The Lufthansa Senator Business Lounge at the Frankfurt airport feels a bit like a land in between realities. Whether I’m traveling to or from Africa, the few hours spent here always offer me a time to process where I’ve been and what to prepare for next. In this case, I’m on my way home from a week in Accra, Ghana, where among other things, I led a two day workshop on Biblical Stewardship and Resource Development.
The event was a leadership gathering of MANI – the African network focused on promoting a missions movement across the continent. Recognizing that they must learn new ways to fund and resource their ministries, this topic is of keen interest to African leaders today. So as I prepared to share with them, I worked hard at shaping the material so that it would be truly practical and applicable in an African context.
I had four key presuppositions:
- African ministries can no longer depend on 100% funding from the West
- Although West’s ability to contribute has greatly reduced, it still has much offer. But, it will take much greater understanding, wisdom and accountability to tap those funds.
- There is much more resource available locally in Africa than most might expect or believe.
- Learning to access funds either locally or from the West will take a whole new mindset about fundraising than what most African leaders have had in the past.
It was neat to see these thoughts strongly affirmed by the participants as well which, in turn, fueled their enthusiasm to learn all about a Theology of Stewardship which I proposed was foundational for this new fundraising mindset. Thanks to some wonderful resources made available to me by my friends, Scott Rodin and Rob Martin, as well as a couple great Tim Keller sermons on radical generosity, I was able to explain how a paradigm of biblical stewardship totally changes the way we should think about fundraising for missions. Here are a couple of the PowerPoint slides that generated a lot of interesting discussion.
The second day was focused on as much practical advice as I could think of that would help my African friends promote their ministries among local communities and churches. We covered such topics as how to craft a compelling case statement, how to present PowerPoint with most impact, how to build an effective, portable display, and how to build a successful website. I tried to illustrate each point with a bunch of cool tech gadgets, such as mini LED projectors, Bluetooth micro speakers, presentation remote controls, simple digital HD cameras and even a half-size portable display. I guess I was successful in demonstrating their effectiveness, because I’m returning home without a single one of those items having sold everything to folks wanting to implement their use right away!
So, as I munch on piece of German swartz brot (black bread) with cucumber and tomato here in the Lufthansa lounge, I feel really good about this past week in Ghana. I think it is a true indication that African ministry leaders are ready to take on new responsibility for resourcing their mission outreach and not only look to the West for their funding.
And if that’s true, I just may find that this workshop could be in demand again sometime in the not too distant future!