Our supporters finance us through monthly gift donations so that we may devote ourselves fully to the evangelism and discipleship functions of the ministry. The greatest danger is engaging ourselves in activities in which God never intended us to be involved. This would be poor stewardship of what God has entrusted to us.
A “condition of ministry” is that as supported full-time staff we do not have employment outside of ministry activities, or to profit from services rendered while in ministry. This includes unrelated business income derived from multilevel marketing opportunities, distributorships, income opportunities unrelated to our mission, or the sale of items made for profit.
Selling for companies or introducing ministry contacts to others for business opportunities are not acceptable due to the time and effort such activities require. It also could undermine the credibility of the ministry purpose, create possible double messages, put awkward pressure on disciples and supporters and potentially jeopardize these relationships. Furthermore, the United States Congress implemented specific laws related to nonexempt activities to ensure that tax-exempt organizations stick to the purpose for which they were given their exemption. Unrelated Business Income is defined in the Internal Revenue Code section 512(a)(1) as “…the gross income derived by any organization from any unrelated trade or business…regularly carried on by it…”. The consequence of having UBI includes paying tax on that income and, more importantly, the possibility of losing the organization’s tax-exempt status.
Our calling creates a distinctive perspective of our lives on this earth. We become bold in our pursuit of the fulfillment of the Great Commission and meek as we live as servants of God and of our fellow men and women for whom Christ died. This perspective is also expressed in our attitude towards money and property. This is not to say that personal needs are unimportant, but the main focus is our goal to be maximally effective for Christ and to live a moderate lifestyle as reflected in the Scripture passages Romans 10:11-12, 2 Corinthians 9:6-8, Proverbs 23:4-5 and I Timothy 6:6-11. These verses strongly indicate that God will not just meet needs but will return to us abundantly, richly and bountifully as our focus is on giving and sacrificing rather than accumulating. As I Timothy 6:6 points out, we are to be content with what we have.
The privileges and benefits of being in full-time ministry are many as we serve, love, learn, and grow in maturity and grace. In choosing to follow the Lord rather than the world riches, we choose a lifestyle that gives up some things of value for a higher purpose. Sacrificial lifestyle begins with an attitude of the heart and a yielding of the person (Romans 12:1-2). We need to be free of encumbrances that would weigh us down (Hebrews 12:1). Often the result is sacrifice of such things as immediate and potential wealth, social and professional position, personal conveniences, and more. We are obligated to a “moderate lifestyle” which is reemphasized by our Internal Revenue Service standing as a Religious Missionary Order (RMO).
Sherri and I treasure your partnership and friendship in Christ and your continued prayers for us and the ministry. God is good and there is hardly a day that passes when we do not hear of lives being changed through some facet of the ministry. Lost people are being saved, backsliders are being restored, and saints are maturing. In what the Lord is doing through us we rejoice with exceeding joy.
Building Community Ministries and Citywide Movements