Many people have this question. They feel called to "full time ministry" and wonder how to fund themselves, pay their bills and support their families if they do. The answer may come back, "Just trust God and live by faith," which is generally interpreted to mean, "You don't have a set salary, but live on whatever comes in through gifts." Others charge for their services, and may feel guilty when they are attacked and told that Jesus didn’t charge when He ministered the Gospel or that Jesus sent the disciples out and told them to take nothing with them, but enter homes into which they were welcomed and accept what was given them. Hmmmm! So what does the Bible teach about funding ministry?
A ministry worth supporting is to be effectively ministering God’s grace
First of all, I want to support ministries which are releasing God’s grace to His world. I want to seed into that which I respect as being powerful and effective, and that which I would like to see expand. Each ministry has its unique call and commission from God. Communion With God Ministries has a commission to saturate the world with communion with God, to teach people to hear God’s voice and live out of it in every area of their lives. All our training, seminars, blogs, books, and college courses are toward this end.
Various biblical models for funding ministry
- Tithes - Priests lived off the tithes of the people, and then they tithed to the high priest
- Contributions - Jesus apparently lived from gifts and contributions from the people
- Paid for Services - Preachers are worthy of their wages (1 Tim. 5:17,18; I Cor. 9:7-11)
- Tent-making - Paul did some tent-making (Acts 18:3 - “secular” work to support himself)
What exactly is "living by faith"? Personally, I believe everything needs to be done in faith or it is a sin (Rom. 14:23). So whether one is receiving a salary from the tithes of a congregation, or contributions from supporters, or through holding down a tent-making job of some sort, each needs to be done in faith: that God is your Source, God is your Provider, God is your Protector and Sustainer. Without faith that God undergirds, satan can easily derail you.
Often people combine the above biblical models and they receive income from two or three different sources.
What do we do at Communion With God Ministries?
Every ministry has a call and commission from God. Our commission is to saturate the world with communion with God, so we do this through materials, seminars and courses.
- Contributions - We receive contributions from our supporters, who make donations on our website, and also from churches who invite Mark Virkler to conduct seminars and provide honorariums.
- Paid for Services - We provide training products and services for a fee which include books, CDs, DVDs, online college courses, coaching and counseling. Generally one year's growth in Dr. Mark Virkler's life is available as a $99 module so you can be mentored in a life-changing truth in only three months, and it doesn't cost you a one-year salary. Even the Billy Graham Association charges for training on evangelism.
- Tent-making - Rex Humbard ran a girdle factory. Many pastors do network marketing, or work a job in addition to being a minister. CWG currently encourages you to do your Amazon shopping through our Amazon Smile affiliate link which remits a portion of your Amazon purchases to CWG Ministries. Mark Virkler personally has used network marketing and other businesses to supplement his income.
- We tithe - We give more than 10% of all income we receive to those who request our training and cannot afford it. This includes hundreds of people in prisons, as well as hundreds more in developing nations.
- We provide the following FREE - We offer lots of free, content-rich resources from our website. This includes an entire salvation website, a tract on the 4 keys to hearing God’s voice, lots of streaming audio and video, downloadable books and articles, hundreds of blogs, sample courses, a monthly newsletter and translated materials in 40 languages. We also provide free streaming video training on How to Hear God's Voice, Prayers that Heal the Heart, and Christian Dream Interpretation.
What should you do?
- Ask God what He wants you to do to fund the ministry He has called you to.
- Not judge others whom God has instructed to do something different than what you are doing.
The gold and the silver is mine, saith the Lord of Hosts (Haggai 2:8).
Money is not evil. It is a necessary tool to be used in building the Kingdom!
How do you discover the ministry God has given to you?
You minister God’s grace to others by serving them with the gifts God has perfected within you.
Ask, “What is it that I love to do and that, by doing it, releases life within me?” You can follow this up with a second question, “What pains or needs can I address and what aspirations can I help fulfill through the anointed resources God has made available within me?”
The answers to these questions will likely reveal your ministry's focus to the body of Christ and to the world. God has placed a love, a passion and an anointing within you to do something. Providing a service to others by releasing this love, passion and anointing is what we are called to do. Follow the love and passion in your heart, and let others confirm that you are ministering life to them as you release this love and passion to them. Once confirmed, you are off and running. Go for it. Make the world a better place by releasing God to others.
Our gift of service to others in need is, indeed, "good news" to them
In Romans 10:15-17 we see what is necessary to get our good news out to others so they can avail themselves of the gifts God has fashioned and created within us which we can use to serve them in a powerful, anointed way. (Please note: I am NOT EQUATING advertising or marketing with sharing the Gospel and evangelism. I am merely pointing out a principle that can be applied.)
Principles of Sharing Good News
Examples – Rom. 10:15-17
Scripture Applied to Marketing
People must hear in order to respond.
How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard?
No one will invest in something they have not heard about.
We must have a communicator.
And how will they hear without a preacher?
We must tell the good news about our products and services.
We must send a communicator.
How will they preach unless they are sent?
We need to send out sales people to tell the benefits.
The communicator is a gift from God, to be honored and cherished.
"HOW BEAUTIFUL ARE THE FEET OF THOSE WHO BRING GOOD NEWS OF GOOD THINGS!"
These people who are sent are beautiful people, graced by God with the gifts to inspire.
Responses are not our concern.
However, they did not all heed the good news;
Not everyone will accept our products or services.
God must move in the hearer’s heart.
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.
God needs to speak into their hearts for them to respond.
We are to pray for God to move in the hearer’s heart.
We have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that … (Col. 1:9)
We should always pray that God move in the hearts of those we are communicating with.
Shared responsibility: We do our part, and God does His.
I planted, Apollos watered, but God was causing the growth. (1 Cor. 3:6)
We release responsibility for the end results into God’s hands.
Appeal to the heart with honesty and integrity, and get out of the way.
Is it OK to advertise the ministry God has called you into?
For many of us, it feels like pride and self-promotion to tell another person why I have a gift or service they might want to take a look at and perhaps invest in.
Journaling: I want to teach you to LOVE MARKETING, and to become good at it. For you will become good at what you love.
God's grace flows out through the channel of His love. Without love, there is no revelation, anointing or breakthrough. Breakthroughs require love, passion and a whole-hearted search which results in God disclosing Himself to you.
Breakthroughs in effective marketing of the service you have for others will require you being willing, passionate and eager to communicate to others the gifts and calling God has given you which can effectively serve their needs. So don’t be shy about expressing the gifts of grace God has placed within you and then releasing these gifts to bring a blessing to the people God allows you to touch.
Why not give people a free taste of God’s grace through you? Then if they like it, they can ask for more.
Lord, I repent: for my judgments against salespeople, seeing them as evil manipulators. I repent for my scorn against marketing, saying, "I have a powerful message; they should recognize it and come to me." I turn away from these attitudes and believe that marketers can be honest, serving their clients in the best way possible, and marketing is a biblical idea, for You said, "How will they know unless someone tell them?" and You sent us out to tell the world of Your Good News of salvation. So there is a place to go out and serve society well by telling them good news which can enhance their lives. Those who are ready and able will respond to the invitation. Others will not, and that is fine. That is the way it is. We still go there, so others can be blessed by what we have to offer them.
Journaling Response – Lord, heal my divided heart concerning money and marketing
Effectiveness, anointing and power are available when we don’t have a divided heart (1 Chron. 12:33). If part of me believes money is evil and part of me longs for financial blessing, I will get nowhere. If part of me believes marketing is evil and part of me believes I have a message to change the world, I will get nowhere. Take some time to hear from the Lord and allow Him to bring understanding and focus to your heart and mind.
Lord, show me any conflicted beliefs I have about money or marketing. What are Your truths concerning both money and marketing? Thank You, Lord, for what You speak.
How about you post some of your journaling in the comment section below so others can be helped and blessed also? It could be a wonderful gift to others. Why not start now sharing your gifts? Thanks.