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$120,000 to be Given Away at CALLED Convention
Twenty-Five congregations from the North American Division will receive evangelism funds at the NAD CALLED Experience in Austin Texas, June 28-July 1, 2014.  Chris Oberg, member of NAD Pastoral Advisory says: “It’s the ministry challenge too good to be true. The North American Division will pay you for your crazy, revolutionary, and risky ideas. May the Spirit bless us richly because we are bold enough to try!”
“The total of $120,000 will be divided among churches that come up with creative ministry initiatives that have the potential of transforming their church and community,” states Ivan Williams, Director of the NAD Ministerial Department.  
 What specifically is a crazy revolutionary, risky idea? Oberg goes on to describe two elements that will be in the awarding winning proposals:  “The first is a contagious and growing enthusiasm within a local congregation for more of Jesus. Experiencing ‘more’ of Jesus changes us as a community and moves us into a deeper discipleship—the church can see and feel a change.”
She goes on to say “The second manifestation of transformation happens when our friends and neighbors in the community come in contact with the mercy of Jesus. Meeting God outside the walls of our local church brings another aspect of growth—a growth specifically shaped for our community.”
The Scholarship Team is tasked with developing criteria for the proposal. Here is what they have come up with so far:
“1. Your church can demonstrate how congregational life is enriched with this initiative.  (Internal value)
2. Your church can demonstrate how the local community is enriched with this initiative.  (External value)
3. Your church can demonstrate you have the vision, organization, budget assessment, and human resources for your initiative.
4. This project is something new for you and/or your congregation. Priority is given to new/innovative ideas that can be replicated in other congregations.”
How does a church apply? The Scholarship team is putting together an application packet that may include some of the following items:
“The name of project, vision or mission summary of the project, strategic steps of the project, responsible parties or leaders involved, budget projection, time frame of project, assessment/follow up to measure success, support of your local Church board voted- list date, they sign an application giving their word this project is not already ongoing and will be something new for their congregation.” 
What kind of projects will not be funded?  The funding team recommends excluding salaries and stipends, major equipment purchases, on-line platforms, web services, and other items that aren’t core to the mission.
Oberg lists these as suggestions because “my experience is that folks often create projects for the sake of getting some basic needs paid for- like building of a website, or radio transmitters, or CD duplicators. What they really want is a CD Duplicator for permanent use, or a live streaming service for permanent use, but they wrap it into a proposal for creative evangelism. Not trying to be punitive here, just an attempt to sort through rather quickly those requests that are semi-disguised as basic needs dressed up for the party, so to speak.”
More information on the funding giveaway will be released in future editions of Best Practices for Adventist Ministry.
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