Wednesday, February 16, 2011

New Venture

I don't know how many people read this blog but I'm guessing very few since I post so very infrequently. But for the few of you who do read this I'm looking for input as I get up to speed on my new job. One of the key things I'm to be developing is microfinance/microbusiness ventures in developing countries through indigenous ministries.

Now, there are more and more organizations doing this type of thing. The sweetheart of the charitable world right now is the Acumen Fund, of which I'm a big fan. However, the need in the world is absolutely ginormous so another group doing this isn't counterproductive. More importantly, I'm not aware of any Christian organization that has a global strategy to lift people out of poverty through microfinance and microbusiness training.

While I have a huge vision for this I lack significant experience. So, as I start my new job at Lutheran Church Charities I'm seeking all the input and assistance I can gather. If you're familiar with microbusiness in developing countries, microfinance, banking, small business accountability structures or related fields I would love to talk with you. If you know someone with experience in these areas I would love to talk with them. Just introduce us! Addressing poverty on a global scale through a new kind of Christian mission has the potential to be the future of the Church. I'm talking about a Christian mission that doesn't send 'foreigners' to do the work or keep flooding people with money and materials that make them dependent. I'm talking about genuine partnerships with faithful Christians who only need a little boost, a meaningful partnership, to expand what they're already doing. I'm talking about Christian mission that holds up high standards of accountability, sustainability, and indigenous ownership of all the mission work.

We can remake the face of Christian mission. Never in history has there been so much interest from such a wide variety of folks in helping those in dire need. From titans of the tech world like Bill Gates to rock legends like Bono people are working hard to address needs. Christians led this charge in quiet, often unrecognized ways for centuries. Now we can applaud those who are awakening to charity and make sure the Church doesn't get pushed out in the process. Jesus called us to lives of mercy and compassion. Will you help me navigate through the process of reinventing missions? Please comment with your ideas, thoughts and concerns. Thanks!