Original Research

Practical ministry and finances: A case study from InnerCHANGE South Africa

Kgotso K.T.L. Kabongo
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 77, No 4 | a6230 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v77i4.6230 | © 2021 Kgotso K.T.L. Kabongo | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 03 July 2020 | Published: 25 February 2021

About the author(s)

Kgotso K.T.L. Kabongo, Department of Religion Studies, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Tshwane, South Africa


The church is called to be a tangible messenger of hope in society. Communities of poverty, especially, need a church that carries its mandate both through proclamation and through deed. This research is a case study of a team located in South Africa that is part of an international missional order called InnerCHANGE. The latter focuses on discipleship and the nurturing of local leaders who are community builders in areas of poverty. This focus is expressed through practical ministry initiatives. The latter necessitates finances through the team does not always have. A desire to overcome its financial challenges led it to decide to get some training in financial literacy, so that it can improve its fundraising efforts. This training was provided by a finance broker. The latter started his teaching with personal finances before going into organisational finances. He believed that good personal financial stewardship leads to good corporate financial stewardship. The outcome of this training led ICSA staff and the board of directors to diversify their fundraising efforts and to set the target of saving 15% of its income. The work is still in progress for reaching this target. However, for 2 years in a row, ICSA has been making some good progress in increasing its income and savings. This article concludes by advising the body of Christ serving from below to pursue training in financial management so that it can strengthen its checks and balance system which could lead to sustainability.

Contribution: This article contributes to the on-going discussions about financially sustainable models of the church from below in Africa so that the church can remain an important role player in serving local communities practically. It uses InnerCHANGE South Africa as a case study of such efforts.


finances; fundraising; generosity; savings; sustainability


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