Thursday, March 12, 2020

Currency of Money

Currency of Money!

Something generally accepted as a medium of exchange, a measure of value, or as a means of payment.

The traditional way that most churches raise money is by asking its members to contribute. Pledging, tithing, and occasional special offerings are all part of their stewardship strategy. If we break out of the linear charity- thinking about the stewardship of money, we can discover many other ways to develop this currency. Beginning with the currency of relationship, if the church has strong internal and external relationship networks, money can be mobilized to meet different ministry needs. For example, there are about 2 million baptized members of the Episcopal Church. If the Episcopal Church has trusting relationships with about half of its members, which include real communication through social and other media, we can generate $1 million if we ask each member in this network to give one dollar. The Episcopal Church, like all other church denominations, is not poor. We just need to know how to build a working relational network.

Combining the currency of relationship with the currency of truth, we can broker truth events in which the poor and the rich can speak the truth in love with each other. As a result, financial wellness will flow in the direction of the poor and spiritual wellness will flow in the direction of the rich, mobiliz- ing the Cycle of Blessings.

Truth events can also expose the blockage of financial flow in the com- munity and mobilize members of the community to work together to invest their money in the right places to regenerate a more ethical flow of financial exchanges.

When we are able to speak the truth, representing the experiences of the powerless, the poor and the needy, we can ignite the passion for those who have money to give. Writing a grant proposal is precisely what this is about. Grant agencies decide to give their money to the “worthy” organizations and individuals based on the truth they tell in their proposal about the needy and poor.

Combining the currencies of time, place and gracious leadership, we can construct creative ways of using our places to bring in financial return. Entre- preneurial types of ministries that practice GracEconomics, such as Soul Kitchen, will regenerate income once it is up and running.

We can raise money to renovate and expand buildings if we can tell the truth about what we have and what will go on in these places. People do not give money for us to make our buildings bigger and pretty; they want to know what ministries of relationship and wellness will be carried out in those places. We can also use external spaces for fundraising, such as asking church members to offer their homes or businesses for fundraising events, or engag- ing local businesses to raise money for a local need, such as scholarship pro- grams, a youth recreation center, elderly care, etc.

When all the currencies are flowing and our community is well spiritually, ecologically, and socially, money will flow as simply one of the links of ex-changes. Church members will give when they realize how the church’s min- istries have fostered wellness for them and their family. Individuals and busi- nesses in the wider community will give money to support the church if they realize how the church has been part of the constructive flow of resources in their neighborhood, town and city.

(Excerpt from Holy Currencies by Eric H. F. Law)

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