Tim Barker, Founder of ROI Ministry (ROIM), was concerned when reading data published in 2001 from one of the most collaborative and exhaustive research projects ever completed revealing the Church’s use of God’s resources. Through the research, Tim discovered that less than 1% of worldwide Christian giving is used to help the poorest, lost people. He also discovered this is where the greatest lasting impact per dollar was being made. Tim became passionate about sharing this information and thus began Return on Investment Ministry.
ROIM believes that how wisely we give is as important as what we give.
ROIM seeks to find, support, and promote ministries that have high levels of impact per dollar invested. These organizations proclaim the gospel, bring people to faith, or help the poor and needy in the name of Christ—and do so in very effective ways, thus ensuring a high return on investment (ROI) for kingdom giving.
Each year, since 2011, ROIM has identified and published its list of “Top 10” ministries that operated programs in the prior year that reaped significant outcomes with the finances entrusted to them. ROIM utilizes one of the most reputable third-party ministry vetting organizations in the world: Calvin Edwards and Company (CEC). CEC, a philanthropic advisory firm in Atlanta, GA, has extensive experience calculating ROI, and performing similar analyses, for many organizations worldwide. ROIM has engaged CEC to conduct a professional, third-party review and ROI calculation of each “Top 10” ministry program since 2014. In addition to considering kingdom “return,” ROIM has adopted 18 standards that “Top 10” ministries should meet.
Of the millions of excellent ministry partnership opportunities to give to today, how do we choose?
Henry Blackaby said, “Find out where God is doing great things and join Him there.” This is a great approach, as “the harvest is ripe, but the workers are few.” Jesus also taught us to “produce good and lasting fruit” 70+ times (in KJV), which gives us a basic blueprint for selecting effective ministries.
For over 40 years, through God’s amazing grace, MAI has been producing good and lasting fruit. Founded in the late 70s by Dr. Ray Benson, Medical Ambassadors International began as a traditional medical mission-trip style organization with U.S. surgeons providing medical care in Vietnam and several other countries. When Dr. Paul Calhoun took over as President, MAI began to shift from a provision-style ministry to prevention, with notable success.
In the ensuing years, that focus began to expand well beyond medicine to a broader community health model now known as community health evangelism (CHE). Today, MAI’s model involves beginning with a community assessment, identifying several village leaders who can take an inventory of the community’s raw material, learned skills, and human resources. Those leaders then identify their community’s greatest needs. Once those needs are identified, MAI provides training so that the community can work towards meeting its own needs with as little external support as possible.
Most importantly, each training curriculum is fused with gospel teaching that points to Christ as the ultimate provider and savior. In each community where the CHE process is implemented, MAI routinely sees large numbers of people come to accept Christ as their own savior as they work to build and strengthen their community.
Over the last few decades, MAI has amassed lesson plans on over 10,000 topics from rabbit rearing to mushroom harvesting to microenterprise to serve over 2,600 communities in 75 different countries. And each village has at least 20 native volunteers leading the change in their community.
“MAI believes word and deed need to be in balance. We call that integral mission, or wholistic mission.”
– Dr. Ravi Jayakaran, President & CEO
Investing into MAI and wholistic mission is equipping individuals to be independent workers and evangelists in their own communities while healing people physically and spiritually.