Africa Christian Training Institute
Policy Statement for Participants and Partners in
ACTI Ministry Regarding Benevolent Giving

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When ACTI Ministry Participants come to Africa, they encounter great financial needs and often receive requests for financial assistance, directly or indirectly. ACTI’s National Partners often develop relationships with Participants and seek to work jointly with them in advancing the Kingdom. Based on ACTI’s decades of experience and its Biblical objectives, ACTI has developed a policy and principles to ensure that any benevolent giving strengthens the theological and practical impact of ACTI’s overall ministry; to ensure responsible stewardship, accountability, and proper use of funds; and to maximize the effectiveness of both Participants and Partners.

Summary of Policy

  1. Participants should not provide funds or other benevolence items to any Church, any individuals, or any projects without checking with ACTI’s Leadership.
  2. Partners must pledge not to solicit funds or other benevolence items from Participants without the knowledge and involvement of ACTI’s Leadership.

This is not to control ministry or benevolent giving. Generosity is encouraged! ACTI’s goal is to help ensure that benevolent giving is Biblical, responsible, and effective.

Principles for Benevolent Giving

ACTI Leadership reviews and provides counsel on potential benevolent giving based on the following principles:

  1. Benevolent giving should serve ACTI’s Biblical Objectives — promoting the development of Evangelists, Pastor–Teachers, and Deacons, and supporting evangelistic outreach, spiritual growth, and local service projects under their leadership.

  2. Recipients must be accountable. If funds are given to cover projects, ACTI generally requires recipients to provide a written statement of the project and the funds needed, and to account for the funds fully. If funds are given to support ministries, ACTI requires monthly or bi-monthly reports to the donor(s) as well to the ACTI Chief Ministry Officer abroad and the ACTI Chief Executive Officer in the USA.

  3. Supported ministries are a vital part of ACTI. ACTI seeks to provide monitoring and counsel to those ministries in order to maximize their effectiveness and ensure that its National Partners are contributing their own presence, talents, and funds, to the extent they are able. ACTI encourages its Ministry Participants and Partners to develop relationships, discuss how to advance the Kingdom jointly, and work hand-in-hand when Participants are in the country.

  4. Ministry funding must not be "indefinite." It should have a time limit of one, two or even three years, depending upon the circumstances, following which a reassessment will determine whether it should be continued. Indefinite support is bound to produce an unhealthy dependency.

As noted, ACTI has developed these principles based on decades of experience. We estimate that tens of thousands of dollars have been solicited on an individual basis (and often generously given) without consultation and regular supervision of their purpose and use. We have seen donors who make gifts spontaneously, with the best of intentions, and then have regrets later, sometimes due to disconcerting and negative outcomes. We have also seen Partners and others solicit funding with the explicit "instruction" to send it via Western Union to avoid accountability, or receive benevolence items that they ended up selling for a profit.

ACTI is in a real sense a Family Affair. So, all its Participants and Partners must operate in a Family spirit and walk in the light of comprehensive communication and transparency. Three Final Recommendations for Donors!

First, give careful consideration before making loans. There is no guarantee donors will be paid back at the stipulated time or be paid back at all. In fact, the track record is quite dismal. This inevitably causes a lack of trust and a distraction from ministry. Bottom line, donors should not make loans unless they are cheerfully willing and able to take a loss in case of non-repayment.

Second, donors would do well to go to great length to remind both Churches and individuals about the need for tithing, as it is commanded in Scripture. When Churches request monetary support, they should be told not to "lean" on donors if they do not instill in their members an eagerness to obey God with their tithes and see them do so with joyful hearts. When individuals make such requests, it should be ascertained whether they pay their tithes, in money, kind or time. Failure (refusal) to obey God in this area is "grand theft" and effectively closes "the floodgates of heaven" (Malachi 3:8-10). So, donors as well as recipients should always take this into account when they either receive or make request for monetary support!

Third, Partners or others sometimes ask Participants to take part in acts of ministry or mercy. We encourage and welcome these collaborations, but we recommend that you check with ACTI’s Leadership before extending or accepting an invitation.

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