Are you a Generous Mind?

Are you a Generous Mind? If you are intrigued by the idea, this is a place to explore what it means to you. Our blog focuses on helping you to learn what it means to be generous with what you know. You will find helpful tips and encouraging examples that will inspire you to release your ideas to the world! Find out more at www.generousmind.com.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Conversation Piece


One of my favorite things in life is a good conversation. They are like magical moments that you can encourage, but not demand out of life. They are like a diamonds in the sands of small talk, waiting to be discovered.

Generous Mind wants to encourage good, thought-provoking conversation. That is why we came up with the idea of organizing Generous Mind conversations, putting the thoughts into a form that can be appreciated by others, and sharing them with people like you.

Our most recent conversation was on the topic of being On Call in Culture, which means to be engaged in the world doing good through your work and bringing God glory in the process. During two sessions, a total of four artists talked with us about what it means to be On Call in Culture in their area of art. We had a fine artist, a political cartoonist, a band member, and an organizing expert share on what their big dream for culture-change was through their work and how they contributed to culture on a daily basis.

Join in on the conversation at Patheos.com and contribute your thoughts. We would love to enjoy a conversation with you.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Pray Generously

Today's guest post is by Dean Ridings, a representative of The Navigators’ Church Discipleship Ministry. The author of numerous articles, devotionals, and mongraphs, he has received several awards from the Evangelical Press Association. Find Dean on Facebook. As an online complement to The Pray! Prayer Journal (NavPress), Dean offers prayer inspiration on the Pray Every Day blog.

Thank you Dean for sharing with us!

Pray Generously

“I’ll pray for you.” Do these words sound familiar, perhaps when someone has pulled you aside to share an update or request? It’s a quick, natural response, offering to talk to God on behalf of another. It certainly is biblical (James 5:16). It certainly makes a difference (Jeremiah 33:3). Yet what about follow through?

I want to pray generously, yet I’ve struggled through the years to do so. In fact, I want to go beyond offering prayers in passing but to be persistent, to “pray and not give up” (Luke 18:1-8). I want to follow up with the people I’m praying for to see how God is answering. I desire to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).

As I’ve wrestled with this, I sensed the Lord saying that my first step was to create a place to write it all down. That was the start of what I call the “pray every day” plan, a place on paper for every request.
Here’s how it works. Mondays I pray for family; Tuesdays, God’s family, the church; Wednesdays, people I run into in the community; Thursdays, the nation; Fridays, the world; Saturdays, the helpless, hopeless, hurting, and lost; and Sundays, I pray for myself.

This became the basis for The Pray! Prayer Journal, eventually published by NavPress (http://www.navpress.com/). It also inspired me to “keep the conversation going” with God myself, and also to inspire and equip others to do the same. But how?

Social media provided the answer. I started “Pray Every Day” on Facebook (www.facebook.com/prayerjournal). Today nearly 20,000 people across North America and around the world have joined in what I like to call an “extended prayer meeting.”

From the beginning I determined to keep it biblical, inspirational, and consistent. I settled on five posts a day to ponder and pray in light of: first, the “pray every day” plan above; second, a passage of the Bible (e.g., Psalm 100, Romans 8, Ephesians 1, and presently John 15); third, an inspirational quote on prayer; fourth, various promises of God; finally, a prayer-related question.

So how have I seen prayer serve as an act of generosity through Pray Every Day? I posed the question to friends from the Pray Every Day community, who chimed in with responses as far away as Johannesburg, South Africa.

“This site encourages my prayer life, assists in helping me to learn more and understand more from the Bible, and gives me prayer pals to help support and pray for each other,” DeDee in Mississippi said. “I feel blessed to have Pray Every Day and try to share often.”

Sharon from Rome, Georgia, replied that she appreciates the daily inspirational thoughts and quotes. “I think it's an act of generosity,” she says, “and also an act of necessity. I pray because that is what keeps me close to God. It's required of me and I do it to help others that are struggling and I do it to make them know I truly care. It's the ultimate gift to someone.”

“It takes love for someone to stand with others in prayer,” responded Christabella from Kenya. “You sacrifice your time to pray for others. That’s generosity.”

And from Virginia, Wini added: “when it comes to this site, I think whoever is behind ‘Pray Every Day’ is being very generous of their time and spirit to faithfully post prayers and scriptures every day, and I am very grateful!”

As I seek to pray generously and help others do the same, I would be remiss if I didn’t invite you to pick up the print journal or to join the extended prayer journey on Facebook. Meanwhile, I welcome your questions and comments at dfridings@gmail.com.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Collaboration: Generosity in Action!

At note from the Generous Mind Team:
This is the second of two posts Joe Handley, president of Asian Access, wrote. Thanks, Joe for your willingness to share. Make sure to follow him on twitter. And read his post below:

We are clearly in a new day for mission as highlighted last fall at Missio Nexus' conference: Reset! The world is rapidly changing and the way we do mission must keep up with the times.

This era of deep change has birthed all sorts of new mission realities: mergers, partnerships, alliances and working together in ways rarely before imagined. For one example of a new endeavor, see the strategic partnership forged by Asian Access and SIM USA. Each organization offers its own strengths toward achieving a joint vision in Japan. This is a whole new way of doing mission together!

This new model is birthing out of a unique kairos moment for the Church in Japan. Churches across that countryespecially affected regions of Tohoku—are working together like never before. Furthermore, organizations like Samaritan's Purse, Food for the Hungry, Churches Helping Churches, and Asian Access have come together to serve and resource the unsung heroes of the crisis: Japanese Pastors and Churches.

The generous spirit behind this new wave of collaboration has been led by these visionary pastors who have forged new alliances to "Be the Church" together during this critical time: Japan's Hour for the Gospel! This is "the whole Gospel for the whole Church" as the Lausanne Movement slogan so aptly captures. Believers in Japan and around the world have rallied to be the 'hands and feet of Jesus' bringing hope and healing to the nation.

The generosity of these pastors and churches can be seen through their powerful reflections this past year following the triple disaster of March 11, 2011: 3 Waves… 3 Walls. Similar reflections are seen in the recent Christianity Today article on Japan.

What a joy it has been to participate in this moment for Generosity… As Asian Access received a New $1M Matching Opportunity to bring hope and healing to Japan, we will move forward in collaboration and working together.

God is at work. Will you join us in this revolution of generosity?

How are you seeing collaboration in your spheres of influence? I'd love to hear from you…

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Generosity breeds generosity!

At note from the Generous Mind Team:
The next two posts are by Joe Handley, president of Asian Access who shares about how generosity breeds generosity and how there is a generous spirit behind a new wave of collaboration in missions. Thanks, Joe for your willingness to share. Make sure to follow him on twitter. And read his post below:

Asian Access has been investing in key leaders of leaders for the Church of Asia for over 30 years. For the last 10-15 years now, we have seen pastors share resources in increasing fashion.

Why are they so generous?

The short answer is that they have been blessed in their own lives, families and ministries. So they simply want to pass that blessing on to others. These pastors have greatly enhanced what they've learned by reproducing it several times over.

In one of the largest countries in the world, the unique leader development model has been triplicated. The country director and leadership team, all volunteers, have asked Asian Access to invest in their mega-cities with top-tier leaders, while they take the model to the provincial capitals, essentially without outside help. Furthermore, those second tier trained leaders take what they have learned to the smaller cities to a third tier of leaders. Interestingly, those smaller cities are often 1M+ in population.

This reproduction is happening differently in India. There the country leaders, again volunteers, have multiplied the model through regional training, and those efforts are being reproduced throughout their cities and nearby towns.

Country after country, from Cambodia to Mongolia, is reproducing this type of fruit. Here are a few stories to show how generosity breeds generosity:
• Reproduction in India
• Multiplication
• Mission Network News Video
• Leveraged Impact
• Mongolian Influence
• Return on Investment

Have you been blessed by something? How can you pass that blessing onto others? I'd like to hear your stories.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Creating Opportunities to be Generous

We are convinced that most people want to be generous with their ideas. They just need an avenue to express themselves where they feel they can make a difference. But sadly there are very few avenues like that available to most people. Usually the pipelines of communication are tightly guarded by those who have worked hard to develop them.

But when an influential source opens up their channels to those whom they serve, it is amazing to see what flows out. That recently happened on a simple project we worked on with GMI (see more at www.gmi.org). GMI recently partnered with IVP to release the digital side of “The Future of the Global Church” by Patrick Johnstone. In the book, Patrick looks as the past, present and future of the global church and provides amazing statistics and insights.
But in all that data, where was the voice of the reader? Well, that is what we helped GMI to facilitate. We asked people to share in one word what they thought the Global Church would look like in 2050. Then we took the responses that came in and created a word map that GMI has just released.
This map brings to life the generosity of many people in a way that will now be an inspiring and prayer-challenging tool for countless others. The team also provided 5 simple ways that people can use the map in their daily lives and ministry. Take a moment to download the map and be abeneficiary of the generosity shown by the GMI community.

How is your organization using your influence and your channels of communication to equip your community to be generous?