Not so long ago I signed up to the excellent Kiva, which harnesses the power of the internet to raise finance for micro-finance groups all over the world. I’m all for it. Just the other day a lady in Cambodia repaid the first part of a $25 loan. I could take the money out and put it back in my pocket but, of course, I won’t do that. I’ll recycle the money and lend it to someone else and so increasing the amount of times my gift does some good.
This got me thinking, is there a space for micro-finance for mission and church planting? This is how I imagine it working. Let’s use an example of a family church planting in, say randomly, Sweden. They need £20k per year to live on for 3 years while starting a new church. You give to the church planting version of Kiva and then when the new church is up and running, over a few years the money is repaid recycling the funding back into the world of church planting.
Because this works mostly in the developed world where incomes and giving are high, these could attract a premium of say 10% or something that is then channelled off to cover repayments made to churches being planted in low income developing countries where church income may never get high enough to repay a loan.
Now the sum I presented isn’t micro but neither is it astronomical, and it’s a way in which mission agencies and churches which may be struggling to raise finance the traditional ways can find fresh and new partners to support mission work throughout the world.
Of course the obvious weakness is that it requires investment into rich countries in order to invest into poorer nations. Anyway it was a passing thought and the only way to get it improved is for brighter minds than mine to give it some thought! So over to you.