A year and a half ago I started a blog series on equitable funding for multiethnic ministry. After years of listening to my ethnic minority staff friends share how support raising keeps Parachurch ministries white, I wanted to do something about it. I didn’t have answers, but I had a blog and I hoped to catalyze a conversation.
What happened next was beyond any of my wildest expectations. Thousands of people read the series, I talked with multiple ministries over the phone, and connected with many other believers who felt it was time for a change.
Over the past year I’ve come to believe that a change to the personal support raising model is inevitable. It’s a change that is occurring from the bottom up, from individual staff with the courage to no longer settle for the status quo. God is doing something special and I’m thrilled to get a front row seat.
Digging Deeper for Solutions
Though I wrote about it as a 12 part series for this blog, the intersection of justice and the personal support raising model was never just a side issue for me. Seven years of Latino college ministry introduced me to too many amazing ministers for whom the current system was not working. I’ve learned from them and in the process this has become a personal passion.
I approached my ministry leadership this past Fall and asked for the opportunity to dig deeper for solutions. They were incredibly gracious and opened the door for me to begin to spend part of my time around these topics.
At the same time I applied to the Doctor of Missiology program at Fuller Theological Seminary. I am excited to share that this Spring I was accepted into the Fall 2015 cohort to focus on equitable funding models for multiethnic mission.
I will spend the next four years researching and writing a dissertation on justice and the personal support raising model. I’ll develop specific recommendations for the organization I work with in Los Angeles and have opportunities to begin to pilot possible solutions. I could’t be more excited.
MinisterDifferent Sharpens its Focus
Two years ago I began this blog as an outlet for my writing as I engaged in ministry. I wanted to see the world from a new angle, to approach ministry from outside the status quo. I reviewed a few books, wrote a series on power, and blogged on current events. But the blog lacked focus.
So starting today I will sharpen the focus of this blog to more intentionally pursue equitable funding models for mission. Every post I write will serve to further the conversation on what it means to live out the Kingdom of God in the way that we seek to proclaim it, especially in how we fund that proclamation.
Along the way I’ll highlight various ministries who have bravely stepped into uncharted territory for the sake of justice and equity. I’ll remind us of the stories we’ve long forgotten of how the Church has successfully addressed this problem for the past 2,000 years. I’ll continue to point out the ways the current system works counter to our ultimate purpose as missionaries, developing disciples of Jesus among every ethne on earth.
Come Along for the Journey
So I want to invite you to come along for the journey. I don’t know the ultimate destination or even how to get there, but I’m convinced that God has more for us than the status quo. So subscribe to the blog, interact in the comments, engage on twitter, bring your voice to the discussion. I’m always looking for guest authors and ways to highlight unique perspectives of people who are working to solve this problem.
Over the coming months there will be a variety of ways for you to engage in the journey. I’ll be posting more regularly on the blog, especially as I enter my D.Miss. studies.
There will be a gathering towards the end of the year specifically focused on the issues of justice and support raising. We are in the final stages of nailing down details, and I can’t wait to invite you to attend.
I believe God wants more for us as a Church. I believe He wants to help us get to a more just, equitable future for mission. I believe He’s given each of us unique giftings that will serve the entire Body of Christ. I believe change is inevitable.
We’re on a journey to a new age of missions funding: a just, dignifying era where everyone, regardless of gender, ethnicity, or social connection can fully participate in God’s global mission.
I can’t wait to do this with you.
photo credit: Jay Mantri