It’s easy to look at the poor and wonder why we are challenging them to give. Why would we ask people who can’t afford to feed their own kids to give time or money? Why mobilize local resources? There are a few key reasons why this is so important to us:
It gives dignity
Each person is created in the image of God. We all have talents, abilities, creativity, time and access to God. Everyone has resources. We want to bring honor to those we work with, helping them to see all that they have. We want to help them to see they are not a “victim,” or “needy,” or whatever other label we use, but rather that they are God’s precious creation with much to give. As they participate in God’s transforming work they are given dignity.
It opens the way to God’s blessings
The Bible says that we will receive the same measure that we give. If we sow generously we will reap generously (2 Corinthians 9:6). Jesus reminds us in the example of the woman with her two pennies in Mark 12:41–44, it’s the sacrifice, not the quantity of our gifts that God is looking at. We want the churches we work with to know God’s blessings, so we challenge them to be givers.
It creates ownership
Giving pure handouts, as most organizations will tell you, is not a healthy model. The end result is often redundant projects that sit idle in the community, running down from neglect. If the community does not have sufficient desire to sacrifice something to make the project happen, then there is little chance they will have sufficient motivation to care for it when it needs upkeep. However, when a community has sacrificially given to a project, it is typically one that they want and will care for long into the future.
In the parable of the talents (Matthew 25:14–30) the King gives talents to His servants. The first two used their talents and were able to bring back a profit. The last, the one with the least, hid his talent. The king’s reaction was not positive. The message is clear: we are to use what God has given us, no matter how little it is.
It multiplies results
There are so many ways that this happens. When students volunteer to take their time to pass on the message that girls are valuable, we are able to reach so many more people than if we were reliant on staff. When hundreds of churches use what they have—their time, talents, creativity and resources— they are able to do so much more than if we raised the funds to work in each of their communities. Verses: Gen. 1:27–28, Matt. 25:14–30, Psalm 139: 13–14, Luke 12:48