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Pre-Forum Conference: Giving and Receiving Money for Missions in the 21st Century

This Pre-Forum Conference series will address how the exchange of money to support Christian endeavors between those who go, give, and send can change from mere transactions to transformative relationships. This creates a communion of giving and receiving where all serve each other, are in fellowship, and are equals at the foot of the cross. Topics will include: trustworthy leadership, knowing your purpose, trust and accountability, characteristics of healthy organizations and healthy boards, faith and excellence, and the basics of biblical fundraising.

This Pre-Forum Conference will take place preceding the European Leadership Forum on Friday, 22 May from 15:00-18:00 CEST.



Rob Martin has been involved in Christian ministry since his conversion in 1976. He has served as general manager of Fieldstead & Company, a private philanthropy organization of Howard and Roberta Ahmanson; the U.S. director of the Lausanne Committee; and executive director of First Fruit, Inc., a private charitable foundation. Since 2009 he has been a partner of the First Fruit Institute, serving ministries and colleague foundations as a coach on a variety of organizational issues. Rob has served as a seminar leader on fundraising and leadership for mission with a number of organizations, including The Overseas Ministry Study Center, World Evangelical Alliance Leadership Institute, Development Associates International, and Bakke Graduate University. He is the author of When Money Goes on Mission: Fundraising and Giving in the 21st Century, and has taught and coached on this topic through major conferences, webinars, podcasts, blogs, and face-to-face settings across the span of Christian mission. He and his wife, Bev, have raised three daughters and currently live in Washington State.



Missions from Everywhere to Everywhere! Christianity in the 21st Century

In the 21st Century, the global church is sending missionaries from everywhere to everywhere!  In the past 200 years, Western Christian mission has moved through eras of Presence, Activity, and Outcomes. Today, we are in an era of Ownership, Responsibility, and Engagement.  In this presentation, we’ll explore the implications of the explosive growth of the church across the globe.  We will address how local missional entrepreneurs who want to solve problems within their own contexts can be supported and funded in a way that promotes autonomy rather than outside dependence.


The Communion of Giving and Receiving: When Transactions Become Transformative

Within the global church and her commitment to missions, a communion of giving and receiving is cultivated when givers offer trust and receivers offer accountability to each other. When this relationship is present, the exchange of money to support Christian endeavors changes from mere transactions to transformative relationships of fellowship and equality at the foot of the cross between those who go, give, and send.


Being a Trustworthy Leader

Good leaders are better defined by ‘who they are’ rather than ‘what they do’.  They are people of good character, good track records, and most importantly, they are servant leaders.  They understand, “You can’t lead if you can’t follow.” Rather than relying on their own power and skills, excellent and godly leaders are supple, and able to sail by the wind of the Holy Spirit to their God-given destinations.


Knowing Your Purpose

When God gives vision, He gives sight.  And with sight, He can show you your destination.  In this session we’ll explore the three questions that need to be answered to know your purpose – What is God showing me?  What is God telling me to do about it? And how will I know I’m doing it?  Also, we’ll discuss how to communicate your purpose, which is different than the strategies you use to achieve your purpose, and we’ll talk about the importance of short term vs. long term planning.


Accountability and Healthy Organizations

Proper accountability structures create healthy organizations.  In this presentation, we’ll look at how to establish healthy and balanced relationships between organizations’ executive directors, boards, staff, and beneficiaries.  A mission’s “universe” will be presented as a model to understand how to fundraise and create good accountability structures. Characteristics of healthy boards will also be addressed.


Faith and Excellence

To fulfill our calling before God, what is required of us is excellence in our practice and a full reliance on faith in God for the results.  God cares more about our faithfulness to the process and our attempt to serve than the results of our efforts. As we implement our callings, two things are critical – our trust in God to provide, and our willingness to serve in excellence with the best we have in us. An all-in attitude and commitment to excellence is necessary.


Fundraising 101: Discovery, Acquisition, and Nurturing

DO YOU HATE FUNDRAISNG?  If so, perhaps you have a misconception of what fundraising is.  IT’S NOT BEGGING, but rather, fundraising is an opportunity for you to invite others who have similar purpose and vision for ministry to join you on your journey.  This presentation will discuss the basics of fundraising, its biblical basis, and the methods and metrics of discovering, acquiring, and nurturing donors who share your ministry’s purpose.


Sustained Interdependence: An Emerging Paradigm

Sustained Interdependence occurs when ministries are centered within their own communities and are strengthened and supported by their own boards, local funding, and an accountability structure within their own settings. They must also be in community with the church at large, as equals at the foot of the cross, in a giving and receiving relationship where all are dependent on God and are interdependent with each other.

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