Our Commitment to You
Urban Impact’s mission is to partner with families and communities to break the cycle of social, material, and spiritual poverty. We believe that poverty is much more than a financial issues and that one’s view of wealth and resources has deep and spiritual implications. Similarly one’s view of God’s kingdom and our relationship with God has significant social and material implications. In society wealth and resources are held closely to our hearts and have cultural manifestations in how we interact with each other, how we value ourselves, and how we see creation and community.
It is our desire to live out a Theology of Resources with a consistent message to our community regardless of social economic status. We want to invite you to join us in this journey. We believe the solution is not just the transfer of resources, but the transformation of individuals in a relational community and a commitment to God’s economy. The message of one Kingdom living and generosity is meant for the rich and poor alike.
Our desire is to provide a Biblical basis and framework for our work in community development and resource development that brings glory to God and His people.
This Theology of Resources has four foundational commitments and seven implications with our work in Development that flow from them.
4 Foundational Commitments:
1. WHO GOD IS
a. God is relational
We believe that we were cut off from God through sin; yet He still chose to be in a relationship with us and to be reconciled with us through Jesus Christ. Therefore, our work is built on the intention to know Him and His will and to be reconciled to Him. [John 1:14; John 15:5; Revelations 3:20]
b. God is creator and owner of all creation
We believe everything was created, by God, and for God’s purposes. Therefore, all our work, including our development work, will be done with this understanding, that God might get the glory. [Leviticus 27:30; Psalm 24:1-2; Colossians 1:16-17]
c. God is provider
We believe God is the sole provider of all things, including our possessions. Therefore, we are to live full of trust and work with this understanding that He provides all. [ Acts 17:24-25; 2 Corinthians 9:8; Philippians 4:19; James 1:17]
d. God is generous
We believe God is generous by nature, giving the greatest sacrifice of His Son and continues to give abundantly of all His resource. Therefore, we look to God as the ultimate example of generosity and recognize Him as the giver of all good gifts. [Matthew 7:11, John 3:16, Romans 8:32; 2 Corinthians 8:9; 2 Corinthians 9:10-1]
2. WHO WE ARE
a. We are the image bearers of God in the world
We believe that we reflect the One who created us. Therefore, we choose to live and work as a renewed creation in the world, conforming to His likeness and ways. [Genesis 1:26; Romans 8:29; Colossians 3:9-10]
b. We are called to be partners with God the creator
We believe that we are partners with God in His work of reconciling of all things. [ 2 Corinthians 5:18-20; Genesis 1:28; Jeremiah 29:5,7; Acts 2:42-44; Ephesians 2:10]
c. We are called to be faithful stewards
We believe that God has given us the joy of being a steward over all His creation. Therefore we reject the desire to control and own what is truly His, instead, we willingly choose to identify as God’s children and servants. [ Psalm 8:5-6; 2 Corinthians 8:2-3; Ephesians 4:10; 1 Peter 4:10]
d. We are called to be generous
We believe that God is generous, therefore, as His image bearers we are called to give generously. [ Luke 14:12-14; 1 Timothy 6:17-19; 1 John 3:17-18]
3. HOW WE SHOULD LIVE
a. Living only under God’s Kingdom
We will live knowing that this earth and possessions will fade away. Therefore we will seek first God’s kingdom and His righteousness listen intently to God’s voice that we may obey His commands. We seek this for our entire community; our families (neighbors), staff board, volunteers and giving partners. [Proverbs 3:9-10; Matthew 6:19-21; Matthew 6:33; Matthew 13:44]
b. Reconciled to God, self, others and creation
We will live knowing that Christ has brought reconciliation to all four relationships (God, self, others and creation). Therefore we are to nurture, honor and steward these four relationships in a way that honors God and in alignment with His purposes. [John 17:21-22; 2 Corinthians 5:18-21; Romans 8:19-22
c. Entrusted to steward all that God owns
We will live knowing God has created and owns all resources. Therefore we surrender all wealth and resources under His authority, living a life of freedom in stewardship. [Psalm 24:1; 1 Corinthians 4:1-2; Matthew 25:14
d. Generously: giving as a form of worship and obedience to God
We will live knowing that God who loves a cheerful giver, always out gives us. Therefore, we will give freely and abundantly of ourselves and all our possessions; as a part of worshipping God with our whole life and not as an obligation. [Romans 12:1; 2 Corinthians 9:6-7]
4. HOW WE SHOULD WORK
a. Discern God’s will together and obey: One Kingdom organization
As an organization we will work to discern and pursue God’s will and interest first in all that we do, rather than depend on our own. [Luke 11:28; Romans 8:26-27; 2 John 1:6]
b. With the help of the Holy Spirit, create a culture of generous community
As an organization we will work to foster communities that glorify God by generously sharing all things with all who have needs. Therefore, we will not focus on receiving resources but on the spiritual growth that comes from the joy of giving. [Acts 4:32-34; Galatians 5:16-17]
c. As an organization, be a good and faithful steward
As an organization we will model the journey of faithful stewardship among those in our community as well as our partners, walking with others to find God’s kingdom and surrender to it. [1 Samuel 16:7; Matthew 13:44; 2 Corinthians 9:11; 2 Corinthians 12:14]
d. As an organization, cultivate generosity and be counter-cultural
As an organization we will challenge the world’s view of wealth, self-reliance, and ownership. We encourage people to be generous and equip them to participate in God’s work. We value all sacrificial giving (“Equal sacrifice, not equal gift”). [Luke 21:1-4; Acts 20:35; Romans 12:2; Ephesians 4:28; Hebrews 13:16]
7 Implications of our life and work in Development
1. We trust God to be the sole provider for our ministry.
By this we mean we won’t manipulate, treat people as ATM’s, rely on our donors as our providers or rely on our selves, our fundraising tricks and techniques as a means of raising money.
2. A Culture of Generosity begins with us.
By this we mean as an organization we will faithfully steward all the resources God has entrusted to us and every member of our community regardless socioeconomic status will be invited and encouraged to experience the joy of grow as giving and a faithful steward.
3. We work with passion and high standards.
By this we mean we use best practices, hold ourselves accountable, keep accurate records, train our staff, treat our partners with dignity, use time effectively, and operate with integrity and transparency.
4. We do our development work as ministry to be used by God to bring transformation to our ministry partners.
By this we mean we will raise resources in a way that honors our partners commitment to be stewards and not merely to solicit transactions for our financial benefit.
5. We connect people to their passions and invite them to be generous as God leads them.
By this we mean we pray for and with our ministry partners that they may fulfill God’s call to them as faithful stewards.
6. We challenge and invite all partners to generous and sacrificial giving that them may experience the joy of being a faithful steward.
By this we mean we will build relationships and create opportunities to boldly invite our partners to be as generous as God leads.
7. God gets the glory in all we do.
By this we mean we celebrate God’s faithfulness and thank people appropriately by affirming them as obedient stewards and linking their giving to God’s provision.