I had an idea the other day whilst thinking about Baptist life (though it could be applied more widely). Why not start a ‘bank’ whose purpose was to loan money to projects which might not pay back but which need money to get something started.
OK ‘bank’ may be the wrong word, but words like ‘grant’ come laden with ideas of power in a different way; but imagine a pot of money which people could draw on to finance small scale projects of benefit to the church and kingdom. It might be starting a social enterprise project, putting on an event, publishing resources or the like. These things take money to get off the ground. If the enterprise works they are in a position to repay the money (or most of it).
Such a ‘bank’ would need to have ‘make risky loans’ part of its DNA. It would of course need backers who were happy to keep giving money because many of the projects wouldn’t be able to repay all the money, but hopefully enough money would be returned to see it grow over time. Even if 50% of the money was returned over a five year period some modest giving could grow into a sizeable source of finance.
By focusing on resourcing it could accept requests from a broader range of projects than grants which by their nature tend to be restricted to things which are deemed ‘essential’ or ‘very important’. By funding short term projects rather than giving loans for buildings and the like, it would produce results quickly. By encouraging repayment it would promote things which, given the chance, might be self sustaining.
I’m sure it has potential (and there are probably loads of legal reasons why it can’t be done) if enough people had the desire to make it work and were prepared to give money to help establish it.
After all the worst thing that can happen is it looses all its money.