Generous Church

NABLA Initiative and GTP: Serving Together for Generosity

Back in November 2018, I was introduced to Adel Azmy, Managing Director of NABLA. He invited me to share a GenerousChurch curriculum for growing local generosity in Egypt. Up until that point, our work was focused on equipping church workers to unleash generous disciples in the USA, and honestly, after 17 years of effort in that field, I was burned out and not in a good place.

In March 2019, God led our team to through an intense season of prayer and fasting, God broke us and led us to repentance. Gary Hoag spoke into my life around that time and challenged me to think of multiplication, not addition, related to ministry. I began to consider how to multiply in the USA, but God had bigger plans.

Gary exhorted me to shift from serving alone to working together. He invited me to join him on a trip to Egypt to serve Adel, who also volunteers as GTP Regional Facilitator for MENA (Middle East and North Africa). I was hesitant, but with Gary’s coaching and Adel’s encouragement, I decided to go for it.

I went to Egypt in December 2019 with open hands and tempered expectations. After all, it was my first time to teach overseas and with an interpreter. The gathering was the third in a NABLA series on accountability, fundraising, and generosity. We used Overflow, a GenerousChurch curriculum, which GTP had translated into Arabic.

The impact was phenomenal. Many shared about how they were able to apply the principles they learned to their own lives and in their local church setting. Read the impact story by Pastor Botross Fadel Gubrael for more details.

During that trip, Adel shared his dream of developing local generosity materials. I revisited this idea in February 2020 with Cameron Doolittle of The Maclellan Foundation. Together, we conceptualized the Generosity Design Lab (GDL).

GDL is built on the foundational idea that biblical truth is constant and cultural contexts are different. We provide national workers with biblical building blocks and help catalyze the development of their own generosity training materials for one or more networks in a country.

The architecture of GDL includes Malcolm Webber’s Four Dynamics of Transformation, so like four pillars, GDL has spiritual, relational, experiential, and instructional aspects. With that structure, we lift up 12 biblical generosity principles. Each one is linked to Bible verses, Bible stories, present-day stories, and an activity or exercise.

Through GDL, we took what we learned through years of working on the generosity space, simplified it, and created a two-day experience where influencers who serve one or more church or ministry networks can convene and design contextualized generosity materials.

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