The Business of Ministry
Let’s take a look at business and how it works.
Let’s say you have a small-medium size business. It’s a store. You’ve borrowed money from family members to start it. So, you’ve used every cent wisely. It’s perfect. You have beautiful items in it. Everything is done with excellence although you had only a small amount to get started. The first year you do alright, but you decided to give the items away (for only a donation), what would happen? Be honest. That business would soon close down. Why?
Let’s say instead that you own a service business like a doctor’s office or dentistry. All has gone well for several years – because you have lots of patients and most are from word of mouth. (Great job!) But, because you are a Christian business, you decide not to charge half of your clients. What do you think would happen after a while? It’s such a simple calculation – no or little money coming in = no and small business. Right? Don’t answer yet.
Okay, let’s say that you run a multi-national company. You’re proud of it and so are your employees because you honor your customers and treat them with Christian principles. You’re a business like Forever 21 or Chick fil la. So, you’re thankful God has blessed you and your family. You can take care of them knowing that although you’re running a Christian business in America today, you have provided what your customers what. They pay for the clothes – which are marked up for you to make a profit. They pay for chicken meals – which is reasonably priced but marked up so you can pay your employees. But, what happens if customers stop coming? Let’s say your customers get older and the younger customers start choosing a hipper place. After a while what do you do? You really don’t have the extra money to promote the business to get new customers! We all know what happens…either you’ll be forced to sell to your competitor, close down completely, file bankruptcy so you can reorganize, or take your private family business public (now it’s run by strangers.) Are you happy about this? No, but there is no other options.
Okay, let’s get to the Business of Ministry. When you go into Ministry in America, everyone thinks you’ve really done it now…why? Because there are only a few ministries that make a profit. And those that do, get a bad name.
Let’s look at those who make a profit. What do they do? They all have lots of weekly or monthly donations. These are mega churches, people that we like to say “beg” every time you see them – in person or on TV. Some are independently wealthy and put in their own money into their ministry or they have discovered governmental grants - which are costly because grant writers charge big fees. But, in the end, most funding comes from consistent donors. But, if they didn’t always “ask” to get more and more donors, they too would close their doors.
Let’s talk about the small ministry. How do they usually keep going? They take on another job that they and others call having a “tent ministry.” But now, they aren’t working full time to minister. Their attention is divided because they are not only supporting their families but also their ministry with that part-time salary. Why don’t they “ask” more? Isn’t it written that the Lord has commanded that “those who preach the gospel should receive their living from the gospel.” 1 Corinthians 9:14. Well, here’s a few reasons:
When they ask – even friends and family members -- they feel bad like it’s their fault that they “NEED” to ask. And the friend/family member unconsciously thinks, “You should get a job like me.” (It’s true…)
When they ask strangers that they know have the ability to give millions without missing it, the stranger wonders why. There are hundreds of national organizations that are in need to. So, they usually only give a little one time gift. (It’s just human nature. We all do this.)
When they ask the general public – there is someone who lashes back with “You should PRAY for funds.” (Okay, when was the last time God rained down money from heaven on anyone?)
The biggest reason is embarrassment. (I know because that’s what I feel.)
But, like a regular business, you must have income coming in on a REGULAR basis to run the ministry, provide for your family, pay your bills and live without worry (which the Word warns against.)
So, what then? Even Jesus had a difficult time in the flesh surviving – remember the Lord said, “Foxes have dens and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head." Matthew 8:20. Paul had a difficult time surviving – remember how grateful he was to the church at Philippi who supported him?
“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now.”- Philippians 1:3–5
So, what should we do ---if you're like me in ministry? Is there a strategy? Can we make sense of the Business of Ministry and run it without asking (or as some say, “begging?).
I’ve listened to this tape by Pastor Kenneth Hagin about 20 times. And I just listened to it again. (FAITH FOR FINANCES).
This is what I’ve learned directly, through experience and with the help of Hagin and the Holy Spirit:
Apply Mark 11:23: "For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
JUST SAY IT.
But, don’t put a time deadline on it. Hagin said, “Sometimes it's been weeks before it came, sometimes months, and one time it took 4 years…but, I’ve never failed to receive!”
Don’t pray about it – anymore. Just say it AND believe that you shall have what you say. (You'll know its in God's will if you find references in the Bible of others who have been blessed in the same way.)
Listen to reason given to you by your ministering angels. Think of them like your office staff “full of wisdom.” But, remember they work for you. (Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? Hebrews 1:14.)
Listen to the Holy Spirit down in your belly. The spirit of man is the candle of the LORD, searching all the inward parts of the belly. Proverbs 20:27
If you feel “FEAR” down there, get rid of it. Simply cast it away from you in the Name of Jesus.
Don’t get mad at God. Remember what Hagin said Jesus said, “It’s not me keeping your children from being fed, it’s Satan. He is the God of this world.”
Know God has given us the authority to “claim” his Word in His Name. (Example: “Our Father, your word says in 3 John 2 that 'Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper (financially) and be in health (physically), even as thy soul prospereth (spiritually). So, I claim it in Jesus' Name.)
You WILL have tests. It will look like what you say will not come to past! Then, what are you going to do?
Go back to begging God, crying, wringing your hands and doubting? NO – DON’T DO THAT! IN STEAD, ACT LIKE THE BIBLE IS SO!
Know that it takes money time to manifest. Think about this: The angels have to go and find someone who is willing to give. They can minister to 1000 people, but they can’t make them give. Freedom of choice is God’s way. So, you can’t dictate WHO gives. (If you do, you’ll be border-lining on witch-craft.) But, do say “yes” to the opportunities to get income that come your way. (a job, a speaking engagement – large and small, a donor or grant – large or small.)
Give yourself. Don’t write hot checks. That’s foolishness, not faith. But, give this way: “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7.
Act like you are the captain of the army. What do I mean? You are in a WAR whether or not you think it, feel it or believe it. So, if you are in a Business Army, you have to create strategies (with what you are given.) Look at all the saints who RECEIVED. They all fought for it, didn't they? So, mentally - BELIEVE and think on anything that is of a good report; Physically - BELIEVE that you are NOT sick and don't worry; Spiritually - BELIEVE in GOD. "Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me." - John 14:1
Whenever you're weak (and you will be), ponder the Word of God. I like to think about words like the prayer of Jabez and question, "Why does this work?" You know I've found that God likes you to ask questions and receive answers. This helps you to grow. With the prayer of Jabez, I realized it worked because it's in line with Mark 11:23.
I hope this has helped you. I believe that in the Business of Ministry, you should know that you're CALLED for it. It is not for the weak at heart. And you will have struggles (and most of them financial). But, take heart because you will win if you don't give up.
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