Giving as Opportunity, not Obligation

As senior program officer of the Maclellan Foundation, Daryl Heald ’87 helps distribute about $20 million each year to ministries worldwide involved in evangelism, church planting, pastoral training and Bible study.

The foundation receives more requests for funding than it can fill, and Daryl, who visits ministries around the globe, sees the tremendous needs that exist. Convinced that evangelicals could do much more to support Christian programs, the Maclellan Foundation has launched a new organization called Generous Giving. Daryl serves as president.

A privately funded, non-profit educational ministry, Generous Giving challenges Christians to be generous for the kingdom. A Web site,, offers an impressive variety of resources for givers, ministry leaders, and professional advisers.  Not only does the site provide a rationale for Christian giving and a research library of articles, but it features a wide variety of practical tools that encourage generosity, including books, tapes, videos, Bible verses, quotes and testimonials. The focus is joyful giving grounded in grace, not a sense of obligation.

“The church is poised for explosive growth around the world and there is still extraordinary wealth in evangelical hands,” Daryl says. “But too many believers lack the theological base to understand the importance of giving. This has created a culture of tipping rather than of giving. I believe that God has empowered people with wealth to be commensurate with the opportunities that exist today. I’d like to see hearts and minds transformed for revolutionary generosity.”

Daryl encourages ministries to develop a theology of  development. At the same time, he hopes donors will study the biblical basis for giving.

“We understand that giving is part of maturing in Christ,” he notes. “One of the forgotten characteristics of God is giving; God so loved the world that he gave . . .  In the church we have relegated the gift/ask to a necessary evil. Why should you give? What does God ask you to give? Most people never ask this question. We know we should give, but our reasons for giving are  based on an understanding of law, which is very dangerous. At Generous Giving we understand the transformational nature of giving and seek to bring a proper balance of the grace side of giving.

“Too often Christians operate with a scarcity mentality,” he adds. “But there is a lot of wealth out there, and God owns it all. Being generous doesn’t mean giving to everyone who asks — it means asking what God wants us to support and then obeying.”

After majoring in economics and business at Westmont, Daryl worked in commercial real estate and management consulting for 10 years in Atlanta, Ga. He then moved to Lookout Mountain, Ga., to work with the Maclellan Foundation, based in Chattanooga, Tenn. He and his wife, Catherine, have five children, ages 2 to 12. Daryl takes the oldest ones on some of his international trips to orphanages, refugee camps and ministries. As a Westmont student, he participated in Potter’s Clay, an outreach program in Mexico, and he wants his children to have that kind of experience. At home, family activities include horseback riding, fishing and golf.

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