Artful Askers . . . Building Biblical Community
P.O. Box 1225
Warrensburg, Missouri 64093 (660) 747-6390
Equipping the Saints to Evangelize the lost, Exalt the Lord, and Serve the hurting.
January 15, 2005
Dear Friends and Partners:
Greetings in Jesus! D.L. Moody once said, "If God is your partner, you better have large plans!"
Well, God is my partner and I DO have large plans. The Father is doing a wonderful work providing opportunity for churches, individuals, denominations, parachurch organizations, and other servants to impact His Kingdom. Assisting people to prepare to do the work–facilitating and supporting the building of community among His Body, is the call from God upon all of us. It has been quoted, "In essentials, unity. In non-essentials, liberty, but in all things, charity." Unity in key areas is essential. Liberty in non-essential areas is important. But in everything, a paradigm of love must override all. This is the step of the building process I want to address. In fact, would you consider a key role in the implementation of Building Biblical Community?
Building Biblical Community refers to the equipping of the saints to do God’s work God’s way in order to see His results and access His resources from a paradigm of love NOT power and superiority. Calling people to a paradigm of love, helping them to be about God’s work, and empowering replication, is the Biblical model. For more than 12 years, I have been answering a call to "serve the servants" by diligently praying for ministry leaders, encouraging and building the Body, and by empowering organizations to position themselves to ask for and receive the financial resources needed to accomplish the building of God's Kingdom and Building Biblical Community.
Unfortunately, the President’s Faith-Based Initiative has damaged Christian ministries in at least two ways: First, their expectation to be faith-based BUT NOT Christ-centered makes participation difficult without compromising Spiritual integrity. Second, the government’s Faith-Based Initiative is being delivered for FREE–excluding all but a handful of organizations (including mine) to compete and financially continue while being faithful to Christ-centeredness. My workshop fees–although reasonably priced at $99 per person/per one day training–keeps people who need it from coming due to finances. People are flocking to the FREE government programs BUT getting little hope and help!
With the changing factors in the social, political, and spiritual climate, the time is NOW for this paradigm shift and empowerment. I don’t know EXACTLY what it looks like NOR how it will function, but I do know that we can accomplish more together than any of us can do alone. God's grace comes to us in many forms. In the case of faith-based funding, I see it manifested in pooling of talents, not only monetary talents as described in Matthew, but also the talents of trained professionals–sent to carry out the work of equipping the Church.
How is Biblical Community Built? First, through the dedicated, individual and corporate application of Scripture which is essentially the shifting of our operational paradigm to one of a position of doing all things in love and building of a relationship with our Lord, then with our neighbor (both horizontal and vertical relationships). Second, it is built by working hand-in-hand together with members in the Body. According to 1 Corinthians 12, God gives each gifts and talents–not to be used in a vacuum or as a means to an end–rather, to pool these gifts and talents together to achieve Kingdom purposes-service. Just as our physical body cannot operate independently of its various members… neither can the church body. We were designed to function together in healthy relationship. When the gifts and talents of each believer are recognized and mobilized to work in concert with the giftings of others–that is when unity and oneness is created in His Church. When internal Biblical community is functioning well, the natural result will be the manifestation of Isaiah 58:6-7, that of loosing the chains of injustice, setting the oppressed free, sharing our food with the needy, providing the poor and homeless with shelter, clothing the naked and caring for our own families and those without family (widows and orphans). When Biblical community is taken outside the church walls in this manner, communities are truly transformed and God's FULL Kingdom is built.
Who Should Build Biblical Community? Since we are already working on Biblical community building, I am trusting God to bless in a new way. The primary focus of this work is to serve the servants. Providing access to funding, grant-writing, program development, technical training and support, and best practices assistance are the mechanisms by which the Lord has granted us to help equip and remind the Church that the fullness of God's Kingdom can only be realized through relationship at two levels; First, an individual, intimate, growing, Christ-centered relationship with God through His Son Jesus Christ, and second, a purposeful, growing relationship with others, inside and outside the church walls. All of the social service programs in the world have not meant much without the real life changer–Jesus Christ. This is the importance of this Christ-centered faith-based initiative.
What Does it Look Like to Co-labor and Build Biblical Community? Because of increasing opportunities for churches and ministries to reach out to their local communities, serve those in need through ministry, and access new funding options, it is my desire to present to churches and Christian ministries a Biblical toolbox equipped with the tools they need to accomplish their called vision. We each possess different tools that churches can use to prepare themselves to ask for and receive needed financial support. Together we can work to further empower the Body of Christ in this cooperative manner.
As it relates to the delivery of the information through free workshops, faith-based non-profits struggle and die because they don't know how to be ready to receive and ask for help. Money is available, usually within a local community, but many religious organizations aren't aware of where to look or how to find it. Even if they are aware, few faith-based organizations realize the importance of strategically and responsibly presenting their plan to prospective funders appropriately and in writing with other-orientation. I call this "preparing to receive money" involving many aspects including evaluating needs of the community, creating outcome-based programs, setting goals and objectives, and many other important topics. This is an important time in history when billions of dollars are beginning to transfer and could be impacting the building of Biblical Kingdom.
During the past 12 years, more than 10,000 religious non-profit organizations have asked me to assist and train them how best to present themselves and their work in a way to which prospective funders and benefactors, private and government, can confidently and positively respond. The leaders of the local churches/ministries are seeking to be obedient in faith to do what they know to do best–serve! They need help learning to "ask" for help. Other enlightened secular and some faith-based organizations are functioning more effectively in their work because they have the proper business systems in place and are ready to receive financial help. Many simply need assistance in approaching new corporate-giving programs, foundations, individuals, and other funding sources to financially empower ministry work which is serving the need.
This is a great opportunity for us to partner in this work and make a "mustard seed" investment that will generate incredible long-term returns and efficiencies to an untold number of organizations who desperately need the help to serve their local communities. I have developed an aggressive and systematic schedule in which I will recruit, train, and empower ministries and individuals to "learn the process" through one-day workshops. I will help cultivate relationships and help ministries generate an incredible amount of influence and new money in their local geographic locations. With your financial help, our training of ministry leaders and pastors, and empowering these servants during the first year, we can increase our capacity to help 10,000 ministries and individuals in year two leading to the shifting of the paradigm of serving others within five years.
The only financial barrier we face now is the actual seed and start-up funds needed to open the gates to workshops for FREE. Would you look over the attached proposal, pray about your participation, make the decision to join in this work, and plant a seed-grant so we can get busy on God's work? Together we can make a greater impact on churches, ministries, children's homes, religious schools, fathering organizations, home- and foreign-missions, food kitchens, homelessness, low-income family ministries–the list is endless!
Please consider the following proposal as a creative way of leading this impact. I am eager to discuss it with you and stand ready to provide any additional information that will assist you in being interested to help me. I am available to address any questions you have concerning this project. Thanks for what you are doing!
Robert Vickers, Founder and President
Artful Askers and Building Biblical Community
Artful Askers and Building Biblical Community
Mission and Project Statement:
Building Biblical Community exists to assist evangelical faith-based non-profit organizations in building The Kingdom. We teach Christian organizations:
• to be ready to receive money (know themselves, record their vision, inscribing it into tablets, etc.)
• to "ask" for help (presenting the document at the right time, for the right request, to the right people)
• to develop Biblical relationships with funders from various sources through rejection OR approval.
• to operate from a paradigm of love and help others to help others to help others, etc.
We propose a partnership to sponsor FREE workshops in leading cities throughout the U.S. teaching groups of faith-based non-profits how to develop Biblical community in their own geographic area. This privately supported initiative will help non-profit organizations access individual, corporate, foundation, and government faith-based funding to build a stronger Biblical community. Designed after the Timothy model of discipleship to teach the Biblical process to people to teach people to teach people, etc., organizational leaders learn to "fish" for money today and are generally ready to engage in the process within days of the workshop. In addition, they learn to "fish" for tomorrow and beyond by learning the Biblical process of relationship-building. With this partnership and our individual "coaches," we will be an ideal resource for follow-up, ongoing coaching of people, and constructively encouraging and empowering Biblical community. This will strategically position each partner as a strong collaboration of faith-based intermediaries that are doing the same work without government-imposed limitations.
Target Market and Geographic Area to be Served:
More than 10,000 religious non-profits and churches have asked for my assistance in proposal writing, foundation and corporate lead-development, and developing longer-term funding strategies. More than 75% are located in major metropolitan areas throughout the U.S. and work with minority, ethnic or other cultural groups, with under-served, single-parent, underprivileged, or neglected populations (widows, orphans, poor, needy, etc.). The overwhelming majority are doing "socially relevant work" and are seeking to advance the Kingdom. We are particularly committed to assist groups that first and foremost further the Gospel and strive to serve; help the poor and needy, the homeless, and strive to reach hurting children, youth, and families. We have identified focus cities throughout the U.S. that we will start with in scheduling and conducting the workshops and training people to carry on the work.
Type of Organization:
The work of Building Biblical Community has been ongoing for more than sixteen years through Artful Askers and private funding.
Mr. Robert J. Vickers, Founder and President (660) 747-6390, Voice
Artful Askers/Building Biblical Community (660) 747-6390, Cell
P.O. Box 1225 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Warrensburg, MO 64093 Website: www.artfulaskers.com
Building Biblical Community will shift the funding paradigm FROM fee-based to FREE–the need is for start-up funding. The need is $40,000 for the initial implementation of 25 workshops to train more than 2,500 ministry leaders. Would you make a tax deductible contribution of $1,000, 5,000, or even $10,000 to be used for start-up money for hardware, software, material, travel, and related expenses to open the workshops for FREE? Our God is amazing; He can piece together smaller threads to create a beautiful tapestry for His Kingdom. Therefore, no gift is too large or small! This money will allow us to immediately implement the program and lay the groundwork for ongoing work with organizations, ministries, and missionaries throughout the U.S.
Evaluation and Accountability:
Analysis of staff and services, the ongoing assessment surveys, and the measurable increase in the work accomplished by organizations we serve will determine the progress and effectiveness of the program. Because we are committed to integrity, we are willing to complete any reasonable evaluative measure that is requested by our partners or funders.