The Wycliffe Global Alliance initiated a global conversation on funding for Bible translation movements in the context of the missio Dei (mission of God). During 2013 – 2014, the Alliance facilitated missiological consultations in Turkey, Thailand, Germany, Kenya and Mexico, with a total of 145 participants from 51 nations.
The stated purposes of the consultations were:
- Deepen the participants’ individual and collective missiological understanding.
- Articulate a vision to guide funding practices in the context of God’s mission based on principles that are missiologically sound, contextually relevant, sustainable and globally respectful.
Consultation participants explored changing global and local funding contexts in light of biblical principles. This provided an environment to build relationships, listen to diverse voices, gain insights and discern together opportunities and responsibilities regarding funding as a part of God’s mission. The funding principles emerged from these consultations and were composed in harmony with the Bible Translation Philosophy Statement and the Alliance in Community.
The intended use of these principles is to encourage further reflection and dialogue, and to assist in the development of funding practices among partners.
Principles 1-4: God’s mission belongs to Him
1) The mission of God is fulfilled by the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in perfect unity. (Genesis 1:26; Matthew 3:16-17; John 17)
2) Everything belongs to God, including all the resources necessary to fulfil His mission. (Psalm 50:7-15; Psalm 24:1-2; Psalm 136; Isaiah 66:1-2; Job 38:1-42:6)
3) God invites and enables His global Church to creatively participate with Him in His mission. (Matthew 14:13-21; Matthew 28; John 14:16-15:8; John 20:19-23; Revelation 21:22-22:5)
4) God’s love and generosity are without limits. (John 3:16-17; John 15:9-15; Romans 8:31-32; 1 Corinthians 2:6-9; James 1:17)
Principles 5-7: God provides for His mission
5) God creatively provides for His mission through a diversity of people, means and resources. (Romans 12; Exodus; 1 Kings 17; 2 Kings 4; Matthew 3:4; Mark 6:35-44; Luke 8:1-3; Luke 10:1-12; Acts 3:1-9; Acts 18:1-3)
6) As God’s image bearers, and following His example, each person can joyfully and generously give according to the blessings God has given. (Genesis 1:26-28; Matthew 25:31-40; Luke 21:1-3; Acts 4:32-37; 2 Corinthians 8:9; 2 Corinthians 9:7)
7) Recognising God’s intention for provision through community, the sharing of God’s gifts and resources, including money, is encouraged so that all may benefit. (Matthew 19:16-30; Luke 12:22-34; Acts 2:41-47; Acts 11:27-30)
Principles 8-14: God enables us to share His resources
8) All that we have is from God. (Genesis 1; Psalm 104:1-30; Colossians 1:9-20)
9) Participating in the funding of God’s mission is an act of worship. (Malachi 3:7-18; 2 Corinthians 9:11-15)
10) We give from what God has given us, acknowledging our dependence on Him through prayer and obedience. (2 Corinthians 9:9-10; 1 Timothy 6:17-19)
11) No individual or group is self-sufficient. Sharing resources is an interdependent relational activity where all people and their contributions are valued and every person can graciously give and receive. (Romans 12; Romans 14:7; 1 Corinthians 12)
12) The sharing of resources needs to be sensitive and responsive to multiple cultures and contexts. (1 Corinthians 9:1-19; Philippians 4:15-18; 3 John 3-8)
13) In the process of giving and receiving, thedignity of all is honoured and valued through respectful relationships and friendships. (1 Corinthians 12:20-27; 1 Corinthians 13:3; 2 Corinthians 8:13-15)
14) When plans among funding partners work out differently than expected, it is an opportunity to come together in an atmosphere of grace to discern and align with what God is doing. (Acts 6:1-7; 2 Corinthians 8:1-7)
Principles 15-19: God expects wise stewardship of His resources
15) Stewardship and accountability are important to God, therefore we are mutually responsible to use His resources ethically and wisely. (Isaiah 58:1-10; Luke 16:9-13; 1 Peter 4:10)
16) Stewardship values are developed and tested within community according to biblical principles. (Haggai 2:1-9; James 2:1-18)
17) A collective understanding of funding needs is determined through consideration of many factors including missiological and theological reflection and dialogue. (Isaiah 61:1-9; Mark 7:1-13; Luke 21:1-6; Ecclesiastes 2:18-26)
18) Transparent communication and trusting relationships are essential for dialogue regarding needs, and for avoiding issues concerning power, pride and control. (Jeremiah 22:1-16; Mark 8:14-21; Acts 2:42-47; Acts 5:1-11)
19) Discernment in funding decisions includes prayer, reflection, diverse voices and recognition of God’s mission and His focus on the transformation and holistic restoration of people. (Matthew 10:1-16; Acts 11:27-30; Acts 20:32-36; Philippians 4:10-23)