Friday Rant: My Rant In The Name of Ministry!
[Note: Every Friday we post a new rant from one of our writers, edited only for typos and spelling.This new series is not for those easily offended or for those who only like to play nice. So read this before you start posting your comments.]
I’ve worked in various forms of ministry for over two decades. I will admit that the first decade while working with youth, I was probably pretty ignorant of what it takes to RUN a ministry.
For the last decade-plus I have worked solely at Fireproof Ministries [Fireproof is an umbrella of ministries that includes XXXchurch –ed.].
I know the ins and outs and what it takes to make this whole thing work.
I have been the first point of contact for almost all of the ministries under the Fireproof umbrella.
I receive emails and phone calls daily from people who need something:
- pastors who want to host an event with one of our speakers.
- pastors who want our stats and our resources so they can do a sermon on Sunday morning themselves.
- broken men who have been so wrapped up in addiction it has cost them everything.
- broken women struggling with sex addiction and think they’re the only woman stuck in this.
- broken parents of industry workers who want to know how to relate to their sons or daughters.
- broken parents of molested children who are so broken and need direction and hope
- broken industry workers tired of work in the industry who need some support and encouragement.
The list goes on and on and on…the needs and the demands are many. One thing that I deal with that is actually a total distraction from the good we are doing is reading emails from ignorant people.
The definition of ignorant is: lacking knowledge, information, or awareness about something in particular.
People are quick to shoot off nasty emails based on their limited information or perception and then I’m the lucky one on the receiving end. Emails from ignorant people are usually brutal. It’s hard to not let it shape your mood, attitude or outlook.
These emails usually fall into two categories. Opposition from the world and opposition from the church. You see— the world doesn’t understand what we’re doing, many feel like we’re trying to impose our Christian values on them and they write us to tell us to “go away” and leave them to enjoy their sexuality or worse, they think we’re the picketing type of Christians and lump us into that category.
The church, however, who should be supporting and encouraging us does two things:
- They don’t support our calling of going into all the world to preach the gospel. I guess sex-shows don’t fall into the ALL THE WORLD category.
- They don’t believe we should sell products or charge money for anything “in the name of ministry”.
Here is some of the garbage I’ve had to endure from “Christians”… and this is just a small portion.
- “You call yourself a ministry and then charge money? You’re disgusting. “
- “Are you guys nuts? Money hungry fu*kers!” (yep! He said that without the asterisk!!)
- “There is a special place in hell for you.”
- “The word of God says: “Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit.” 2 Cor 2:17” (love it when people use scripture as an accusatory weapon! *insert sarcasm*)
- “Wolves in sheep clothing is what you are”
- “In Christ Jesus I rebuke your spirit to be destroyed…” (that is one of my favorites!)
- “shame on you. i hope god punishes you.” (it’s God with a little g so I’m not too worried!)
- “You have received such great insight from the Lord but yet you are only willing to share it with the monetarily wealthy within the church. There are men all over this country drowning in their addictions. This is a resource not a product. Ministry resources should not be sold like a product and marketed to maximize one’s personal financial gain. “ (*personal financial gain?!* THAT angers me)
IF this isn’t enough you can visit our hate mail section
So here is MY rant:
There is SO much that we do that many will never see. The lengths we’ve gone to support people and help them. The funerals we’ve attended, the miles we’ve driven, the free books, workshops and helps we’ve offered thousands of people who couldn’t afford them. The time we’ve missed with family and friends to pour into this org. The endless hours of phone calls, emails, mentoring, research, team meetings, prayer, not to mention all that it takes (time and money) to run all the web properties, keep outreaches going, bibles printed, product development, and production costs to provide so many resources.
YES, there are some products that have a price tag to help us to sustain this organization but MOST of what we’ve done in the course of fourteen years has been FREE— hundreds of blogs, videos, sermons and messages, not to mention countless hours of phone calls and emails and all that I already stated above.
The people who write these emails don’t work for free.
They can’t go into a store, buy a product, and walk out without paying for it in the name of Jesus. I’m sure they have bills to pay, living expenses, etc., and no amount of Jesus juice they drink will cover those costs. I can’t work for free no matter how much I feel called to my job and guess what? JESUS DOESN’T EXPECT ME TO! (See 1 Timothy 5:18).
None of us here are making six figure salaries— we have a SMALL staff to pull this whole thing off. THERE IS NO CHURCH BUILDING AT XXXCHURCH or FIREPROOF. At church buildings across the world there are members who give weekly through their tithes and offerings to support that church.
THAT is how the pastor is paid.
THAT is how the administrative staff is paid.
THAT is how the office supplies are paid for.
THAT Is how the outreaches they do are supported.
THAT is how their electric bill is paid.
THAT is how they buy bibles.
THAT is how they pay for projectors, screens and all they use to pull off Sunday services.
THAT is how benevolence funding is made available to people in need…
OH, but XXXchurch isn’t allowed to charge for products to help sustain its organization! To pay its employees, to support the outreaches, to keep the lights on, and to provide help for those in need.
I wish before people sent nasty emails or even come to any conclusions about what they think they know… they’d think twice and maybe do a little research. Not to mention the fact that It’s a human being on the other end of their “Christian” spew.
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