Ministry News


If You Can't Go to Africa, Go Online

With technology making the world smaller and nonprofit donations in decline, some missionary organizations are finding their solution online. Global Media Outreach (GMO), a ministry of more than 70 topically based sites, has accumulated an online missionary force of more than 2,000 volunteers who reply to questions submitted online from site visitors. According to GMO founder and chairman Walt Wilson, more than 1.7 million people made decisions for Christ in 2007 alone. The phenomenal success, he says, is due to two reasons: “We know something about search-engine optimization, and No. 2, I believe firmly that when a person is seriously seeking the face of God He is going to reveal Himself. So I believe a good deal of our success and our traffic comes from the power of the Holy Spirit. It is not that we’re so smart or special.” [christianpost.com, 10/9/08]

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An Open-Door Crisis

QUOTE: “Abundant life has nothing to do with bank solvency or market health. Jesus’ invitation to lead generous lives of sharing does not hinge on personal, corporate or national financial security. The present crisis opens the door for us to accept Jesus’ expectation that as pastors, we are called to build beloved communities whose life together centers on trust, sharing, justice and sacrifice.” —Jim Antal, president of the Massachusetts Conference, United Church of Christ, writing to pastors in a letter called “Abundance in a Time of Scarcity” [boston.com, 10/6/08]

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Let's Not Forget

With all the focus placed on the down economy and its affect on nonprofits, the Giving USA Foundation, which tracks overall philanthropy in the country, is reminding people of a few things. The good news? According to the organization, total donations from people of all ages exceeded $300 billion in 2007—an all-time high. More than 75 percent of that came from individuals, while the remainder consisted of corporate donations, foundations or charitable bequests. However, the bad news for ministers is that church- and ministry-based giving continues to diminish. In 1967, more than half of all charitable dollars went to faith groups; today, that’s down to one-third. In fact, the most recent study on church giving from Empty Tomb Inc., states that “the total portion of per capita income given to churches in 2006 was lower (in 2006) than in the worst year of the Great Depression.” [usatoday.com, 10/8/08; Religion News Service, 10/11/08]

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