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Missional Gift-Giving

Missional Gift-Giving: A Practical Theology Investigation into what Happens when Churches Give Away “Free” Gifts for the Sake of Mission

A small qualitative case study is presented to investigate what happens when churches give away so-called “free” gifts in missional interventions in their communities. Descriptive text data from the churches is analysed and reflected upon in relation to the theological nature of gift which is problematized between the pure gift and gift exchange, a dilemma illustrated by the data itself. This tension is resolved using the work of Gregory Walter who defines promise theologically as “extended and doubled gift”. Such promise offers a new understanding of time and space in which the impurity of human gift exchange can find a place if it moves to incarnational relationship building from simple transaction within the promise. Practical outcomes of the study are offered in relation to the question of money and gift alongside the importance of growing community through empowerment within a consumerist culture.

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