Practical Tools for Growing Trust, Relationships, Givers, and Generosity

Do you want to take your ministry to the next level? Learn about the four practical tips and tools you can use to grow trust, relationships, givers, and generosity.

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The entire episode has been transcribed below. To download as a .pdf you can click here.


Gary: Your rubric you gave me had kinda four areas. You wanted practical tips and tools for growing trust, relationships, givers, and generosity.

So I wanna offer you four, like, tips and tools to kind of address those four things.

1. Start or Join Your Local Peer Accountability Group to Build Trust

The first one is about trust, so I wanna challenge everyone who's on, especially because of your key role as an Evangelical Alliance leader, to start or join your local peer accountability group to grow local trust.

So in other words, by start I mean in my conversations with people around the world, sometimes the Evangelical Alliance leader is one of the key catalysts who has what's called, we call it, convening power.

You have the ability to convene people, and let me tell you why it's significant.

After helping form peer accountability groups now in eight countries, this is not like an exhaustive startup plan, but this is kinda what I've learned by doing it eight times.

So imagine if you've cooked a meal eight times, by the eighth time, you kind of have tasted and go, "Okay, this is the order to put the ingredients and how to do it."

So this is the steps.

Number one, Jesus says, "The harvest is plentiful. The workers are few. Pray for money." No, he doesn't say, "Pray for money."

He says, "Pray for workers," and then have a conversation with trusted, this is key, pastors, ministry administrators, accountants, and lawyers, and other professionals. 

You will not launch it without the lawyers and accountants, and then have them read the "Lausanne Standards" and standards of other peer accountability groups around the world. 

Then number four, talk about the needs of Russia. Talk about the needs of Palestine. Talk about the needs of India. Wherever you are: Jamaica, or Caribbean, wherever.

Then build a coalition of founding members. It's like your pilot group to debug your programs, and then draft your standards and a compliance checklist.

To do what's right before God is higher standards, and man is local standards.

So the reason the standards don't look the same around the world is Australian law's far more regulated. They actually have nine standards, not seven, are different than American laws. 

So you need to draft standards and a compliance checklist. A compliance checklist is simply what do ministries have to do to comply with those standards? And then you appoint credentialed volunteers to serve on accreditation teams.

This is the beautiful, especially in light of the Faith at Work Movement that's happening around the world. You have accountants and attorneys who would love to step up 'cause they do things like audits all the time for fun.

They would love to step up and help serve on accreditation teams, and Rob Martin, who's a living legend, is on this webinar.

Rob served on those early accreditation teams for ECFA, so he could testify to what this was like, and then accredit organizations by affixing a seal, urge others to join and apply for a 10,000 US dollar matching grant from GTP to build capacity. 

And so right now, what's happened in Indonesia is we had meetings two years ago, and what took place was lots of conversations, and then God built a coalition to where I met with 80 people on the 17th of February in Jakarta, and those people had many meetings over the course of, actually, I'm gonna totally escape and show you this cool picture that I just got. 

I got this cool picture sent to me in the middle of the COVID crisis. Look at this picture. This is what God has just done on the 21st of July in Jakarta, Indonesia.

They birthed- look, they got three masks. The Indonesian Council for Christian Stewardship and Accountability. So on your right is Tony Budidjaja. He's an attorney.

Next, second from the right, also with a mask on, is Surya Gunadi. Surya attended an international GTP gathering called the International Accountability Summit in Melbourne, Australia, in June of 2017, and he took back with him a vision of what other countries were doing.

And so he called his attorney friend Tony, and his other accountant friend without the mask is Manish, and then a leader from Compassion International is wearing a mask, Handoko, on the left.

And so what you have here is a group of people who've come together and said, "We wanna form this for our country."

And so if I were to just jump back into this, I would say, again, in America, it's been demonstrated over 40 years that if you get this accreditation, people will see you as trustworthy, and it grows trust, which results in higher giving and revenue. 

Now, if you visit and see our directory, you can see the directory of all the trusted organizations around the world, so if you wanna give money to a ministry in Africa, go see who's accredited in Africa.

2. Map Out a Partnership Calendar to Grow and Steward Relationships

Tip number two is map out a partnership calendar to grow and steward relationships.

Okay, so in the Apostle Paul's second letter to the Corinthians, he said this: he said, "Corinthians, I'm about to come to you a third time, and what I want is not your possessions. I want you."

Did you hear that? He want them, and so what you need in the Caribbean, what you need in Africa, what you need where God has placed you is people.

And so my partnership calendar on the left says that when I started GTP, by God's grace, I looked back through my calendar of four and a half years of meetings, and I had a total of 1,200 and some people that God had given me relationships with.

And so if you wanna grow giving, you need to steward people well, and how do you steward people well? 

Well, one of my mentors, Rob Martin, has spoken into my life and said, "Gary, take all those development plans you've used over the years, and make 'em into a one-page calendar," because what this does is it outlines the annual.

So down here, and by the way, all these are on the GTP website. This is the faithful work of the board of the Partnership and Communications Committee. 

That's our development committee, the CEO, my VP of Partnership and Communications, and our regional facilitators, and then this maps out the faithful work we're gonna do every month that's gonna do what? Steward our relationships.

And so in one year at GTP, we went from getting a few founding gifts in the first six months.

And by the way, I wanna testify to you guys, it's a little hard to launch a new organization in the middle of a COVID crisis.

So if you, I feel your pain if you're trying to launch something, but what we started with were 1,200 people, and I had, on the first day of this last fiscal year, on July 1, 2019, we had 35 founding givers from three countries, but we stewarded those relationships well, with good communication, and with engaging people.

We built a great website, and by the way, I love that I hired, my two VPs are young women. They're both 18 years younger than me, and they're from the Philippines and Egypt, and you know what you do when you hire young gals from the Philippines and Egypt?

They know how to do everything for nothing, and so we got a MailChimp account. How much did it cost? For free. So we built our database on there.

We used WordPress to create our website, and all our plugins are free. We use Canva to create our posters. Guess what, it's free.

We use Eventbrite to do our events, and guess what? You heard it. It's free! You can create a Vimeo account that's free.

You can use social media on LinkedIn and Facebook, and as well, you can get, as a nonprofit organization, free space on Google to use a share drive.

Why do I tell you this? When you're launching something, free is good!

Free is really good, and the next generation, I mean, these amazing two gals that I work with, they are tech-savvy, and their ability to help us implement these annual and monthly faithful activities so that we are growing and stewarding relationships resulted in at the end of the year, we created, by the way, we created a Global Giving Portal using Classy, which is another logo I could of put on that page, free. 

We used a Classy, and we, Classy can receive gifts from 130 currencies, and we received gifts.

Rob's smiling right now. Rob, the number is up to 29. We have received gifts from brothers and sisters in our global network from 29 countries.

We've gotten multiple gifts from Pakistan, from Zimbabwe, from Cote d'Ivoire, Nigeria, most recently Singapore, and Togo was the 29th country from which we got a gift.

So if you map out a partnership calendar, and you grow and steward your relationships faithfully with faithful work, you're gonna see fruit come from that work, and I challenge you to use tools like these, plus I forgot to put Classy's link on there.

3. Do Journey of Empowerment (JOE) and Download Free eBooks to Grow Givers

Number three, I wanna encourage you. This is for growing givers.

Specifically, I wanna encourage you to do Journey of Empowerment and download free e-books

Now, my brother, J. Paul, is gonna be sharing with us here shortly. He does a thing around the world called, like, a JOG, a Journey of Generosity.

Well, I was with Darryl, like, 18 years ago or whatever, when they were with Todd Harper.

They were piloting the JOG, and they asked me for input on it as an educator, and so I love a lot of the structure of it and how it flows, and I used a lot of similar thinking in the two-day experience or the one-day experience called Journey of Empowerment, which aims to grow stewards who in institutions will follow standards.

And it's an experiential learning retreat that basically aims to build faithful stewards who are gonna follow standards in institutions, and so we're developing the online version of that, but it's an onsite thing right now, but then also downloading free e-books. 

We've had hundreds of people around the world download these free devotionals, and research shows that retreat experiences as well as community devotionals, where, when people are all going through the same devotional and then talking about it, will grow people as givers, and additional resources on that level.

In our teaching and training programs, we have onsite as well as online teaching-related. What does it mean to be a good and faithful steward? 

And we're developing a certificate program right now because we surveyed our regional leaders, and they said, "We want a free certificate program."

But then in our trainings, we've taken the ECFA Press books on resource development, "The Sower;" on governance, "The Council;" and on faithful administration, "The Choice."

4. Answer 36 Questions, Get a Diagnostic Report and Free Templates, and Put Your House in Order to Grow Generosity

And then the fourth and final kind of tip and tool is the Diagnostic Tool, and I love how excited Rob is about this because it was a lot of work. 

So for years, I've been helping people as a one-off, asking questions, and then suggesting templates or tools that they implement, and so what I love about this is using a free tool called QuestionPro. 

We have 36 questions you can answer for your organization, and then you can get your free diagnostic report comes to you right after you answer those questions, and then you download free templates, and this helps you put your house in order and position the ministry or ministries for flourishing and sustainability.

Now, before I tell you about five of these templates, let me say this. I'll give two examples.

Rene Palacio is my board chair. Rene is the head of SIM, a mission organization. He's the head of SIM for 44 signatories around the world.

Rene says to me, "Hey, Gary, I love the back-end I heard you talk about with the data you can pull on the Diagnostic Tool. If my 44 signatories all did that Diagnostic Tool, can you give me a report on how we're doing and show me strengths and weaknesses in areas for targeted trainings?"

I said, "Yeah, we could do it in about five minutes," and that would be, four minutes would be the length of time it would take me to send the email to Ruthie, and one minute to pull it and get it back.

So what I would say to you guys is if you as a community all took the Diagnostic Tool, and then I just had a simple list of who did it, we could give you a report that could let you know how your areas of collective strength and weakness, but just a couple comments about five of the 30 templates that the Diagnostic Tool points you to. 

Download the GTP templates here.

The one in the upper left is a 14-page document called "The Board Policy Manual." One of the things I help God's servants understand around the world, that if you wanna position an organization for flourishing, and you want people locally to have confidence in it and give to it, have a board policy manual because it outlines the role of the CEO, the role of the board, and makes people accountable to do their responsibilities.

You can tweak this template document for your use, and it will give givers confidence you know what you're doing.

The second document in the bottom left is the "Five Forms of Governance" document, and there's a lot of confusion when you even say the word governance, and so this document's really important to discern the difference between what's the difference between a board as staff, board as managers, board as directors, and then board as governors, which is the path GTP follows, and board of advisors.

And it makes sure everyone understands their role by seeing what it isn't on one short document.

In the upper middle, the Financial Snapshot, is an example of the, and same with the Dashboard, these are the one-page reports that come from each of my board committees that help the board be engaged.

And the biggest thing I'm seeing around the world, and this is a big, bold statement, but the biggest thing I'm seeing around the world is the lack of governance structures. If there's a governing board, it's five names on a piece of paper, and they meet and rubber-stamp what the CEO did. 

There's not a policy manual that has the board members doing their work. There's not one-page committee reports coming from the committees, holding each other accountable and where the administration is reporting what they're doing and their compliance work and progress in the bottom right there, and then in the middle bottom is the evaluation form, and I share that simply to say we're constantly evaluating what we're doing to perpetually improve.

Summary of the Tips and Tools for Growing Trust, Relationships, Givers, and Generosity

Now, that said, this moves to a summary of the tips and tools. It's start or join your local peer accountability group.

Map out a partnership calendar to grow in steward relationships 'cause again, what I learned in, it took me 20 years, actually, 20 years to learn the ideas to put in this book and six weeks to write the book.

And it was basically that my job is to steward relationships and to sow truth in their lives that God had blessed them with gifts and goods to participate in Gospel work.

And if people don't realize that, they'll never grow as givers, and so it's a partnership calendar to how to rally faithful partnership with you. 

Do your Journey of Empowerment. Download free e-books to grow givers, and then ask questions to really put your house in order to grow generosity.

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Practical Tools for Growing Trust, Relationships, Givers, and Generosity


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