlm.