How about some non-traditional gifts this Christmas? I mean something more than the latest gadget or latest toy? Making a donation on behalf of someone as a Christmas gift. A smart gift in these economic times.
Some organizations that I support and would consider for an end of the year gift. (Full disclosure: I serve on the boards of some of these organizations but do not receive any direct or personal benefit from them). Not on this list: The Human Fund. Check these ministries out:
World Vision: Amazing work in relief and development. One of the best when it comes to showing compassion, mercy and justice arising from the Christian community. Be sure to read Rich Stearns’ The Hole in Our Gospel.
Sojourners: I’ve served on the board at Sojourners for several years. They do great work in mobilizing Christians to engage in social justice. Jim Wallis has been ringing this bell for many years and has had significant impact on the tone and tenor of the Christians’ engagement with politics and with political advocacy. Look for his new book: Rediscovering Values: On Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street.
Christian Community Development Association: I’ve had the pleasure of speaking at the last two CCDA national conferences. Being at CCDA is akin to a homecoming. You meet folks from all over who are serving in urban ministry and community development. Look to attend the national CCDA conference next fall in Chicago. I also serve on the board of CCDA.
Also, consider supporting your local educational institution: your local primary or secondary school, nearby college or seminary, your alma mater, or another instittuion of higher education (like North Park Theological Seminary).
And you could always, always, give a copy of The Next Evangelicalism: Freeing the Church from Western Cultural Captivity to your friends and family. 🙂