To Give or Not to Give: Rethinking Dependency, Restoring Generosity, and Redefining Sustainability, By John Rowell
To Give or Not to Give
  • Length: 262 pages
  • Published: January 03, 2007
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 5773
  • ISBN: 9780830857739

*affiliate partner

Modern mission theory is guided largely by the three self paradigm that suggests indigenous churches can only be healthy if they are self-governing, self-propagating, and self-supporting. Consequently, Western missionaries, their churches, and their agencies have been increasingly indisposed to giving generously. We must rethink the interplay of dollars dependency and what it means to do the right thing with our money as we pursue twenty-first century missions.

This book answers the questions whether Westerners ought to give or not to give in support of global evangelism and encourages maximum generosity as the path most reflective of God's heart on the matter.

"John Rowell?s treatise is a welcome call for twenty-first century leaders to overcome the drawbacks of dependency by urging us toward true partnership and healthy expressions of mutual support. He connects both with a profound argument for a return to simple generosity and a spirit of covenant commitment. I am convinced his perspective is missiologically sound and theologically based--a practical approach to advancing world missions that we can all learn from. I have watched the principles expressed in To Give or Not to Give? Work in practice since we began partnering with John Rowell fifteen years ago. Based on my experience, it is easy to commend his challenges to church and mission leaders everywhere."

Damir Spoljaric, The Evangelical Church of Croatia

"As a former CMA missionary for twenty-five years and denominational mission executive for five more, I have observed the pendulum swinging back from policies discouraging financial assistance to national churches to a more pragmatic approach consistent with principles of partnership and compassion. John Rowell?s scholarly work will assist mission agencies and churches to bring this topic boldly back on the table and provide the verbal tools to enter into effective dialogue. To Give or Not to Give? is a must-read for anyone responsible for the distribution of mission finances."

John A. Harvey, First Alliance Church, Toccoa , Georgia

"John Rowell has provided a great service to the global church. He challenges us to examine how we are to live out oneness in Christ by touching the most sensitive nerve in our body--our pocketbook. His biblical insights coupled with personal experience in Bosnia has lead him to explore an alternative route towards interdependence within the body of Christ. Be forewarned that this book will smash some historical sacred cows of Christian mission."

Gary Edmonds, Churches Together

"I thank God for John Rowell. God has given him an unusual and remarkable spiritual ability to look at the old and to come up with new and unorthodox insights. You may not adopt all of them, but I believe that this is a book that every international and local church missions leader would do well to prayerfully read."

Paul Cedar, Mission America Coalition

"In To Give or Not to Give? John Rowell takes on long-standing premises that have guided the fi scal aspects of world missions for more than a century. His book shares a new and, I believe, a more biblical approach to funding world evangelism. The reading and digesting of this book will add a new dimension to global outreach--a dimension that could revolutionize the way we do world missions."

Kenneth M. Meyer, Trinity International University

"John Rowell is to be thanked for tackling one of the most intractable challenges facing the post-Constantinian missionary enterprise from the West. His book is the best that I have seen on the subject of dependency. To Give or Not to Give? deserves to become required reading for church leaders and mission committees, mission policy makers and missionaries, missiologists and missionaries-in-training."

Jonathan J. Bonk, Overseas Ministries Study Center


International Foreword by Peter Kusmic
United States Foreword by William D. Taylor
Chapter 1. Doing Away with Double Standards
Chapter 2. The Roots of the Three-Self Paradigm
Chapter 3. God?s Call to Generous Living
Chapter 4. Serving God or Mammon?
Chapter 5. An Alternative to the Three-Self Paradigm
Chapter 6. Charity and the Impact of America?s Culture Wars
Chapter 7. Domestic Dependency Defined the ?American Way?
Chapter 8. Global Welfare or Global Warfare?
Chapter 9. Missionary Lifestyle Choices
Chapter 10. The High Cost of Missionary Affluence
Chapter 11. The ABCs of Compassionate Conservatism
Chapter 12. The 123s of Covenant Relationships
Chapter 13. A Missionary Marshall Plan for the Twenty-First Century: Part I, Four Principles for Those Who Send
Chapter 14. A Missionary Marshall Plan for the Twenty-First Century: Part II, Five Principles for Those Who Go
Chapter 15. A World of Strategies for Overcoming Poverty
Chapter 16. Three Guiding Lights for a World Bereft of Giving
Chapter 17. The Devil?s Cunning
Afterword: "Buffetting" Western Givers


You May Also Like

Rev. John Rowell received his undergraduate college education in California and began his business career as a Certified Public Accountant working with Arthur Young & Company. He has also worked for several large corporations including a Fortune 500 multi-national company. He was deeply involved in disciple-making ministries before beginning his transition from the business world toward full time vocational ministry in early 1978. John is an ordained minister in the Evangelical Free Church of America and serves on the Executive Board of Directors for Food for the Hungry (US). He also directs a consortium of more than thirty US churches committed to working to build a church planting movement in Bosnia.