empty tomb®, inc. Mission and Vision Statement
empty tomb began in the early 1970s in part to answer the question, “What difference does it make to a hurting world that we say we are Christians?”
On a local level, in Jesus’ name, we organize “discipleship opportunities” for church people to put into practice what they learn in church: food deliveries; furniture deliveries; home repair (no longer active); clothing distribution; and the opportunity to provide financial assistance to local neighbors needing both general and medical assistance. We also chose to live in a public housing complex for almost 19 years, where many of those we were serving lived.
On a global level, empty tomb’s research grew out of the question, “How many resources do Christians have to impact our neighbors’ needs in Jesus’ name?” If Christians had limited resources, then limited efforts were good enough. But through our research (the 31st edition just came out), we found that the entire body of Christ in the U.S. was not giving anywhere near the tithe; giving as a percent of income was higher in the depth of the Great Depression than in the most recent years. And both giving as a percent of income and church membership as a percent of U.S. population have been declining for decades. Yet, even now, if Christians added six percent for global needs to the current overall 2% church giving, there would be more than $400 billion a year additional available each year. Christians in the U.S. do not understand the historically new stored time and talent (money) power that they have, nor the power of oneness in the body of Christ.
Through a three-year Lilly Endowment grant, we also confirmed our preliminary anecdotal findings: There are dynamics that keep congregations functioning in a scarcity mode. After various iterations, we developed a tool, Mission Match®, to encourage increased global missions giving through congregations.
Today, while Jesus still tarries, we continue the local works and the research, and are trying to mobilize Christians throughout the U.S. to act on more of their potential for loving a hurting world in Jesus’ name.
empty tomb, inc. Prayer Requests for 2022
1. That eyes of the hearts of Christians (Eph. 1:18) would be opened to the incredible resources (documented by Angus Maddison) God has made available for them to use to bring glory to God through Jesus Christ.
2. That 31 historically Christian congregations would submit inspired applications to empty tomb’s Mission Match to launch a movement for more Christians to act on the potential they have to make, in Jesus’ name, an even greater impact on our global neighbors’ needs (Heb. 10:24).
3. Guidance about a national advisory committee to help mobilize resources and churches across the U.S., to the point that Mission Match is offering $8 billion a year, matched by congregations, to help, in Jesus’ name, meet goal reduction levels in the global child death rate in 40 countries. This combined $16 billion is less than the chocolate budget of the U.S. In 2019, around the world, 1.27 million children died from treatable causes due to missed reduction goals, many in predominantly Christian countries (Gal. 6:10).
4. That Christians would understand that a common agenda in Jesus’ name, even pursued via parallel and independent channels, can be part of the answer to Jesus’ prayer in John 17:21: Such oneness will help the world know that the Father sent Jesus.
5. That, in keeping with Eph. 3:20-21, the above prayers being answered will serve as a basis for Christians growing toward the tithe, with $450 billion additional addressing, in Jesus’ name, the global needs of unengaged unreached people groups, unreached people groups, the need for clean water, adequate nutrition and initially, at least primary education, while domestically, $150 billion more annually focused on churches in low-income census districts being organizing centers for Christians to meet, in Jesus’ name, literacy and other needs of local neighbors.