When I tell people I work for The Gospel Coalition, I usually get the same question: “Is that a full-time job?” I try to shrug off the hurt feelings and take it as a compliment.
It’s a good sign when our readers and users enjoy TGC’s gospel-centered resources without fully knowing all the detailed work that goes into producing it. Also, it’s a good sign for our ministry if they don’t closely associate my name or any other name with what we do. Because TGC is about serving local church leaders and sharing the fruit of their labor to encourage and challenge the global body of Christ. And your feedback spurs us on in writing, recording, planning, debating, editing, and speaking about how the gospel of Jesus Christ transforms all of life.
In this work I think about how we’re helping a pastor in Kansas who labors to lead his church in difficult circumstances.
“Rural ministry is hard,” he told us when explaining why he supports TGC financially. “There’s a vacuum of relationships with other pastors, as there are often theological differences. So each morning I do my morning prayer and study and then read articles and watch videos at TGC and a few other sites. This is where I go to feed my own soul, and helps me know I’m not alone in the ministry. The writers and other pastors don't know they are being such an encouragement to me, but they are.”
And I think about another financial supporter, a Navy Seal now enrolled as a theology student in Washington state.
“When I was 21, I started drinking and partying with the other guys in my platoon,” he told us. “I then got into a serious and unhealthy relationship and hit rock bottom. A friend recommended The Gospel Coalition’s website. I started podcasting sermons and reading my Bible. God began to show me the meaninglessness of living for myself, and he began to make Christ the foundation of my heart and nothing else. Today, five years later, I’m studying cross-cultural political studies and theology to serve the church and be a faithful witness for Christ in my work. It was resources from TGC that God used to draw me back to himself.”
While we delight in such affirmation, sometimes our content at TGC incites criticism as we proclaim the grace of Christ and preserve the truth of his Word. We expect nothing else as disciples of the crucified, risen, and ascended Jesus. We’re not looking for acclaim from the world; we’re looking to bolster the uniquely God-ordained work of the church. And we can’t do it apart from your generous financial gifts.
TGC is a notably efficient ministry. We have no physical offices, and our Council of pastors—and literally thousands of authors, translators, and others—volunteer their time. We generate revenue from our conferences and publishing partnerships, but we depend on generous giving for around 30 percent of our costs. This year, that total is more than $1 million.
We steward these resources to invest in the best people and the best technology, so our work can serve you, the global body of Christ. We are committed to keep all of our digital resources completely free. But what is free for all is costly to some. Your giving makes our work possible: the events, the videos, the podcasts, the articles, the free books for pastors overseas, and much more.
In order to reach this $1 million giving goal, donors have offered to match gifts up to $200,000 through December 31. If you are blessed by our resources, I hope you’ll consider a year-end gift to TGC so that that we might continue and even expand this work for the sake of a dark world that will one day bask in the light of God himself.
For more information on God’s work through TGC in 2016, check out our illustrated overview with a sampling of statistics, our deeper look at key initiatives, or our full report.