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Equipping the Local Church Grant Cycle 2023
Grants for $5,000 or $10,000 will be awarded to small and medium** church congregations, or clusters of churches working together, in a Wesleyan-tradition denomination. The grant focus is to launch an experiment or initiative to share the Gospel, tell their faith stories, and invite others into a relationship with Jesus.
Any church or group of churches fitting the criteria may apply. Up to 50 possible grants will be awarded in the summer of 2023. The Foundation for Evangelism Equipping the Local Church grant initiative seeks to empower pastors, laity, and smaller local congregations to dream, take risks, and partner with God in the transformation of lives and communities. These grants are made possible through the generosity of donors, friends, and partners with The Foundation for Evangelism.
* We define Wesleyan-tradition as based on the ministry movement begun in the 18th century by John and Charles Wesley
**250 or fewer participants
The Foundation for Evangelism recognizes that Christian disciple-making happens in the local church. With the Holy Spirit’s guidance, the local church invites members of their community to enter a life-transforming relationship with Jesus Christ, grow in grace, and live out their faith by loving and serving God and neighbor.
The Equipping the Local Church grant cycle is open to Wesleyan-tradition* congregations in the United States. Grants are intended to enable small and medium-sized** churches to launch an experiment or initiative to share the Gospel and invite others into a relationship with Jesus. Through these funds, FFE desires to provide an opportunity for faith communities to be creative and take risks.
Who Qualifies for this Grant:
- Wesleyan-tradition* Churches with…
- 1-99 persons in worship, including virtual attendance (designated Small Church)
- 100-250 persons in worship or a cluster of small congregations working together, including virtual attendance (designated Medium Church)
- 1-99 persons in worship, including virtual attendance (designated Small Church)
- Non-profit, Wesleyan-tradition* organizations serving the above churches
- The applying church/organization must be based in the United States
The Following Do Not Qualify for this Grant:
- Non-Wesleyan-tradition* churches/organizations
- Mission trips, community engagement events, service projects, or 1-time events or projects. While we encourage the marriage of mission and evangelism, to qualify for this grant, such a project would need to show intentional relationship building that leads to invitation into life-transforming relationship with Christ and discipleship as part of your congregation.
- Campus Ministry (at colleges or universities)
- An established or on-going ministry or project
- Capital improvements
- Additional staff requests or equipment purchases not integral to the ministry
- Nonprofits that are not 501(c)(3), denominationally affiliated, or IRS recognized as a religious organization.
In evaluating grant applications, the strongest proposals will demonstrate alignment with The Foundation for Evangelism’s values and address the following questions:
- Evangelistic– How will this grant be grounded in and share God’s story, and invite others to enter, develop and deepen their relationship with Jesus? Have you intentionally listened to your community to learn what difference the Good News might make in their lives?
- Wesleyan – As a Wesleyan-tradition* congregation, is this project developed according to the example of Jesus and model of John Wesley that intentionally connects love of God with love of neighbor? In what ways will this grant invite people to accept and grow in God’s grace and address needs of the whole person and community?
- Steward – In addition to soundly managing grant funds, how is this initiative engaging the context of ministry and utilizing your congregational gifts, strengths, and resources to equip disciples to share the Good News?
- Leaders – How are clergy, ministers, and laity working in partnership and sharing leadership? Is the congregation focused on identifying leaders and equipping lay leaders?
- Equip – How will you equip and empower the congregation to participate in this initiative and what are your plans to share your findings and learnings with others?
- Catalyst – How will this grant spark transformation and greater impact?
Awards will be granted in two amounts:
$5,000 awards will be available to congregations with participation from 1-99
$10,000 awards will be available to congregations with participation between 100 and 250 or a cluster of congregations working together
28 Feb. 2023 – Receive and screen grant applications
May 2023 – Grant recipients notified and receive expectations and report forms
15 June 2023 – Grant money released to recipients
Nov. 2023 – Check-in email / Zoom with grant recipients
15 Dec. 2023 – Mid-program report due
Spring 2024 – Gather stories of grant impact
June 2024 – Final reports due
For the 2023 grant cycle, a total of 30* small-church grants (1-99 participants) of $5,000 and 20* medium or multi-church grants (100-250 participants) of $10,000 are available.
*Total number of available grants depends on distribution of applications received.
We use the phrase “Wesleyan tradition” to describe denominations, churches and organizations that are based on or can trace their history back to the evangelistic ministry movement begun by John and Charles Wesley in the 18th century.
Applications are accepted through our Grant Seekers page by clicking on the blue button labeled “Apply for This Grant” on the right side of the page. You will need to create an account with our online portal provider, Submittable. Once you do this, you can begin filling out the application. You will be able to save your application, working at your own pace.
If you are unable to fill out the application online, please contact us at email@example.com.
A strong proposal will address each of The Foundation for Evangelism’s six values:
As an example, a (Wesleyan-tradition) church began a program during the pandemic after hearing from educators and families about difficulties with reliable internet and access to computers for online remote learning. The congregation – including pastors and lay persons (Leaders) – came together to provide an unused space in the church, equipment and Internet connection for students who did not have the tools at home. Some of those in the congregation assisted with the technical aspects, while others used their gifts as former educators to assist students (Steward). The congregation made a point of getting to know the students and families of those who used the free service, telling them about why they felt led to open their doors (Evangelistic), and inviting them into the life of the church. The church continues to involve members of the congregation to participate in this ministry, and is now sharing this model through their district office (Equip and Catalyst).
The Equipping the Local Church Grant Cycle is intended to be an annual grant cycle, with our other two focus areas – Engaging the Ministry of the Laity and Raising Up Gospel Leaders – being added over the next two years. If you feel like your church/churches need a little more time to develop a vision for a grant-funded ministry or program, you will have other opportunities in the future. You can subscribe to our email list for Grants & Resources or follow us on social media to find out when grant cycles begin. We will publish information about our current grant cycles on our Grant Seekers page.
Depending on your language, we may be able to connect you with someone to assist in the grant application process. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Current Grant Cycle Info
Information for Applicants
Below are some materials to help you through the application process.
Application Information Video
Application Information Slidedeck
Grant Overview Video
Other Grant Focus Areas
Raising Up Gospel Leaders
Evangelism Training for Ministry Professionals
Grants designed to equip leaders who are called to vocational ministry and desire to lead witnessing congregations and organizations. These grants range from one to three years and address training across a wide spectrum of leader designations. . up to endowment funded positions at Wesleyan-tradition seminaries or other leader training programs that expose students to a Wesleyan understanding of evangelism and discipleship. Endowed grants are available by invitation only.
Harry Denman Doctoral Fellowships
Fellowships granted for 1-4 academic years to support students completing a PhD, Th.D., or equivalent in evangelism or related discipline. Fellows are equipped and encouraged to then teach in Wesleyan-tradition schools of theology or institutions of higher education. Applications for fellowships are processed through our partners at A Foundation for Theological Education and are due each January.
Engaging the Ministry of the Laity
Training Lay Persons to Share Their Faith and Invite Others
Methodism and the Wesleyan tradition became a movement because everyone participated in sharing the Good News. These grants support efforts to equip the laity to become comfortable with telling others about their personal faith in their daily lives or as they are in mission situations, inviting others to join them to live as transformed followers of Jesus Christ.
Harry Denman Evangelism Awards
The Harry Denman Evangelism Awards are given annually across the nation to recognize laity and youth who empower their church and equip disciples to share Good News of Jesus Christ in Word, Sign, and Deed.