Guidelines for funding ministries in the Muslim World
In order to establish guidelines for the appropriate use of finances in our mission work, we need to have a clear picture of what it is we are hoping to see the Lord produce. In this short paper we will propose a portrait for what we hope to see the Lord do in the Muslim world and some biblical principles for being good stewards of His financial resources. We will then offer practical guidelines concerning when to give to ministries, how to give to ministries, and finally some issues that are specific to funding ministry in the Muslim context.
This paper focuses on financial giving and receiving as per its title. It is acknowledged that this is one aspect of a Christian’s and/or Christian community’s giving of their time, talents and treasure.
One motivation is that serious problems have occurred in several mission endeavours in which use of outside financial resources have been a major contributing cause. These include major splits in churches and Christian associations.
The three-self model
Traditionally, discussions about funding local ministries have centred on the three self-model. In brief, this model advocates that every newly established church should:
- have its own indigenous leadership who effectively lead the fellowship (self-governing)
- be able to financially sustain all the ministries of the church from its own resources (self-supporting)
- be able to reproduce itself through establishing new churches which will in turn establish other generations of churches (self-propagating)
Since first proposed, the three-self model has been the goal of most church planting ministries.
These guidelines were approved by the Global Connections Muslim World Forum in August 2008.