“Money talks.” In America’s capitalist society, this word of advice makes sense.
But what happens in Christ-centered spaces? How should Christians talk about money?
From fig leaves to money that does not grow on trees, we attempt to cover up what is only natural. Bartering, commerce, buying and selling, it is how we make a living. Our sweat and the wind of the Holy Spirit against our backs, it is what keeps Christ’s ministry going.
A touchy subject in many churches, finding the balance between giving and greed has been a problem from the beginning for Christians. Remember Ananias and Sapphira?
Unfortunately, not much has changed since then. Fighting to not be possessed by what possesses us, we are encouraged to remember the hands of Christ, who gave freely.
As Christian believers, we are encouraged to give in ways that empower others while enabling us to die to the selves, the tightfisted soul that will not give an inch or a cent—no matter the cause.
“Generosity begets generosity. This is especially so when generosity is rooted in the rich soil of relatedness,” Sister Sue Mosteller, a writer and teacher, reminds us. In short, we give to what we know, to people, places and causes that we are familiar with.
It is easiest to share with those we have things in common and with whom we have had a reciprocal relationship. Not to be confused with my back scratching yours, see it as simply returning the favor.
“From the perspective of the gospel, fundraising is not a response to a crisis. Fundraising is, first and foremost, a form of ministry,” Henri Nouwen wrote in A Spirituality of Fundraising. “It is a way of announcing our vision and inviting other people into our mission.”
But, so often, we only hear of the importance of giving when there’s trouble. Our feelings around money then become anxious, panicky, even frustrated. Consequently, we give not because we are excited about the vision but worried about what we don’t see.
But that’s not true in this case. Good Faith Media supports those who have visions and dreams of a new way of being and belonging. For me, that is the witness of the raceless gospel and the work of The Raceless Gospel Initiative.
Good Faith Media offered me a dream job as the director and, in doing so, invested in the vision of a desegregated future church. It accepted the call to do the work of discipleship that challenges “ruling relationships,” fights against white supremacist divisions and color-colored hierarchies.
Good Faith Media makes space and creates opportunities for this community-building work that is my life’s mission. I believe that God is in the neighborhood and that Jesus is among us, which is why I can hear so clearly that a raceless “kin-dom” is coming.
We need more room for deep and abiding connections. We need to pack up these racial categories and store them in a leaky basement. So that we can come home to our truest sense of “somebodiness” and not give in to the abusive group dynamics of race.
If you’re still wondering why you should give to Good Faith Media, J. Clif Christoper shares the answers in his book Not Your Parent’s Offering Plate: A New Vision for Financial Stewardship. Citing Jerold Pana’s research, he offers these three reasons: (1) belief in the mission of the institution, (2) a high regard for staff leadership and (3) the fiscal responsibility of the institution. People give because they believe—in the mission, in the leadership and that their gifts will be put to good use. We, at Good Faith Media, hope that we check off all three.
If so, then help us to share the raceless gospel until the word and its witness dwells among us. You can show your support by making a financial contribution of any amount by clicking here.