empty tomb,® inc. Mission Match®
Discipleship Tree® Terms of Use

Acceptance of Terms of Use: These Terms of Use define the basis on which you participate in the empty tomb, inc. Mission Match Discipleship Tree and make use of the related empty tomb, inc. Mission Match Discipleship Tree Web site. By participating in the empty tomb, inc. Mission Match Discipleship Tree and using the empty tomb, inc. Mission Match Discipleship Tree Web site, you accept and agree to be bound by these Terms of Use.

If you do not agree to these Terms of Use, you should decide not to participate in the Mission Match Discipleship Tree. These Terms of Use are an ongoing agreement between you and empty tomb, inc.'s Mission Match Discipleship Tree and apply to your participation in and use of the Discipleship Tree. These Terms of Use affect your rights and you should read them carefully.

A Shared Understanding for the Use of the empty tomb, inc. Mission Match Discipleship Tree: The explanation in this section is offered in an attempt to provide clear communication that helps safeguard the dignity of all who may be interested in the Mission Match Discipleship Tree.

The Mission Match Discipleship Tree is designed to help raise the money that is a key source of funds offered to historically Christian congregations in the U.S. as matching contributions through empty tomb's Mission Match program.

The Mission Match Discipleship Tree is also intended to help mobilize giving in more churches, through Mission Match, to increase the portion of congregational spending on missions, particularly missions outside the U.S., compared to total congregational spending.

Another goal of the Mission Match Discipleship Tree is to help Christians in the U.S. thereby grow in their understanding of Mammon dynamics, in order to resist greed by encouraging more generosity in themselves and the church in the U.S. Mammon describes money in the context of its spiritual nature, as Jesus describes it in Matthew 6:24 (New International Version): "No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money." Other translations translate Money as mammon in this verse. Philosopher Jacques Ellul points out that, in this verse, Jesus elevated Mammon to a power with influence over humans.1

The level of resources available to residents of the U.S. is greater now than at any time in history, and greater than in many other parts of the world. That is why we use the term age of affluence to describe present circumstances.

Yet little attention has been given to Christians' potential for greater action through increased giving in this age of affluence. By one count, possessions and giving are more often discussed in the Bible than prayer or even love and loving.2 Yet, the issue of how one decides to use personal money is generally a taboo topic in the U.S., including in the church.3

The importance of coming to terms with money can be seen in the verses Ephesians 5:5 and Colossians 3:5, which both state that greed is idolatry. So developing a healthy Christ-influenced attitude toward money may help deepen our belief in and worship of God.

The consequences of Christians in the U.S. not coming to terms with our potential to increase focused giving in this age of affluence are serious. Children around the globe die from preventable poverty conditions that could be addressed in Jesus' name for relatively small amounts of money. There are identified people groups that have never heard of Jesus, and yet, for lack of money, missionaries willing to contact them are not able to go.

So the Mission Match Discipleship Tree is designed to be a place to help Christians in the U.S. come to terms with Mammon, learning how to increase their use of money as a positive tool to help implement God’s will on earth as it is in Heaven.

Because money generally is a taboo topic in this culture, we must work to keep this difficult topic as the focus of the Mission Match Discipleship Tree. Therefore, the goal is to try to develop a broad framework of participants who are willing, in the present setting, to forgo debate on an array of other topics over which Christians disagree in order to work on increased faithfulness about the use of money by expanding mission outreach through churches in the U.S.

There are many topics on which Christians disagree. The exploration of these issues, in a respectful environment, is very important.

It should be noted, however, that the Mission Match Discipleship Tree is not the place for these important discussions.

To help safeguard the dignity of each person who is exploring participation in the Mission Match Discipleship Tree, it is important that each person understand upfront that the focus of the Discipleship Tree is on coming to terms with money in this age of affluence and its positive use to help, in Jesus' name, a hurting world. As such, this effort is not the venue to debate other areas of Christian discipleship, regardless of how worthy of further attention and discussion those topics may be.

It is important to help insure that money is raised to help mobilize giving in more churches, through Mission Match, to increase the portion of congregational spending on missions, particularly on missions outside the U.S. where the need is greatest, in churches across the U.S. It is also important that the money is raised in an environment in which participants feel safe about exploring, considering, and devoting their energies to the topic of how to harness money in a way that helps implement God’s will on earth as it is in Heaven. Therefore, participants are asked to focus on the vital area of money and giving, an area much talked about in the Bible but that rarely receives the attention it deserves.

The Mission Match Discipleship Tree hopes to draw those who feel comfortable with the approach taken by the Mission Match Discipleship Tree, while recognizing that those who do not feel comfortable with this approach may seek out one or more of the other mission support activity options that are available through other organizations.

The Mission Match Guidelines define “qualified” congregations and “qualified” mission projects in relationship to the application process for matching contributions. Those who participate in the Mission Match Discipleship Tree are advised that their donations will be distributed in line with these Mission Match Guidelines.

It is hoped that a shared understanding, including the points above, among participants in the Mission Match Discipleship Tree will help free an ever-growing framework of participants to maintain a focus on supporting and encouraging each other as they engage in efforts to redirect the power of money toward serving as a creative tool increasingly used for good to help implement God’s will on earth as it is in Heaven.

Changes to Terms of Use: The empty tomb, inc. Mission Match Discipleship Tree reserves the right, from time to time, with or without notice to you, to change these Terms of Use in our sole and absolute discretion. The most current version of these Terms of Use can be reviewed by clicking on the "Terms of Use" link located at the bottom of the Discipleship Tree Web site pages. The most current version of the Terms of Use will supersede all previous versions. Your participation in the Discipleship Tree and use of the Web site after changes are made mean that you agree to be bound by such changes. As such, you should review the Terms of Use periodically.

Connection on or to the Mission Match Discipleship Tree: By registering, you agree that you can be connected anywhere on or to the Discipleship Tree.

Contributions to the Mission Match Discipleship Tree: To contribute to Mission Match through the Mission Match Discipleship Tree, a registered participant contributes at least $48 once a year.

Allocation of Mission Match Discipleship Tree Donations: Donations to the Mission Match Discipleship Tree are allocated as follows. Of the total, 85% is available as matching contributions to congregations in the U.S. That leaves 15% to be allocated for empty tomb, inc.’s work, including interaction with the congregations that receive the Matching Contributions and/or may receive information about Matching Contributions, including through information posted on the Worldwide Web and in other materials, and for general expenses, including, but not limited to, fundraising, as well as research and education activities regarding church giving and membership patterns that contribute to an information framework for the Mission Match effort.

Use of Information on the Web Site: empty tomb, inc. will only use the information you provide on this Web site to carry out its Mission Match Discipleship Tree activities. The mailing lists will not be shared, sold, or in any way made available to any other organization or company for their use.

Your Use of Information on the Mission Match Discipleship Tree Web site: By registering your participation in the Discipleship Tree, you agree to use the Discipleship Tree, including this Web site and its contents, only for those activities directly related to the Mission Match Discipleship Tree. No other communications or use of the information is sanctioned. You agree that you will not copy or distribute those materials intended for use only by registered participants on this Web site. Other materials, specifically labeled as being available for printing and distribution, are not included in this non-use agreement.

Right to use materials developed by you to promote the Mission Match Discipleship Tree: Materials developed by you to promote the Discipleship Tree may be used and/or developed for use in materials copyrighted by empty tomb, inc. You affirm that the material is original and/or you have the right to assign rights and interest in these materials to empty tomb, inc. To put it more technically, materials developed by you to promote the Discipleship Tree shall be under an exclusive license to empty tomb, inc. You warrant that you have the right to assign rights and interest in these materials to empty tomb, inc. Also, you acknowledge that the views and opinions expressed in the materials developed by you are your own, and do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of empty tomb, inc. or its staff.

Copyright: All content included on the empty tomb, inc. Mission Match Discipleship Tree Web site, including text, graphics, logos, designs, photographs, button icons, images, audio/video clips, digital downloads, data compilations, and software, is the property of empty tomb, inc., or the supplier, and is protected by United States and international copyright laws or other intellectual property laws and treaties. The compilation of all content on this site is the exclusive property of empty tomb, inc., and protected by U.S. and international copyright laws. Content shall not be reproduced or used without express written permission from empty tomb, inc., or the owner of the copyright. You agree not to decompile, reverse engineer or disassemble any items accessible through this Web site, not to insert any code or product or manipulate the content of the empty tomb, inc. Web site in any way, and not to use any data mining, data gathering or extraction method.

Trademarks: The following terms are registered trademarks of empty tomb, inc.: EMPTY TOMB; Mission Match; the empty tomb logo; and Discipleship Tree. The empty tomb Web site, including but not limited to its graphics, logos, page headers, button icons, scripts and service names are the trade dress of empty tomb, inc. The trademarks, service marks and trade dress of empty tomb, inc. may not be used or reproduced without prior written approval from empty tomb, inc. and may not be used in connection with any product or service that is not affiliated with empty tomb, inc., in any manner that is likely to cause confusion among members of the public, in any manner that dilutes the rights of empty tomb, inc., or in any manner that disparages or discredits empty tomb, inc. or its activities.

Your Conduct on the empty tomb, inc. Mission Match Discipleship Tree Web site: By accessing the empty tomb, inc. Mission Match Discipleship Tree Web site, you agree to use the empty tomb, inc. Mission Match Discipleship Tree features, information, and contents, including that of the Web site, in accordance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations. In addition, you agree not to upload, post, email or otherwise send or transmit any material that contains software viruses or any other computer code, files or programs designed to interrupt, destroy or limit the functionality of any computer software or hardware associated with the empty tomb, inc. Web site. You also agree not to interfere with the servers or networks connected to the empty tomb, inc. Web site or to violate any of the procedures, policies or regulations of networks connected to the empty tomb, inc. Web site. You also agree not to impersonate any other person while using the empty tomb, inc. Web site, conduct yourself in a vulgar or offensive manner while using the empty tomb, inc. Mission Match Discipleship Tree, or use the empty tomb, inc. Mission Match Discipleship Tree for any unlawful purpose.

Disputes and Governing Law: Disputes that arise between the Discipleship Tree and a participant would be subject to mediation. If a dispute cannot be handled by mediation, the dispute would be handled exclusively under the jurisdiction of the U.S. District Court, Illinois Central District, Seventh Circuit, Urbana Division, and/or the Circuit Court for the County of Champaign, Illinois.

Removal from the Mission Match Discipleship Tree: The following are circumstances under which a person may be removed from the Discipleship Tree.

If you are registering for the first time, click the reverse button on your browser to return to the Agreement page and proceed with registration.

If you accessed the Terms of Use from another page on the Mission Match Discipleship Tree Web site, click the reverse button on your browser to return to that page.


1 Jacques Ellul, Money and Power (Downers Grove, IL: Inter-Varsity Press, 1984), pp. 75-76.

2 Wesley Willmer’s count of verses, quoted in John Ronsvalle and Sylvia Ronsvalle, Behind the Stained Glass Windows: Money Dynamics in the Church (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1996), pp. 139-140.

3 For an overview and exploration of this idea, see Behind the Stained Glass Windows, pp. chapter 7, pp. 127-152. Also, Money and Power, p. 77.



uploaded July 8, 2014
modified Mar. 13, 2015