Lilly Endowment is launching a new initiative to help pastors strengthen their abilities to proclaim the gospel in more engaging and effective ways. The ultimate aim is to foster and support preaching that better inspires, encourages and guides people to come to know and love God and to live out their Christian faith more fully.
Through the Compelling Preaching Initiative, interested eligible organizations may submit proposals for up to $1.25 million to be used for up to a five-year period to design and implement programs that will help pastors enhance their practices of preaching to reach individuals both within and beyond congregations. These efforts may include, among others, assisting pastors in utilizing different forms of communication to share the Christian message more effectively.
“At many points in history, Christian preachers have needed to adapt their preaching practices to engage new generations of hearers more effectively,” said Christopher L. Coble, the endowment’s vice president for religion. “They have taken the gospel message into fields and homes, and used print, radio, television and other new technologies and media to expand the reach of their ministries. Many religious leaders believe that churches may now be at another inflection point when preachers may again need to adapt to changing communication practices and forms of media to ensure that the gospel message is accessible for all audiences. With this new initiative we ask, ‘What needs to be done today?’”
Eligible organizations are those with public charity tax status in the United States that include, but are not limited to, theological schools, colleges and universities, church resourcing organizations, publishing houses, national and regional denominational organizations, and church-related camps and retreat centers.
The Compelling Preaching Initiative is part of the Endowment’s longstanding interest in supporting projects that help to nurture the religious lives of individuals and families and foster the growth and vitality of Christian congregations in the United States.
Lilly has also offered grants and funding for church worship efforts.
Proposals are due by May 15, 2023. The endowment expects to announce the grants in fall 2023. The Endowment is making $75 million available for this endeavor. More information is available at compelling-preaching-2-rfp.pdf (lillyendowment.org)
–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice