The Life Investment of Ministry (A Testimony by The Prophetic Scribe)

tpslogoOne of the biggest challenges facing ministries is funding.  Some ministries become so desperate that they resort to manipulation to get people to donate.  Other gifted ministers use their talents to write books, produce music or sponsor conferences that raise money for their ministries.  Simply asking just doesn’t seem to produce results anymore.  It seems like you have to have something to give people.  The “what’s in it for me” mentality has reached the church.

I am reminded of how the first church began.  In Chapter 4 of the book of Acts, all the believers sold their assets and laid them at the foot of the Apostles so that the goods could be distributed to everyone, and it is recorded that no one lacked anything.  They took the words of Jesus seriously.  They were willing to give up all their worldly possessions for the sake of the Gospel – in order to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and care for the widows and orphans.  Those were the good old days.   However, as challenging and dismal as the situation may seem for ministries at times, we have to remember that it starts with US.  Yes, YOU.  It doesn’t matter what everyone else does.  God wants to use you.  So, you must examine your gifts and talents and ask yourself.  What do I have to give?  How can I share the love of God in practical ways?  How can I raise money to sustain my ministry and purchase equipment, materials, buy gas to get to the people that need my help, and even have some extra to give to those in need?

MY TESTIMONY:  During two years of unemployment, the Lord blessed me with a self-employed husband who allowed me the opportunity to explore my options and the time to discover how God wanted to use my talents for his glory.  As we struggled on one salary, in a new marriage, without a steady income, the assets we brought into the marriage slowly slipped away, and though it was heartbreaking to lose precious heirlooms, a nice home, an entertainment budget, money for new clothes, etc., we were thankful that we still had favor with God.  He still trusted us with an International Media Ministry that we could not afford or sustain, but God did.  He kept a roof over our heads.  He provided transportation for us to get around.  He fed us.  He sustained us.  He never left us.  Also, during this time we were struggling to blend our little family.  A menopausal mom, a pubescent daughter and thank God, a faithful, loving man of God who held it all together by staying on his knees before God, when  it seemed that things were falling apart all around us.  No, it was not easy and for the first time in my life I was completely dependent upon a man.  I had no income of my own.  I had been accustomed to trusting God when I was a single woman, but trusting a man was different – but I didn’t marry an ordinary man.  I married a man of God, so the anointing was bound to flow down to me if I could just persevere.  At times, I didn’t know if the lights, water or phone service would be on or if we would have money to eat – let alone afford this ministry.  I won’t lie.  Sometimes, I resented and my husband for doggedly protecting and putting it above everything else, and at one point when we had to stay with some people from the church, my husband was accused of chasing a dream instead of providing for his family – this was from our brothers and sisters in Christ that were supposed to keep us uplifted.  But, I believed in my husband and the vision that God had given him and I believed in God, his word and his promises.  I knew that he just wanted me to understand the cross that we bared – taking the gospel to all nations for the purpose of winning souls for the kingdom of God.  Call us crazy, but we believe God and his word, and we know that he loves his people – all of us.

So, we weathered the storms and after a while, I realized that losing those things freed us of a lot of upkeep and responsibilities and it also stripped us of things we were trying desperately to hold onto.  I began to understand that God had to tear down our past to build up our future together.  In addition, I learned true sacrifice.  When it was time to pay rent or pay the bill to keep the ministry on the air, we chose the ministry.  We put God first every time, and even though we had to move a couple times in those first couple years, it gave us more favor with God.   He was faithful to expand our territory.  New customers came.  We found a little home that we could afford and allowed us to pay the other bills too.

During this time, since I didn’t have a job, I explored hobbies like sewing, making crafts and dancing for the Lord at home and at church.  My dance was so free that I was asked to dance for special occasions, even though in the past I had usually been invited to recite a poem.  God began to minister to me about dance, and I researched and recorded what he was showing me.  I also began to make tabret/timbrels and praise flags and teach the elders what God had shown me.  I didn’t do much writing during this time.  It seems that gift was lying dormant waiting like an empty chalice to be filled by God.  Meanwhile, God was commanding me to support my husband in ministry by uploading, scheduling, writing, marketing and handling the bookkeeping  while allowing me the space to create.  So, I began to use my limited sewing skills to create new items out of old things.  It turned out that I had a gift.  Everything around me was a potential project.  I searched the Internet for eco-friendly ideas.  I read blogs and saw what people were doing.  I learned how they were using their blogs to share knowledge, information, skills and ideas.  My blog had been an online journal.  I could see that the blogesphere was a whole new world.  Finally, I started learning how to use Social Marketing to share some of my own ideas and I realized that I was in a very unique position – owning my own television network and all.  So, I slowly started putting it together.

Eventually, I was led to a woman that taught me about eBay.   eBay afforded me a way to earn cash by selling my handmade items, getting rid of unused items around the house and help my sisters in the church sell their items as well.   But, mainly, it gives me my own money to tithe, invest in the ministry and take my hard-working husband out to breakfast every now and then.

So, to put it into perspective.  You don’t have to chase money.  CHASE GOD.

I have adopted a Proverbs 31 attitude about my role as wife, mother, grandmother and minister.  My family is my first ministry, the ministry mandate to write what God put on my life is my second ministry and reaching out to my community is my third ministry.  My life is ministry and since it’s the life that God gave me, I do it all to his glory.

The Prophetic Scribe Ministries is all that I am, and my life is a Testimony of Jesus Christ.

A.L. Mayfield

Arletia Mayfield is the visionary founder of TPS Publications, a company committed to offering primarily digital, downloadable resources and tools for ministry. These resources are designed to creatively convey the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

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