A Ministry By Any Other Name

So where are we now? For that matter, what are we?

It’s been a long couple weeks of meetings, emails, calls, and just trying to find a way to make everything work out as quickly as possible. But these things take time. Nonprofits take 8 to 9 months to form. Officially gaining church support as a ministry, it turns out, involves investment as well. (This is not to slander the church – in delegation of time and money, there are building blocks that must be laid.)

I’m going to be very honest with you in these posts about where I am and what I’m considering. I ask you to be open with your feedback as well.

I’ve been wrestling with how to proceed, however, because the truth is, there’s isn’t enough time. The need is here. Now. The house is here. Now.

I’ve been thinking about how I want to proceed. I am convicted there is a need, that there is a calling, and that I want to be used to fulfill that. I took a fresh look at my goals – to own a house that could accommodate for multiple individuals in need of a place to stay, with a small rent, and an environment conducive to spiritual and mental growth. A place where the gospel was freely, regularly shared and displayed through Christian hospitality. I also wanted it to be well known enough that girls could be referred to my home.

I realized I did not want:

  • Legalities
  • Formalities
  • People to become numbers
  • The cost to be supported fully by donations – I fully intended to fund it myself, with voluntary, supplementary donations

What I wanted was simplified, pure ministry.

I realize this may seem naive. At the very least, I need to work out what legalities are involved in collecting rent, essentially in being an informal landlord.

If I wanted to proceed with being a ministry, I was under the impression I would need all these ducks in a row before I would qualify.

So I asked God, “What do I need to do to be a ministry?” I was led to look into the definition of ministry in the Bible, as it is the complete word of God. Surely He covers the topic in there. What qualifies as a ministry?

I noticed something immediately. The Bible does not quantify ministries. Ministry, at its core, is living sacrificially to deliver the gospel to others.

I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching… As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
I Timothy 4:1-2, 5

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship
Romans 12:1

I think Acts 20:24 sums it up quite perfectly:

But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

With this in mind, I have decided not to operate out of fear. I cannot wait to serve any more.

I am not running a ministry in the sense of this day and age’s definition, nor am I calling what I’m doing a ministry in that sense. But I am ministering the gospel to others, independently, using my resources and time, until the formalities fall into place. I intend to proceed with this calling as a disciple of Christ and work towards having the paperwork from my church and the community.

What this means is I will need your prayerful and spiritual support. I will not be asking for monetary support, as I am not an “official ministry” or nonprofit yet. I will simply let you know of the needs and should you feel led to fulfill them, you may.

I feel incredibly blessed that, even in these small beginnings, two very generous friends have pledged to give a monthly donation. This will help keep the home available to any young woman in need.

I am also considering jumping on board with Perfectly Posh as the business of the ministry. A personal friend of mine enjoys their products – she says, “They’re like Bath and Body works, except not animal tested and all that stuff.” I think it will very well represent the sort of “brand” the ministry puts forward – feminine, promotion of rest, genuine, and quality. I’d like to know your thoughts on this or if you think there is a better route to go for supplementary income to give an opportunity to support The Haven.

Thank you for your wonderful support so far. Please feel free to reach out to me via Facebook or email at sheboyganhaven@gmail.com with any questions, advice, or concerns.

Soli Deo Gloria. 🙂

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