As you consider what Christian charity to donate to, the first place should be your local church. After you have given to the church, you may want to donate funds to other ministries that have helped you mature in your faith or do work that you strongly believe in. Consider this framework to help you think through your charitable giving options. The framework is based on three words – Heal, Call and Disciple – and two geographies – home and away.
What is the Mission?: Healing, Calling or Discipling
Healing is providing for the basic needs of others. We can look to James 1:27 and Galatians 6:10 for direction on this point where the passages commands Christians to provide for widows and orphans and do good for others. Calling is proclaiming the Gospel through evangelism and missions. This involves getting the Word out (e.g., Bibles) and getting words out of the Word (e.g., evangelistic preaching, apologetics). Evangelism naturally leads to Discipleship to fulfill Jesus instruction to go and disciple all nations. Discipleship is about maturing Christians to grow in the likeness of Christ through preaching and teaching. As you give, think about what categories the ministries you support fall into.
Where is the Mission Fulfilled?: Domestically and Internationally
With the flat world that we live in we can instantly know about events that happen thousands of miles away. Wars, natural disaster and political turmoil are constantly in the news and the resulting needs of people are communicated as well. It’s easy to focus giving resources in our own community where we see the impact, but often our money will stretch further overseas. You’ve likely heard the commercials that say, “For the cost of a cup of coffee you can feed a child for a day.” Think about that while you ponder where to invest in God’s kingdom.
Christian Giving Model
Putting the mission and location together, we get a framework or model for donations. You can see the types of ministries that fall into each category.