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In this type of ministry, the world is your territorial boundary. In order to become what you are purposed to be, you must go beyond your normal boundaries to do what you never before dreamed of doing to obtain your destiny.
Since it is all about kingdom building, entrepreneurial ministry is an unwavering partnership in God's agenda, and its initiatives are destined to reach the masses wherever they are in their hierarchy of social, emotional, economic, and spiritual need.
THE JOURNEY IS THE DESTINATION
My Personal Testimony
Have fun in the big city would explain the way I rebelled in college to the way I had been brought up. You see, my parents decided for me that I would follow their example and become an "outgoing Christian" like they were. At the age of 12, they lured me to this old-fashioned two week revival service so that I could "seek the Lord," as they called it. I did listen to all that was said each night, however, it was not until the final night of services did I respond as they had hoped, by giving my life to Jesus.
I really needed to be sure about this matter of salvation. So my prayer on the night of my acceptance was, "Lord, after I give my life to you, would you respond to me in a way that I know, that I know, that I know, you heard and received my prayer." After which, I waited on my knees and there seemed to have been no response. I continued to trust, and a couple of minutes later, the power of God came upon me and I felt as light as a feather as I gracefully walked around the church confessing to numerous people that I had found Jesus and he was in my heart. What a freeing and joyful experience that was. On my ride home with my parents, I could finally relax from the days of exhaustion that stemmed from my anticipation of finding the Lord. I learned from that experience, that seeking and finding Christ was not as difficult as I had thought. However, I found out that Jesus was a gift given to me. It is free! I was free from the pressure of fulfilling my parents' expectations and I had a new peace. For Jesus said in 1 Peter 5:7, "Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you."
When the time came for me to be out from under my parents' leadership I decided to try living my own way and experiencing new things. Soon after junior college, I got married, had two children, and the beginning of a budding career. I had many accomplishments years following, but felt that they were due to my own abilities and I prayed less, and received less relationship from the Lord. I eventually squeezed him out. Furthermore, no matter what I did, what I bought, or what I received, I found no fulfillment. I could be in room full of people and still felt as if I was the only one there. I longed to fill this empty space in my heart.
One night about 20 years ago, I was making tidy our rarely used third floor guest room and found a copy of a devotional book by Marilyn Hickey, which lay next to the Bible. I did not buy this book, but it appeared interesting. I thought that maybe one of our visiting family members may have left it. I started to read it and look up passages from the Bible. I came across 1 Corinthians 3:16 which says, "know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you." This scripture relit a spark in me that felt good. I continued to read and Marilyn Hickey was sharing experiences very similar to mine and, that is when I really understood that the word of God was the key. This reading went on for months. It was during this time that I developed a closer relationship with God and found meaning in life by discovering my purpose. This purpose gave me hope and my life started to make sense. I then realized how blessed and privileged I was to live in an age that produced world renowned leaders who were effectual in Outreach Ministries. I found substance in my life and a foundation on which I based decisions, allocated my time, and used the resources open to me. I realized that I wanted Him to use my life. To make a long story short, he has! God has placed me in a ministry to uplift the depressed and downtrodden, the people that society has ostracized. Ministry services are offered at my non-profit agency, The Resource Initiatives Giving Hope through Training (RIGHT) Foundation and later, Empowerment Resource Associates, Inc., a behavioral health and wellness organization. My career is now fulfilling, and is one of service to others in need. The pay is low, but the rewards are high. I now have the joy of following in the footsteps of Jesus. My prayer is that one day all of the ones that I provide and influence in service provision will come to know and follow Christ and worship him in spirit and in truth.
As stated by A.W. Tozer "It is not what a man does that determines whether his work is sacred or secular, it is why he does it."
It was 1993 that I started on a more mature spiritual journey in service to others based on living out my faith. The key to my new discovery of identity and purpose was relationship with God. I realized that I had chosen many parts of my life, but could not choose my purpose. On this journey, all things were created by him, and for him. Colossians 1:16b.
Journeys are adventurous and not meant to be stagnant. There are good times but also storms and difficult times. Reflecting on life experiences, the most challenging times in my life has further developed my character, faith, and confidence. I also have learned that God accomplishes his work through those who know him intimately. However, building intimacy is a process, but quite necessary for the journey. Patience is needed because it takes years to develop a close relationship. In order for this intimacy to take place and be effective, we must:
Be willing to set aside time to meet with the Lord on a daily basis through prayer.
Be willing to share everything about ourselves such as our dreams, goals, friendships, family, finances, and extracurricular activities.
Become a good listener. The Lord has much to say whether in his word or conviction of the spirit.
Become attentive. Refrain from being easily distracted with the responsibilities, concerns, and pleasures of life in this world. Our attentiveness in our quiet times with Him brings intimacy.
Be transparent. Do not hide areas of weakness by trying to exclude this from prayer and conversation with the Lord.
Confession is the privilege of cleansing and should never be avoided because of pride.
We must trust. Without trust, there can be no intimacy. Sometimes we distrust because we don't know what God says about himself and his actions toward us. This is why reading the scriptures are so important. Once his word is firmly anchored in our minds, we will better understand and discover that He is always faithful.
The most profound characteristic of the kind of intimacy that has true merit is a surrendered life (Mark 8:34-35). If you are willing to give yourself fully to the Lord for his use, He will faithfully provide you with a life of peace, comfort, joy, and transforming love that reaches above all understanding.
The Journey is designed by God. The decision to take the journey is yours. If you are called into this ministry, you should be wise and make the decision to live a life that brings Glory to God rather than yourself. You will be surprised how he will lift you up and bless you abundantly.
Dear Heavenly Father
Thank you for calling me to take risk in the midst of my wariness. It does not always feel comfortable when leaving what is safe and familiar. But my faith and trust in you is all I need to accomplish the task that you set before me. Obedience is better than sacrifice. What you will do as a result will change lives forever. For when we walk with you in the light of your word; what a glory you shed on our way. While we do your good will, you abide with us still as long as we trust and obey.
Point to Ponder
"Your journey has molded you for your greater good, and it was exactly what it needed to be. Don't think you've lost time. There is no short-cutting to life. It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now. And now is right on time."
DEFINING THE MINISTRY AND ITS BOUNDARIES
As defined by Webster, an entrepreneur is defined as someone who organizes a business undertaking, assuming the risk for the sake of the profit. My attention was captured by the definition of an entrepreneurial leader as described by Richard J. Goossen, director of the Centre for Entrepreneurial Leaders at the School of Business at Trinity Western University, in his published research preface to Entrepreneurial Leaders; Reflection on Faith at Work, Volume IV, he writes, "An entrepreneur is one who sees reality clearly—has a good read on the circumstances; but the entrepreneur is also one who can see possibilities, connections, and the ways in which innovation and creativity can alter that reality."
In the Bible, the words servant and minister are synonyms and the same are service and ministry. As a Christian, you are a minister, and when you're serving, you're ministering. However, according to Webster's dictionary—a minister is a servant, one authorized to conduct religious service. According to the Bible, a servant is a laborer. For the purpose of this book, we will combine these two definitions into functions.
Entrepreneurial Ministry is a partnership of visible testimony that the traditional church can continually be a vital and vibrant avenue for effective ministry without compromise or loss of heritage and sacredness. By leveraging their entrepreneurial gifts, these ministerial Christ-followers are compelled to provide community outreach as their vocation or occupation. Many of these ministers are teachers, artist, medical doctors, consultants, Counselors, architects, salesman etc., who work in their vocation or profession which is guided by their spiritual gifts of purpose. These spiritual gifts unleash qualities that call for focused prayer which develops a kingdom culture that nurtures kingdom families in their human and spiritual needs.
In this type of ministry, the world is your territorial boundary. In order to become what you are purposed to be, you must function outside the box and go beyond your normal boundaries to do what you never before dreamed of doing. The ministry will take you where you have never been to obtain your destiny.
Since it is all about kingdom building, entrepreneurial ministry is an unwavering partnership in God's agenda and its initiatives are destined to reach the masses wherever they are in their hierarchy of social, emotional, economic and spiritual need.
Founded on the Principals of Faith
The Entrepreneurial Ministry is about expanding God's Kingdom. It involves living out ones faith in God and utilizing Biblical principles in your daily secular work or business. These interactions further leads to sharing Christ with the world as living examples, and building Godly families as a result of the labors.
Martin Luther King, Jr., is credited with the quote: "We are not makers of history; we are made by history." An entrepreneurial ministry can only be effective and reach it's maximum potential, by having anointed men and women of God who are lead by the spirit of God as leaders. These entrepreneurial ministers operate in faith and prayer, have vision and courage and are continuously guided by Biblical principles and focus on the Kingdom. This breed of ministers will become the light that exposes and explores areas of the unknown as they walk by faith to become what God has purposed them to be.
As Ministry has become identified with leadership of religious institutions, there has been a tendency to reduce ministry to merely a matter of upholding and spreading "the Gospel". We must be ever mindful of the wise words of James, the flesh- and- blood brother of Jesus: "What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, and "one of you says to them, Depart in peace, be warmed and filled," but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? Thus also, faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, you have faith, and I have works, "Show me your faith without your works and I will show you my faith by my works." (James 2: 14-18).
Laboring with a purpose
Historically, laborers are few and as such, critically needed. The Entrepreneurs of Faith are the called to help fill that need. 1 Timothy 5:17, 18 use the word "ergates" in referring to elders who labor in the harvest: Preaching (evangelizing) and Teaching (establishing). The "ergates" kind of involvement is described in Matthew 10 where Jesus sent forth the 12 as laborers and in Luke 10 where He sent forth the 70 as laborers. There are five significant facts that apply to both missions:
1. They were told to "Go"—they went on a brief trip.
2. They were told to "Preach"—the Kingdom of God is near.
3. They performed deeds—healed the sick, drove out demons.
4. They were supported by the people to whom they went.
5. They stayed and ministered only where they were welcome.
Today, there are countless opportunities and modalities for meaningful and effective outreach ministry—such as mentoring opportunities, feeding the hungry, prison ministry, ride sharing, teaching literacy, counseling, art therapy and computer skills training. The effective use of new technologies like websites, blogs, face-book and twitter can also be essential. Social media reaches out across geographical boundaries with positive messages and are effective in building supportive relationships and networks.
Being a minister means making a sacred commitment to spread hope and healing, and thereby to bring relief to a hurting world. Every time we minister to another person, we are fulfilling Jesus' message that "the kingdom of God is among you." Although it is a big responsibility, it is also an incredible honor to be used by God.
Thank you for the awesome task of laboring in order to bring in a harvest. The results will yield meaningful relationships and a kingdom culture. In Jesus Name I Pray.
Point to Ponder
"Go where you are celebrated—not tolerated. If they can't see the real value of you, it's time for a new start."—Unknown
THE STATE OF OUR UNION AND COMMUNITIES
We all know that flourishing cities often become the means for securing material prosperity. As such, very often in this quest there is a tendency to forget the Lord. However, the Bible presents the city as a place of God's grace, peace and prosperity as well as a place where man secures his own power and prosperity apart from God. The message does present a double standard.
A brief overview of our nation's economy brings to light that for most Americans, things are getting progressively worse. Just over the last decade, middle class household income has declined by 7%. The poverty rate is at a 17-year high with 49.7 million Americans living in poverty. Millions are uninsured and reportedly 1 in 9 minority kids are uninsured. Our economy is stagnant, good jobs are hard to find, and safety net programs for poor people are quite scarce. In other words, "there goes the neighborhood".
Meanwhile, corporations and the wealthy are not paying their fair share of taxes and the Pentagon has escaped serious budget cuts. Due to our budget deficits, wars, and record low taxes for corporations and the rich; most of our local communities are in crisis.
The U.S. accounts for nearly half of the world's total military spending. It appears that State and local budgets favor policing and incarceration while schools are underfunded and young adults face steep college tuition and fewer career choices. This nation continues to fight and occupy abroad when we should be fighting for our true "homeland security"—thriving local communities. Our basic social services are rationed, while military spending is maintained. About 50% of the discretionary Federal budget supports the most powerful military in history. Although strides are being made by our commander and chief, there is still so much more to be done.
The multiplicity multicultural challenge
Not surprising is the rapid growth of large cities. There is a magnetic function of these cities that draws in the people through its production of lifestyles into a world linked by media and cybernetics. Although most of the nation's populations live in cities, the other portion is being urbanized as well.
In the past, it has appeared that most of the world's non-Christians were geographically culturally distant people in distant places. Our interconnected multinational cities have caused a shift in frontier missions. The future promotes cross-cultural ministry right here in this nation caused by the greatest migration ever from all hemispheres, South to North, East to West and from rural to urban.
Excerpted from ENTREPRENEURIAL MINISTRY by Judy Benjamin Henderson. Copyright © 2013 Judy Benjamin Henderson. Excerpted by permission of Trafford Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Chapter I: The Journey is the Destination.................... 1
Chapter II: Defining the Ministry and its Boundaries.................... 7
Chapter III: The State of our Union and Communities.................... 11
Chapter IV: The Ministerial life of Jesus Christ.................... 17
Chapter V: Problem Solving in Our Current Communities.................... 21
Chapter VI: Working for God in Excellence.................... 27
Chapter VII: Rev. Leon H. Sullivan—a Minister of Social, economic and
cultural change.................... 31
Chapter VIII: Social and Economic Empowerment of the Women................. 37
Chapter IX: Creating Model Communities of Faith.................... 43
Chapter X: The Anointed Ministry of Martin Luther King Jr.................. 49
Chapter XI: Service and Significance.................... 53
Chapter XII: Determining your call to the Entrepreneur's Outreach
Chapter XIII: The Power of Focused Prayer.................... 63
Chapter XIV: Ambassadors for Christian Community Development............... 67
About The Author.................... 75