The Guiding Principles of the Mustard Seed Foundation encompass the fundamental values of the organization and are underlying in the priorities for our giving.
Christ and his Kingdom
The gospel of Jesus Christ and the advancement of His kingdom are central to all that we are and all that we do. It is our joy to worship and serve Him and to submit ourselves to the authority of the Bible. We seek to be Christ’s servants and ambassadors and to encourage as many as will come to follow Christ. We seek to encourage the formation of disciples from every “unreached” community, city, and culture. We desire to see the whole Church bring the whole gospel to the whole world. Therefore, we award grants and scholarships to churches and individuals representing the spectrum of Biblical Christianity, including Orthodox, Catholic, Protestant, and Evangelical traditions. We affirm God’s redeeming and restorative grace and power as sufficient to bring blessing to all structures, institutions, and societies. All grant and scholarship recipients of the Mustard Seed Foundation must proclaim a personal faith in Christ, affirm the basic tenets of orthodox Christianity, and desire to serve and witness in Christ’s name.
We recognize the Church as God’s primary representative in the world. Therefore, we try to maximize the role and responsibility of local congregations in the initiatives we support. We seek to partner with and empower local congregations to identify, equip, and support their members who are called to specific areas of ministry in the church, the marketplace, and in the world. We also consider local church financial support and accountability as primary indicators of the significance and integrity of any potential grant initiative.
Individuals in Community
We believe that God endows individuals with the passions and gifts needed to further the work of His kingdom. We believe that God desires those whom He calls and equips to be both nurtured by and held accountable to the local Body of Christ. Thus, in all our giving we seek to support individuals who are active members of a church community. It is our belief that individuals are strongest and most able to fulfill their callings when they are integral members of a local church. The power of individuals to be agents of grace and change in community is exemplified in history. We therefore seek opportunities to empower individuals who are clearly affirmed and supported by their local church, to use their unique gifts to fulfill their callings.
The Mustard Seed Foundation recognizes the global nature of the Body of Christ. Therefore, we desire to participate in God’s work to encourage churches and individuals through grants and scholarships around the world. Our goal is to give the majority of our annual funding to individuals and churches worldwide, while intentionally limiting our giving in the United States. Since the Foundation’s inception in 1983, we have awarded grants and scholarships in nearly 150 countries.
The Biblical parable of the mustard seed reminds us that great things often have small beginnings. Through abiding in Christ and following Him our seemingly small efforts possess power beyond imagination. This parable exhorts us to respond faithfully to God’s calling and to trust outcomes to Him. In our giving we seek to trust individuals and churches as they listen to God by taking small steps toward their visions. Therefore, our grants are available to local churches, including the poor, powerless, and the unproven. We recognize that results cannot be guaranteed and that big results often have risky beginnings. We choose to specialize in small, start-up initiatives, trusting local churches and individuals who possess great vision for their communities and for the future.