How Having A Ministry Can Ruin Your Life (Seriously)

What Christians call “ministry” is a misnomer. In fact, the word isn’t in the Bible.

The Greek word we translate over and over as “ministry” is actually “service”. Find any entry for “ministry” in the New Testament and replace it with “service” or “servanthood”; “minister” with “serve”, and; “minister (noun)” with “servant”. It works better, doesn’t it?

Over the centuries the Church has so professionalized serving Jesus and his Body that qualifying to serve him requires excessive hoop-jumping. One of the results our obsession with what we “do” for God. Sometimes it’s a challenge to hear Jesus in all the chatter about “my” ministry, “your” ministry, “his/her/their” ministry, etc.

Portraying “ministry” as some kind of higher calling, or special spiritual designation upon some believers has become big business among professional Christians. But doing the same thing with the words servant, serve, or service wouldn’t be as easily commercialized.

Plus, you may have been led to believe that only pastors, missionaries, Bible teachers and the like have been given a ministry, but every believer is called (and equipped) to serve.

Far too often, well-intenioned folks ask me: “What is your ministry, Derryck?”, For many years I would respond, with proud humility, with a flowery description of the wonderful things I did for God. We’ve probably all heard (and maybe said): “I have the ministry of healing/evangelism/intercession/pastoring/blah-blah-blah, as though our Christian service defines who we are.

So here it is, the big kahuna of all deceptions regarding ministry: It is not ours to control, and it doesn’t belong to us.

Christian service (ministry) is simply how God’s Spirit chooses to express himself through his people. The joys and challenges of yielding ourselves to Christ as instruments of compassionate service belong to us alone, but the actual servanthood neither begins nor ends with us – it is the overflow of God’s presence in our lives.

It is through poignant and painful experience that I have learned about the dangers of claiming and holding on to something that did not originate with me, cannot be maintained by me, and will never be completed by me – Christian service. Many others (maybe even you) are also learning this liberating truth the hard way.

A few paragraphs ago I mentioned the hoop-jumping required of many ministry candidates. Let’s chat about this in a bit more detail.

These days you can’t plant a church without being “trained” (and sometimes certified) by a guru church planter, denomination, or church-planting program. It is a really good thing all these programs weren’t around when the 12 disciples took off to the 4 corners of the globe, because it’s doubtful that Peter, James, John, or the rest of them would have made the cut.

When my family and I moved to Siberia to plant churches in the early 1990’s, I knew zip about the mechanisms of church-planting. All I knew was that the Lord spoke very specifically to my wife and me about moving there to do just that. Within a few months there were 8 church planting projects underway.

Most of those churches are still going strong today. All are pastored by Russians, and several have multiplied many other churches throughout Siberia.

Crazy, miraculous stuff took place that changed thousands of lives forever, and all through a few passionate, imperfect, wild visionaries who blindly believed that God’s grace and power are more than enough to get the job done.

There was nothing special about any of us who had the joy of participating in what God did in Siberia, but we learned first-hand that service (ministry) flows organically through people who are caught up in a love-affair with Jesus. On virtually every page of the Bible we see and hear examples of what God does through fickled human beings who dare to take him at his word.

Jesus prepared the first group of New Covenant servants by leading them all over Judea for 3 years. They were regularly confused, amazed, passionate, fearful, and even doubtful as they trudged around the countryside with him.

After Pentecost, that ragtag group of misfits turned the known world on it’s head simply by recounting what Jesus did and said, and responding to the leadings of his Spirit.

Why do we insist on things being so different today? I think it’s because our flesh has gotten in the way and deceived us into believing that WE are in control of what Jesus does through us (“our ministries”), and that WE need to make sure OUR students are fully prepared to be missionaries and church planters around the world. What a sad and monumental deception!

Don’t misunderstand. I am neither anti-education, nor a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants proponent. It is always wise to seek good counsel when our hearts are stirred to serve our Lord in a specific way. However, we walk by faith, are empowered by grace, and equipped by the Spirit of God.

So if this shoe fits your foot, I encourage you to lay down your efforts to find, keep, or have a ministry. Instead, revel in the inexplicable love of Jesus as his Spirit places longings and desires (some of which may seem very strange) in your heart and mind. Walk where he leads you in humble confidence, trusting him to tune your heart to heaven’s melody of servanthood. Then rest in him as he performs wonders in and through you.

What a life!

Presented by Derryck McLuhan.

Content and Communication Guy and Tireless Troubadour of �ber-Grace.

The CenterEdge – [http://www.centeredge.org]

This ain’t your mamma’s Sunday School class. If you want to hang-out with people who love Jesus, but reject religiosity; who pursue truth, but run from empty tradition, and; who totally accept your messy self while challenging your dull churchianity, you just found us.

A Book Review: The Fifty Years’ Ministry of an Ordinary But Remarkable Man: Called, Chosen, Faithful

Outlining and a Book Review

Outlining a biography provides practice of this important pre-writing, comprehension and study skill. Marilyn Alexander wrote of her husband, Jeffrey Alexander’s Fifty Years of Ministry with the purpose of informing his family, friends and others of how God has used this man for fifty years.

When teaching students to outline include an introduction to MS Word or other word processor’s outlining feature. For beginners using the chapter titles and other headings provide a great introduction. Later, you should require more detailed information. Also, at some point a student should experience using parallel structure in the outline. Marilyn Alexander provided examples of parallel structure in her headings as the same parts of speech appear in a pattern. Repeating words and phrases work in outlines.

The Fifty Years’ Ministry of an Ordinary but Remarkable Man:

Called, Chosen, Faithful

By Marilyn Alexander

I. Part One – Called

A. Chapter One – Called to Salvation Through “Call-ege” # 1 1943-1962

1. Born on October 25, 1943 in Denver, Colorado to Alex and Verdonna Alexander.

2. Called to Salvation – at age 6 in an American Sunday School Union Sunday School held at an elementary school in what is now Lakewood, Colorado.

3. Called to Conviction – His father showed conviction when comparing the teaching of God’s word with what he heard at a denominational church. His father led the family to South Sheridan Baptist Church (SSBC). Under the ministry of Ed Nelson, God called Jeff to preach.

4. Called to “Call-ege” #1 – Ed Nelson encouraged Jeff to attend Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. God provided the finances for the first semester through his work at a supermarket and a warehouse man for the summer. Further, God supplied for the second semester with a gift from a family that had saved a sum of money and had given it to the Lord.

5. Called to Serve Servicemen – Jeff took every opportunity for ministry during his college days and beyond. On one occasion he went to the Christian Servicemen’s Center in Augusta, Georgia. Here he preached his second sermon and God protected them from a probable fatal collision with a train on their way back to campus.

6. Called to Preach – Jeff received his first license to preach on June 1, 1962 for a three month summer ministry with Gospel Fellowship Mission.

B. Chapter Two – Called to “Call-ege” # 2 – 1962-1963

1. Encouraged to study at Baptist Bible College -Summer Ministry did not provide finances for another year at BJU. New leadership added to Jeff’s interest in BBC – New president – Jack Hyles and new vice president – Ed Nelson. This leadership lasted only one year.

2. Called to the Candy Kitchen – Jeff worked at night at Russel Stover Candies and attended classes at Baptist Bible College during the day. He lived at home.

3. Called to Artistry – Jeff began to use his artistic abilities at area churches doing chalk art and preaching.

4. Called to Sugar City – SSBC licensed Jeff for a summer ministry.

C. Chapter Three – Called to Sugar City – 1963

1. Called to a small town in southeastern Colorado – Jeff attended services in Crowley and preached in Sugar City on Sunday afternoons. People came from Crowley and Ordway.

2. Called to trust God for provisions – a place to stay, a refrigerator, food, help with the vehicle.

D. Chapter Four – Called to “Call-ege” # 3

1. Called to Pillsbury Baptist Bible College (PBBC) in Minnesota – encouraged to go by Ed Nelson and Dr. Monroe Parker (from PBBC) – small school, plenty of opportunities to serve the Lord.

2. Called and Using His Car – Jeff sold his old car to pay for college expenses. His dad gave him the family car. Soon God was using that car to get Jeff and others to ministry assignments.

3. Called to More Preaching – Chicago and other cities in Illinois, other area churches.

4. Called to Do More Art Work – In his preaching opportunities as well as for school drama productions.

5. Called to Use Other Talents – parts in plays and humorous monologues.

6. Called to Date His Wife-to-Be – Marilyn and Jeff, merely aware of each other during their junior year, began to date during their senior year. Jeff’s credit count fell short so he had to take summer school and wait a year to graduate. After summer school, Jeff returned to Colorado, their future uncertain.

E. Chapter Five – Called to Pastor At Galeton, Colorado – 1965-1968

1. Galeton, Colorado, located 14 miles northeast of Greeley with barely a population of 100. This calling marks the beginning of Jeff’s 50 years of ministry.

2. Pastor Ed Nelson invited Jeff to his office where two deacons from Galeton Baptist Church waited. They wanted him to preach until they had a pastor. After a couple of months, they wanted him to be the pastor even though he intended to go to seminary eventually.

3. Called to Ordination – March 17, 1966

4. Called to Reunite – Graduation at PBBC

a. Marilyn, teaching music at PBBC, received advice – write to tell him that she looked forward to seeing him at graduation.

b. Jeff arrived in a brand new red mustang – that did it for Marilyn.

c. Marilyn visited Colorado and Jeff’s family in July, 1966.

d. While driving back to Denver having done some sightseeing Jeff said, “I want to marry you.”

She asked, “Are you asking me?

After a moment, evaluating whether this was the time and place, he said, “Yes, will you marry me?”

Marilyn said, “Yes!”

On the way back they planned the wedding.

e. His salary of $50.00 per week would not provide for a wife. He continued preaching on Sundays and Wednesdays, moved back to Denver to live with his grandmother and worked at a shoe store.

5. Called to Small Town – well treated by all, especially by servers at a café until he went with Marilyn. No more special treatment.

6. Called to Marry – June 10, 1967 – Plymouth Baptist Church, Plymouth, Minnesota.

7. Called to a Busy First Month of Marriage – after a short trip home / honeymoon, they had to get back so that Jeff could officiate at a wedding- 8 days after their own. Jeff’s parents celebrated 25 years of marriage 13 days after they Jeff and Marilyn were married.

8. Called to Enjoy Ministry -Music and Fellowship and Punctuality lessons.

9. Called to More Education -Marilyn taught piano and organ lessons at PBBC in Denver. Jeff took a class at BBC during that time.

10. Called to Even More Education – Symptoms of pregnancy in 1968 prompted the Alexanders to move to Minnesota for seminary before children started coming. Jeff sold his mustang and purchased a car that could haul a U Haul.

F. Called to Central Seminary and White Bear Lake, Minnesota – 1968-1976

1. Called to Secular Work – to provide for family – shoe salesman and fabric warehouse driver.

2. Called to White Bear Lake, Minnesota – Pastor of Bellaire Baptist Church

3. Called to Lead Others – Many people associated with Central Seminary and PBBC ministered in the church.

4. Called to Support Missions – Jeff and Marilyn participated in monthly meetings of Twin City Association of the Minnesota Baptist Convention and Jeff held positions. During this time he learned of “Faith Promise” and it ignited a desire to support missions that never died.

5. Called to Good Training – At Central Seminary, Jeff learned of expository preaching and going first to the Word and then later to commentaries.

6. Called to Be Tested Sometimes -God provided the Alexander’s needs, often “in the nick of time.”

7. Called to Grow – Church grew so they had to vacate the attached “parsonage.”

8. Called into Association with Others – Minnesota Baptist Association

9. Called Elsewhere- Bible Baptist Church, Terre Haute, IN

G. Called to Terre Haute, Indiana – 1976-1978

1. Called to Assist – Jeff wanted more experience learning from a more experienced Pastor. His job included Sunday School promotions and fundraising.

2. Called to Some Productive Fun – Fossil collecting -family fun and future rewards for Sunday School children.

3. Called to Loyalty – Pastoral staff resigned; Jeff was asked to consider to stay, but did not out of loyalty to the godly pastor.

H. Called to Evangelism and Lay Ministry – 1979-1990

1. Called to evangelism – January, 1990

2. Called to Trust God -When salary from Bible Baptist Church ceased, the Alexanders trusted God to provide through offerings. Marilyn wrote in a journal regarding those occasions when God supplied.

3. Called to Live in a “Hallway -“the 32 foot trailer that God provided for the growing family.

4. Called to Laugh with God at “What we don’t need is another kid.”

5. Called to Help -Helped Jeff’s mom after the death of her second husband and worked in the family construction company for several weeks.

6. Called to Remember the Good and Hard Times – Parking in a Pastor’s driveway between meetings caused some neighbor problems.

7. Called to Close Living – Children were growing up and needed some roots.

8. Called to Spacious Living – Jeff’s brothers were building a house for them in Lakewood, Colorado.

9. Called to Transition – Problems with the truck that hauled the trailer.

10. Called to Lay Ministry – Jeff and Marilyn led the senior citizens’ ministry at SSBC. Jeff became involved in the Colorado Association of Christian Schools.

II. Part Two / Chapter Nine- Chosen – 1979-1986

A. Turning Point – Jeff came to a turning point in his understanding of God’s Word.

B. Turning Point Topic covered in Jeff’s book: Predestined for Heaven? Yes!

C. Chosen as in Calvinism –

1. Total Depravity

2. Unconditional Election

3. Limited Atonement

4. Irresistible Grace

5. Perseverance of the Saints

D. Chosen in Spite of Self – “We love Him, because He first loved us.” I John 4:19

E. Chosen to Understand Through John 3:16 “God loved the world in this way (so)… ”

F. Chosen, Like Puritans – Arthur Pink, John Owen, Joseph Carroll

G. Chosen to Bless Others with Understanding – First, Marilyn, then daughter Karen and many more.

H. Chosen to Restraint -Teaching Sunday School at his church – though anxious to tell others (as are most new Calvinists), he didn’t want to cause trouble.

I. Chosen Amid General Misunderstanding – Most modern Baptists are unaware of their theological heritage.

J. Chosen to Give Out the Gospel – Since we do not know who God has chosen, we must declare the Gospel to all, trusting God with the rest.

K. Chosen to Give Forth the Gospel -Jeff wrote a gospel track following this outline:

1. God created us for His glory. Isaiah 43: 6,7

2. We are required to live for His glory. I Corinthians 10:31

3. We have failed to live for His glory. Romans 3:23

4. We are subjects of God’s just condemnation. II Thessalonians 1:9

5. God gave His only Son to provide salvation from this condemnation. I Timothy 1:15, 1 Peter 3:18

6. The benefits purchased by the death of Jesus Christ belong to only to those who repent of their sin and trust Christ for their salvation. Acts 3:19

III. Part Three – Faithful -It is God who is faithful.

A. Faithful in Lamar, Colorado: The First Few Years- 1990-1994

1. Faithful in Candidating – did not hide position, but that information did not get to all individuals on committee.

2. Faithful through the “Honeymoon.”

3. Faithful When Criticized

4. Faithful Though Maligned

5. Why did all the people leave?

6. Faithful by God’s Grace

7. Faithful with Humor

B. Faithful in Preaching and Writing – 1994-1999

1. Faithful: Preaching Style and Character

2. Faithful When Criticized and When Encouraged

3. Faithful in Studying Out Issues

4. Faithful in a New Position – Principal and Teacher at Lamar Christian School

5. Faithful Although Disfellowshipped -Eschatology

6. Faithful With the Faithful

C. Faithful as Attendance Declined – 2000-2003

1. Faithful in Debate with a National Figure – Robert L. Sumner – The Biblical Evangelist

2. Faithful in the Face of Criticism

3. Faithful in Subsidiary Ministries – cooking, men’s community Bible study

4. Faithful to His Philosophy of Ministry.

D. Faithful in New Pursuits – 2004-2009

1. Faithful with Additions to the Family – through foster care.

2. Faithful Despite Decline -moving to smaller building to save expenses.

3. Faithful in Working at a Church Plant – Garden City, Kansas.

4. Faithful in Missions – missionaries connected with Fellowship of Independent Reformed Evangelicals

E. Faithful to the Fifty Year Mark – 2010-2015

1. Faithful to the Garden City Church – had to discontinue, hopeful for future work.

2. Faithful in More Personal Wrestling – “I think sometimes God brings to the brink in order to show us ourselves and our need for Him. Being discouraged motivated my study of the Word.” P. 175

3. Faithful When God Encouraged

4. Faithful With the Faithful in Lamar

5. God Is Faithful!

This book provides great encouragement for every called and chosen one (i.e. Christian) to be faithful during times of encouragement and discouragement. God is faithful!

Maggie Dail offers online services through the Center for Neuro Development and Family Academy Online. She and her husband, Ronnie, make their home in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. The Center is affiliated with Academy Northwest and Family Academy. They home schooled two foster sons and have worked with home schooling families for over 20 years. Maggie earned her M.A. in Special Education in 1989 and has taught for nearly 40 years.

Children’s Ministry Games That Encourage Creativity

While many children’s ministry games focus on Bible stories and teaching kids to remember Christian facts, some of the most useful games bring in real-life situations. Though teachers must take into account the age and intelligence of their students, there are practical games suitable for any age.

Teach the Golden Rule

For younger children’s ministry games, teachers should focus on basic lessons of right and wrong, morality and ethics. The idea is to teach without teaching so that kids have a good time without knowing they are learning. A great way to start is with the Golden Rule.

Jesus brings us teachings of love, so it’s only natural that children practice games where the goal is to love and share. Break children into groups and give each group a different amount of a different kind of candy. The goal of the game is for each group to get at least one piece of each type of candy.

It is up to the children to determine how they get the candy, but the lesson focuses on teamwork, sharing, and helping each other reach a common goal. The catch is that if at the end of the game if any group has failed to get a piece of each type of candy, no one gets to enjoy their spoils. You can make it a race to see which group can accomplish the goal the fastest or recognize a group that was particularly helpful to the class as a whole. You’re on the right path to building a dynamic children’s ministry when your students are having great fun while learning life’s biggest lessons.

Use Current Events

Older children’s ministry games can bring in a current events focus. These games are meant to be both fun and educational, encouraging students to look at serious problems strategically to find a solution. For instance, teachers can break the class into two groups, Israelis and Palestinians.

After giving a brief introduction of the history of the Israel/Palestine conflict, teachers can release their students to come up with the most creative possible solution that is fair to everyone – nothing is off limits. Teachers can reward the most fantastic, creative solutions with prizes or class recognition. By bringing in fun elements, teachers encourage students to look at age-old problems in new ways.

One idea is to require each group to present a solution that involves a zany outcome, such as the leader of the Palestinian Authority presenting the president of Israel with a sacred Native American macaroni and cheese recipe as a sign of peace. Creativity and fun abound as students learn about war and peace, conflict resolution, religious tolerance, and current events.

Final Thoughts on Creating Children’s Ministry Games

Children’s ministry games have to be about both fun and education for them to meet the needs of teachers and students. Teachers should look around them for contemporary examples to drive home the messages of the Bible that are still so relevant today. As long as students learn to see all problems as solvable, teachers will help develop solid Christian leaders from their ministry games.

CRM in the Lord’s House – The New Business Trend For Ministry

CRM visions have proven their worth in the conglomerate corporate businesses in the entertainment, healthcare, financial, energy, and communication industries when implemented strategically within specific time, resource, and budget constraints. The ability to view the customer and its sales, call center, and marketing interactions provides a holistic summary of a company’s standings with the services and products offered. CRM has now taken a leap into another market that is not so traditional in terms of evaluating ROI and marketing effectiveness – the church or what is loosely referred to today as ministry.

Let’s face it the church of yesterday in no way models the modern day church. As of 2006, there were at least 1200 mega churches that represented three tenths of one percent of all congregations that consistently have at least 2000 weekly “visitors”. (1) There were mega churches in 45 out of 50 states. The states with the most mega churches are Texas with 174 (14%), California with 169 (13.7%), Florida with 83 (6.7%) and Georgia with 64 (5.2%). Houston and Dallas alone account for 56 mega churches or 4.5% of the total (2). These numbers have increased by at least 15% in the last year. Needless to say, there are enormous contributions provided through regular tithes and offering from parishioners or members. Additionally, the modern non-denominational church may sell products and services to parishioners or ministry partners. Each church may have multiple ministries that focus on a particular mission. Additionally the modern-day pastor may have a separate “ministry” or “enterprise” of which his/her products and services are sold to spread the gospel. All of these components, while not necessarily the vision of God, provide a clear reason to consider the church as a business, sometimes with both a profit and non-profit arm.

Based on multiple annual reports of churches that boast 3500-4000 congregations per Sunday, approximately $5M is required to operate to provide very minimal assistance to the needy (of which a minimum salary of $200K is provided to the pastor). Even for the 100-member church with the $200K operating budget, it is imperative for the church leaders to have visibility into the contributions and expenditures very similar to the Coca-Cola, Toyota, and Dell corporations. If the church or ministry is viewed as a business, a clear CRM vision can answer the normal questions required to operate: 1) How much revenue is being generated by a specific product or service? 2) What services or products are better marketed in specific geographic areas for a greater return? 3) What are the expected operational expenses for the ministry? 4) What are the expected contributions to anticipate the new marketing strategies or services that should/can be offered in the future? 5) What products and services have a low market value and high market value and should have increased or decreased promotion?

The mapping from the traditional CRM solution to ministry terminology is quite simple if the ministry purpose is slightly obliterated from the vision. Gartner’s definition of CRM being a “business strategy with outcomes that optimize profitability, revenue, and customer satisfaction by organizing around customer segments, fostering customer satisfying behaviors and implementing customer-centric processes” (3) fits the modern ministry model with strategic term definitions for the following five key ingredients that shape the financial success of the ministry:

1) Customers
Parishioners, any individual that attends the church or “partners” with the ministry, or members of the church based on the definition provided by the church would fall into this category.

2) Payments
Each “customer” contributes a tithe or offering. Mega churches have now implemented the idea of an annual subscription where a person signs an intent to pay (like a promissory note or pledge) a certain amount of money to the church within the year. This helps the church identify how well incoming contributions will offset the operating expenses that include the ministerial and administrative staff salaries and the normal operations like musical equipment, mission and education, marketing, assistance to needy, and maintenance.

3) Products
Most churches have a physical or online bookstore where spiritual books (like Bible or authored by motivational speakers or other ministers), CDs, tapes, DVDs, and mp3 files are sold of sermons, bible lectures, or a series of topics to reach all audiences and spread the gospel.

4) Services
In the case of most ministries, specifically pastor-originated, a fee is charged for the minister to “preach”, speak, pray, or attend another church or conference. There are also fees charged for an organization to rent the church space. Additionally, there may be a fee charged for a choir to sing at an event.

5) Marketing
Marketing can be as small as promotional flyers to promote a Cancer Walk-a-Thon or as large as television advertisement, Streaming Faith (online presence of the church’s services), or network television presence. Some mega churches also employ Call Centers to call “partners” or “members” to promote specific events. There may even be trade or promotional spending to persuade retailers or other ministries to carry certain products in their inventories.

There are many CRM packages that can handle the CRM vision of pastoral leadership. However, the costs can be enormous based on what is really necessary to provide reporting, analytics, and effective tracking to forecast incremental membership and “revenue” growth. For example, Siebel is an enormous undertaking and a tremendous expenditure upwards of millions that require continuously large operational expenses with a minimum integration time of six months to year. SAP CRM is less user-friendly than Siebel and usually requires at least a year to implement with many caveats. Razor’s Edge lacks user-friendliness, customizability, maintainability, and upgradeability and is not as strategic and analytical in the reporting compared to other CRM packages that are less expensive. Salesforce.com and Sugar CRM are by far the better options in terms of implementation time, ability to combine analytics and reporting with external systems, user-friendliness, data integration and conversion timeliness, accuracy, and effectiveness, and overall minimal costs for production support. Indeed, there are a few ministries (mega churches) that spend millions of dollars on Siebel implementations for an initial implementation and post-production support. Keep in mind that the recommendations provided are based on a system providing effective functionality with the ability to keep costs at a minimum such that the ministry can focus on spending most of its money on programs/outreach with the mission to help the less fortunate.

Nonetheless, ministry today operates as a business with the same needs as the conglomerate corporate enterprises that desire marketing, sales, spending, and management visibility into the success of their products and services as it relates to target demographics, niche markets, and seasonal periods. CRM solutions provide the forecasting, regulatory compliance standards, data integration with financial systems and old legacy systems, and accessibility required for trend analysis to track contributions, membership and revenue growth, and analysis of future operations and spending. It is, however, scary that while CRM provides a holistic overview of the parishioner, partner, or member’s contribution to the ministry’s ROI, it never can measure the true essence of the ministry’s purpose – saving a soul.

Kingdom Empowerment: Twelve Keys for Overcoming Women’s Empowerment Issues For Ministry and Business

According to the United Nations Millennium Project, Publication, Education and Gender Equality, globally women still have fewer opportunities for economic participation in most parts of the world than men. The report also suggest that even basic and higher education, health and safety risks, and political representation continue to exist (1).

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has report that women comprise more than 50% of the world’s population, they only own 1% of the world’s wealth (2).

Reports like these can be changed when women continue to develop, educate, and become more involved in their communities, nationally, and globally.

Kingdom Empowerment is a critical aspect to achieving gender equality and promoting ministry, business, and healthy sustainability to our environments.

Women are capable of increasing their self-worth, decision-making power, having control of destiny and purpose, having the ability to effect change, and having access to opportunities and resources by practicing Kingdom Empowerment principles.

Kingdom Empowerment takes more than a minute. It requires many individual assets and traits to acquire a vision and sustain it.

ONE

If you have or have not already started ministry or business, spend time gaining SELF-AWARENESS. Most visionaries are successfully aligned with their vision because that know their own strengths and weaknesses. In order to be effective in your relationship with GOD, you must know who your are, where your are, when you are to act, and how your are to act. This will help your to map out your mind, spirit, and soul to be aligned with your vision for ministry or business while remaining in the Kingdom of God. You will also discover your purpose, destiny, and will to help the Kingdom of God while you are fulfilling ministry or business. Most cases you embarked on the journey of ministry or business because you were seeking fulfillment or the pursuit of happiness in doing the work of God and for God without hindrances or obstacles. However at times our passion moves us quickly and we fail to take time to become fully aware of ourselves causing us to fail to paint the big picture (vision). Being self-aware will effectively help women to establish visions, missions, and goals that will sustain ministry and business for the long run.

TWO

SLOW THE PACE in order to be successful in what you are doing. In most cases you have to bring others onboard with the vision by influencing them to follow role or part of the vision. This takes more than what you see or act out.

There may be an appearance at first that others are interested in what you are doing or selling. However, in order to keep them motivated and having the same passion that you do for it, they have to be attached and receiving the quality and qualitative nutrients from the same Vine (Jesus Christ). Kingdom Empowerment involves your soul, spirit, and body. Resting is a part of allowing individuals to free up your mind therefore increasing creativity and capabilities that are needed to function. We speed the pace at times when we see that potentially the benefit is great, but it is better to keep a steady and firm pace to maximize your full potential.

THREE

PLANNING and continuing to plan will help you to remain aligned with the direction God has for you. Most persons fail in one year of startup due to improper planning in order to fully implement their visions successfully. Planning events, planning time, planning every little activity and task is of importance to your vision. If you are extremely busy… then you most likely not planning. Take time to schedule your daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly task. It is even a good standard to plan from three to five years ahead long term.

FOUR

LOOK AT ALL OF THE OBSTACLES that you are facing and consider as limitations. Make a list of what is factual and what you think or thought to be a limitation. SEEK WISDOM from God. Most things that we think are limitations can be proven to not be limitations. Remember always, in the Kingdom of God there are no boxes or boundaries that we fit into, as we are children of God that set our own boundaries and limitations for what is inside or outside of ministry or business. We are outside of the boxes and boundaries/limitations of life in the world. God always will give us the insight we need to surpass each obstacle.

FIVE

BE DYNAMIC AND INNOVATIVE in your thinking. If you are doing the same thing someone else is doing that is successful, it is good. However, we are designed to be ‘Elite Thinkers’. This means we need to add more to what is good or great, and make it uniquely more visible than all others. We have to go beyond the norm of existence by receiving and having Divine revelation that make us better than the crowd. Take time to map your thoughts by writing them down. Rehearse them until you come up with the key to your vision that will bring accomplishment.

SIX

CONSIDER THE IMPACT of your surrounding and environment before you act. Sure enough in most cases, we are more than capable, but we forget it takes more than us to make it happen. Being empowered in the Kingdom of God requires analysis of (who, what, when, where, and how) it will affect the intended (audience, customer, environment, etc.), determining the quality of the expected outcomes of the vision, and being equipped for the unexpected risk.

SEVEN

LEARN FROM EACH TASK, ACTIVITY, OR EVENT you experience with ministry or business. Take time to establish new methods, process, or guidelines for the good and the bad that will make your next one be more and more successful each time.

EIGHT

CONTINUE TO DEVELOP your personal skills, knowledge, wisdom, and understanding of your visions. If you need education, certifications, licensing, affiliations and/or associations, mentorship, life coaching, etc. in order to be successful start one day at a time. Research your avenues and set goals to achieve them. Schedule at least one day, and one hour of the week to accomplish the tasks toward developing and accomplishing your vision.

NINE

UNDERSTAND YOUR STRENGTHS, WEAKNESSES, OPPORTUNITIES, AND THREATS (SWOT) of your vision. Choose more than one so you can successfully adapt to ways of overcoming each.

TEN

FIND SUPPORT AND MENTOR others with the same vision. Sometimes visions fail or may be aborted when we do not seek expert advice or experience from others who are capable and successful in what that do. It does not necessarily mean we have to follow everything, but we can adapt what will help us to be successful. Take time to share what you have learned or have gained experience on with others.

ELEVEN

BE PERSISTENT AND CONSISTENT, in all areas of your vision. Failure only exist when you stop. Fall down, but get up. Giving up is not an option when you have determined that you will be successful introducing change in your environment.

TWELVE

Finally, remember to SEEK AND HEAR from GOD in all that you do. This is the most important aspect of being Kingdom Empowered.

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