Stott, Rwanda, and Biblical Generosity
During this time of year, many friends of Langham Partnership around the world will remember July 27, 2011 as the day when the Lord called our founder John Stott home into His presence.
John Stott is known throughout the world for his love for the people of God and his desire to see the church grow – not only in size, but also in depth and maturity. He was burdened to walk in partnership with and learn from the church in the Majority World. And he was someone who taught and modeled incredible Christian generosity.
Many people are familiar with John Stott’s book, The Grace of Giving, as a short but powerful summary of Christian principles from 2 Corinthians 8-9. And Stott’s own legacy gift of the royalties from his books continues to equip pastors and leaders around the world to this day.
John Stott’s legacy is also found in the Majority World leaders who have been equipped through Langham Partnership and are now training others. One such leader is Dr. Viateur Habarurema, a Langham Scholar who teaches in Rwanda and has written his own book for the church in Sub-Saharan Africa titled Christian Generosity According to 2 Corinthians 8-9 (published by Langham Literature).
What can we learn about giving from God’s word and our brother Dr. Habarurema?
5 Reasons for Christian Giving
Dr. Habarurema’s book, Christian Generosity According to 2 Corinthians 8-9, highlights 5 motivations for the church to give generously:
- Divine Grace
Christian giving is not something we do in our own strength. Instead, “Divine grace produces generosity within the believer’s life as manifested among the Macedonian Christians (8:10).”
- Christ’s Example
We are invited to follow our savior and to remember that giving is motivated by “the imitation of the Lord Jesus Christ whose self-impoverishment is a generous act (8:9).”
- Mutual Interdependence
We are connected within the family of God. We belong to one another, and we need each other. Giving is motivated by “the belief in the possibility that in the future the Corinthians would benefit from the generosity of the Jerusalem church (8:13-15).”
- God’s Provision
We are not alone, and we are not dependent upon ourselves. Instead, we can give generously and joyfully because of “the conviction that God will continue to provide for the needs of joyful givers (9:6-11).”
- Fellowship and Worship
We can be encouraged that our giving will relieve the needs of our brothers and sisters, even while it connects us in longing and prayer for one another and in worship to God (9:12-14).
What an encouraging list! And what a blessing to think that God used the generosity of John Stott to start a ministry that has invested in thousands of leaders like Dr. Habarurema, leaders who teach and strengthen the church in places of poverty, pressure, and potential.
On behalf of our brothers and sisters around the world, we are so grateful for your generosity – rooted in grace as an expression of worship.
We would also love to invite you to join John Stott and over 100 others who have chosen to make a legacy gift as an expression of partnership with our brothers and sisters throughout the majority world. Would you consider including Langham Partnership in your will or trust? We would love to talk with you about how this type of gift can be arranged and to welcome you to our Cross of Christ Legacy Fellowship. You can learn more here (legacy giving page) or by reaching out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
VIATEUR HABARUREMA holds a PhD in New Testament Studies from Protestant Theological University, Amsterdam-Groningen, Netherlands. He is currently a full-time lecturer of New Testament and Greek within the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies at Protestant University of Rwanda. He also serves as a part-time assistant pastor in a congregation within the Pentecostal Church of Rwanda-ADEPR. Viateur and his wife, Enatha, have four children: Délices, Emérance, Blessing and Elpis.
Kevin VandenBrink, Planned Giving Director for Langham Partnership, is a Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy (CAP®) and a member of the National Association of Charitable Gift Planners. He is passionate about helping people like you who care about the global church and long to be wise stewards. He also brings to the Langham team many years of engagement in theological education, pastoral ministry, and global missions.
Kevin would love to hear your story, celebrate what the Lord is doing through Langham, and visit with you about the options and benefits of including Langham in your planned giving. Please click here to send an email to Kevin, or call him at (314) 488-0256.