How much is enough?
As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in her two very small copper coins. “I tell you the truth”, he said, “the poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” Luke 21:1-4
How do we fund Micah, how to we finance all the activities we do (hope to do)? What model is the right model to use? These are some of the questions that we wrestle with every day. We need to wrestle through Kingdom of God principles with regards to funding.
Membership Contributions: Micah has always chosen to not charge a fee, but rather to invite each member to prayerfully consider what they are able to give annually towards our shared vision. Many ask for a guideline or benchmark to help them make a decision and we have provided this, albeit reluctantly. Why?
It seems to me the Kingdom principle of giving is to give sacrificially, joyfully, without compulsion (2 Cor 9:7). The lesson Jesus appears to be sharing when reflecting on the widow’s contribution is that she gave not out of her surplus, but out of her survival money. Jesus commends her and compares her amount to those with wealth and says she gave more. This does not come across as an analogy, but rather according to the impact in the Kingdom of God, her contribution was greater than the combined giving of all the others.
What we all long for is to see God’s Kingdom come in all our communities and nations. It strikes me that it is not about how much money we have or give, but whether we have given sacrificially, joyfully and with conviction. As this is how God’s Kingdom will advance effectively.
Perspectives of Success
We are influenced by the world who tells us that success, value and worth is produced through measureable outcomes such as funds raised, programmes delivered, size of church, celebrity involvement, etc. We find ourselves dreaming of big successful ministries, books published and invitations given to speak. But the Kingdom principle says that the greatest impact we can have to is be like Jesus, serve like Jesus, love like Jesus (1 Cor 13:1) – without love, no matter how great the gift or the action, it is meaningless in Kingdom impact.
Micah: I believe that the role Micah is and can play in inspiring believers into engaging in community transformation in an integrated and holistic way, in challenging us to live what we believe, to follow Jesus together, to stand together against poverty, injustice and conflict – this is a Kingdom investment. Contributions given to Micah, no matter what the amount, if given with this Kingdom perspective, will produce the fruit we long to see.
Invitation: we invite all who are part of Micah to prayerfully consider your membership contributions and to invest in what we are doing together.
Grace and peace
Interim International Director
Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
1. Reduction in maternal mortality (linked to MDG5)
Every day approximately 800 women die of preventable causes related to pregnancy and child birth. That is over 5,000 deaths per week; 292,000 every year from preventable causes! Contributing factors are: poverty, distance from health care service, lack of information, lack of adequate services and cultural practices.
Progress: from 1990 to 2013 the maternal mortality rate dropped from 380 deaths / 100,000 live births to 210 deaths / 100,000 live births. This means the rate dropped on average 2.6% / year. Though this is positive it was far too slow to meet the MDG 5 Goal. See trends paper here.
What is the solution? Of course the overall investment in the health infrastructure and qualified health care staff is fundamental. But access to health care, awareness raising through information provision and basic ante and post-natal care would substantially impact this goal.
What could churches do? See USAID report on impact that Faith Based Organisations (FBO’s) have so far done in tackling health. If every church could take responsibility to provide information and support to assist pregnant women in their community access health care, a linked network could be formed to really impact this SDG.
Other indicators for SDG 3 include:
2. End preventable new and under 5 deaths
3. End epidemics of HIV & AIDs, TB, Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases
4. Reduce mortality & morbidity of non-communicable diseases
5. Reduce by half road traffic deaths
6. Achieve universal health coverage for all
7. Reduce deaths and illnesses from pollution
8. Address research needs, infrastructure and qualified staffing for health care services
Changes in Aid Delivery
The Syrian Crisis highlights increasing problems of access and security in aid delivery. A recent report by Overseas Development Institute
(ODI) shows how aid delivery is evolving and how important the Syrian diaspora are in ensuring aid gets to those in need. Read the report here - this is an important discussion for us in Micah as we consider the important role communities play in aid response.
On the 18th March 2015 a new international framework was adopted: The Sendai Framework on Disaster Risk Reduction,
running from 2015 to 2030. It will focus on reducing the impact of natural disasters and replaces the Hyogo Framework which guided progress on risk reduction from 2005 until 2015.
A checklist on law and disaster risk reduction has been produced as a helpful resource to promote progress in meeting the Sendai Framework.
Members in Micah have been engaging in risk reduction and community resilience discussions, sharing learning and resources. Workshops on this will be facilitated at our up and coming Global Consultation in Peru (14th to 18th September 2015). Local churches, missions and aid organisations can / should play an important part in community resilience and risk reduction.
Wheaton College Humanitarian Disaster Institute hold an annual conference on this – the next one will be from the 8th to 11th June 2015.
The Warehouse in Cape Town have set up a city response programme and will share how this works at our Global Consultation.
What resources, case studies and examples are you able to share in September? Please send us information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Justice, Mercy, Humility in Action
Micah Challenge International: A Voice of Evangelical Advocacy
Joel Edwards & Geoff Tunnicliffe
In 2000 a small miracle occurred. Some 189 nations agreed to halve extreme poverty by the year 2015.
It was the dawn of a new millennium with fresh hope for ‘a more peaceful, prosperous and just world’. The UN declared: ‘We will spare no effort to free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanizing conditions of extreme poverty, to which more than a billion of them are currently subjected.’1 An inspiring promise!
From this declaration they formulated eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to achieve this audacious plan, each one with measurable targets.2
Micah Challenge, birthed by the World Evangelical Alliance and Micah Network, encapsulated this hope, recognizing that this was a moment in history of unique potential, when the stated intentions of world leaders echoed something of the mind of the biblical prophets and the teachings of Jesus concerning the poor. We also recognised that we had the means and capacity to reduce poverty dramatically...
You can read the rest of this article via the Lausanne Movement website here.
Germany - Celebration and Sorrow
Die Millenniumsziele - ein Resümee (The MDGs - a Summary)
24th-26th April, 2015
An opportunity to reflect on the successes and failures of the MDGs and related advocacy efforts since 2000.
Jordan - Courage for Change: Being Salt and Light
15th-16th May, 2015
The Jesuit Centre, Amman, Jordan
Inviting church, mission and aid & relief workers to explore integral mission in a Middle Eastern context.
20th-22nd May, 2015
Cape Town, South Africa
Nepal - Integral Mission and Inclusive Community Transformation
25th-26th May, 2015
Johannes Reimer will be our guest speaker as we are challenged to explore how integral mission must be inclusive.
France - Celebration and Sorrow
29th-30th May, 2015
An opportunity to reflect on the successes and failures of the MDGs and related advocacy efforts since 2000.
Sri Lanka - Integral Mission and Justice
4th-5th May, 2015
Colombo, Sri Lanka
CB Samuel will be our guest speaker as we seek how justice will be part of this transforming nation
Micah Global Consultation
Integral Mission and Shalom: justice, peace and joy
14th - 18th September 2015
Join this unique international gathering of Christian leaders and thinkers as we launch the new Micah and seek to explore how we - as individuals, churches, communities and organisations - can be seeking Shalom in 2015 and beyond.
Salt & Light Conference: The Role of the Church in the Global Fight Against Corruption
Park Street church, Boston, USA
April 18th 2015
Corruption affects us all. It takes place in the global North and South and undermines God’s desire for justice in our nations, societies and relationships.
At the Salt & Light Conference, you will be encouraged to grapple with the injustice of corruption in our societies from the perspective of Christian faith.
More information: click here.
Call2Compassion and Justice
Durban, South Africa
How often do we stop. Look around. And wish we had the answer? The answer that would give every child access to education, or would bring an end to human trafficking or the answer that would see the church helping whole communities to realise their God-given potential.
Whether you’re already working with churches and ministries reaching out to the poor, or just sensing God’s call to begin such work, we invite you to join us.
More Information: click here.
Mosaic Creative: Creative Facilitation Course
Oxford Quaker Meeting House, Oxford, UK
June 18th-19th 2015
An opportunity for those working in church and community mobilisation to refresh and build on their group work skills with new ideas, tools and approaches. This will be a practical, interactive course using a variety teaching methods including demonstration of skills, small group work, discussion and review, use of drama and basic drawing and cartoon techniques.
More information: email@example.com
Mercy Ministries International: International School of Reconciliation for Peace Practitioners
July 6th-26th 2015
The two primary trainers of the school are Rhiannon Lloyd and Joseph Nyamutera, who each have decades of experience in bringing a message of healing and hope in the wake of ethnic and other conflicts in dozens of countries.
The school is bilingual; conducted in English and French.
More information: please email firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Resources: Theological Book Network
On the occasion of their 10th Anniversary, Micah would like to highlight the valuable work of the Theological Book Network; making theological resources available to ministries around the world. Their goal as an organisation is "providing theological resources for the formation of leaders called to serve the global church".
You can browse their website and explore possibilities for partnership with this excellent ministry.
Christ-Centred Generosity - R. Scott Rodin (Ed)
Christ-Centered Generosity reflects the perspective that generosity should be a part of the life-style of every follower of Jesus Christ, as written in Scripture. 33 Christian leaders from 22 countries around the world united to proclaim Christ’s call to stewardship, surrender, and generosity in this publication. Contributors include business people, pastors, ministry leaders, network leaders, theologians, professionals, a student and 2 children from Ghana.
“I commend this book for combining biblical principles with practical examples, and for helping us to see that this is not just about 'the west funding the rest', but of a mutual and reciprocal duty and joy by which the whole church can be blessed, and the world come to know the greatest Gift of all.” Christopher J.H. Wright; International Ministries Director, Langham Partnership.
Note: Daniel Hillion, from SEL France, a member of Micah wrote a chapter in this book entitled Christ-Centered Generosity and Western European Christians.