Posted by: Destiny Map | March 25, 2009

Marketplace Ministry

Minister in the Marketplace

Finding Your Place in the Sun!

Finding Your Place in the Sun!

Finding your place in the sun…..
You were made for such a time as this!

As a minister in the marketplace, your work is important to God
 You are called to both business and full time ministry. The concept of  business as a tool for spreading the gospel is not new. The apostle Paul is a biblical example of secular work and ministry.

Throughout history, God has chosen to use people from the marketplace to lead revivals, transform culture, bring about social justice and enlarge the Kingdom of God. Jesus began his ministry as a carpenter. As a matter of fact, all of the men Jesus called to be his disciples were not called from the ranks of famous orators or professional religious workers, but from the world of business.  In God’s economy there is no distinction between ministry and business. You may be a part of the great company of Saints called to minister and manifest the life of Christ out in the public square of the marketplace.

Finding a Ministry Job You Can Love
Has God called you:
*  to start a church in a college dorm, city park, or the local coffee shop? 
* to pioneer an orphanage in Afghanistan, or open a Christian radio station in Miami?
* to start a 501(C)(3) nonprofit designed to train underemployed men in Chicago?
* to launch a new business in your hometown in support of the homeless?
* buy a franchise to finance a Christian school or mentor children with parents in prison?
* run a food bank, soup kitchen or rebuild homes lost in hurricane Katrina?
* organize medical mission trips to underdeveloped nations  * the list of possibilities is endless.
The point is, ministry is not reserved for the few. Ministry is multifaceted and many-sided. The scriptures plainly tell us that God wants to use everyone. You don’t need to quit your job and live on the tithe to be in full time ministry.

Your First Priority: You Need A Compass – God Has A Vision For Your Life

You Need a Compass

You Need a Compass

Not understanding God’s vision for your life is like a ship without a compass. You just drift from day to day. When the phone rings, you answer it. When you’re hungry, you eat. When you are tired you go to bed. You don’t take charge of your life circumstances…. Your life circumstance takes charge of you! Without the motivation of a God-Centered Vision, you just end up drifting with the everyday demands of life.

Your Second Priority: You Need a Plan – a personal mission statement
  Do you have a strategic Plan – that will enable you to fulfill your vision and complete your destiny? Understanding the center of God’s will for your life is just the beginning. You will need a plan of action for accomplishing your mission in life. Your second priority is to develop a clear personal vision along with a simple Step-By-Step God Centered Plan for achieving your goals.
Without a strategic ministry plan you just end up drifting from one good idea to another. You settle for doing what is convenient, rather than what’s important. A personal mission statement guides your life, it helps you to focus the resources, gifts, and talents God has given you.

A personal mission statement works like a map.

A personal mission statement works like a map.

Your personal mission statement works just like a map. It provides the direction and planning necessary to guide the course of your days and the life choices you make.

Without a Faith Plan of Action – your vision will only remain a dream.
Having a vision is important, but developing a workable plan to achieve that vision is vital. “For want of a skilled strategy an army is lost; victory is the fruit of long planning.” Pro 11:14

Your vision will not be completed just as a byproduct of life. You are responsible for the intentional fulfillment of your purpose in life. You must strive to be who you were born to be.  God provides the grace, but you are given the responsibility for making the choices.

 “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” Pro 16:2-4

Here is a basic outline of the Vision Planning Process.
 Sometimes it’s tough trying to formulate a plan on your own. This is where a mentor / Ministry Life Coach can really help out. A mentor is trained to help you “connect the dots” in your life, so that you are able to focus on all that God has given you. The added benefit of accountability will save you a great deal of wasted time trying to go it alone. Proverbs 15:22 says,  “Plans go wrong for lack of advice; many advisers bring success.” Ask God to direct you to a mature, seasoned advisor to help you with the vision planning process.

There are 6 basic elements to be included in your Vision Plan
A clear written vision will provide the direction, the vitality, the boundaries, and the driving force for everything you do!

  • 1. Identify Your Mission & God Centered Purpose in life.
    The Bible tells us that we are “saved unto good works”; the epistle of James says, “Faith without works is dead.” The question is: What ministry work in the marketplace does the Lord have for you to do?

•2.      Identify Your Objectives

•3.      Identify Your Resources

  • 4. Devise a Budget for getting things done.
    Don’t get stuck here! Most folks fail to accurately access the value of their limited finances and never develop a step-by-step plan for effectively and strategically expanding those

    Holes in my pockets!

    Holes in my pockets!

    resources. Don’t let a lack of finances prevent you from achieving your vision. Everything in God begins with only a seed. (I will post a whole series on this subject, and in the process show you how 4 Jewish immigrants turned a piece of cardboard into 14 Million dollars. The problem is not a lack of resources; it’s a lack of understanding how to effectively use what you already have.)

  • 5. Devise an “Action Time Line” for accomplishing your goals.
    This Plan of Action breaks your vision down into bite size pieces that you can handle one simple step at a time. As you begin to get things done, it’s surprising how motivated you will become. Actually making progress, and seeing your vision start to come to life; will generate a whole new dynamic and energy into your project.”Careful planning puts you ahead in the long run; hurry and scurry puts you further behind.”   Proverbs 21:4-6 (in context) Proverbs 21 (whole chapter)

•6.      Implement Your Plans – You just do it!

A  REAL LIFE CASE STUDY – here’s an example of turning a vision into a working reality.

Youth About Business
Sam Kirk left a career with Southwestern Corporation to start Youth About Business. He had a simple mission in mind: to provide people from underserved communities with the opportunity to learn God’s principles and apply them to business. “I remember talking to my wife and telling her that God had set a new direction for our lives.” What Sam found was a God given vision that called him into a life of eternal significance.

Youth About Business

Youth About Business

 Sam says, ” I would watch the news everyday and see so many of our young people making the wrong choices.” Sam decided to give them a Godly alternative! He started a mentoring program that gives students an opportunity to work with business owners. Older students have a choice to work in training centers where they learn the day-to-day operations of how to make a company run. As he experienced success in one location, he began to duplicate the ministry in other cities around the country.  “We’re now located in Nashville, New York, Chicago and Philadelphia.” Sam has proven that with God all things are possible!

A visionary finds a need and then develops a practical plan to fill that need.

Sam’s vision was a creative way to reach what many call the “missing generations.” Statistics tell us that only a small percentage of our population between the ages of 12 and 23 go to church.  However, Sam found a creative method of attracting this sector of the postmodern generation.  A Gallup poll survey found that over 70% of our youth would like to become business owners. Yet, over 85% say they are not being taught how to successfully run a business. Sam’s objective was to use this need in their life to introduce them to the Lord. His program to train young entrepreneurs not only filled a need in their lives, but has given them a spiritual foundation they can stand on for the rest of their lives. Sam comments, “We’re committed to preparing tomorrow’s leader today.”

Youth About Business Mission Statement
“Our mission is to provide an entrepreneurial training program to youth that will enrich the lives of program participants. Our program exposes youth on training through the YAB Training Centers. Our goal is to give our youth participants a unique learning opportunity that will enhance their educational endeavors, as well as equip them with a better understanding of how to become effective leaders. Our program prepares students with all the mechanics of how to successfully run a business. We have an established curriculum, and area professionals help us to execute the training portions of our program. Our Youth About Business grads have gone on to enroll in many colleges and universities around the county.”

Notice three Basic Elements Sam used to turn his vision into a working reality.
1. Sam started with a simple vision that focused on one single need.
 He began to verbalize, share and communicate his vision so that others around him could become a part of what God had placed in his heart.

2.   Next… Sam began to identify his mission objectives.
His objective was simple: to reach youth by meeting a need in their lives. That need was their desire to become a business owner. He planned to meet this need by providing formal business training, as well as, opportunities for young entrepreneurs to gain practical experience by working in local businesses.

3.  Next… Sam began to identify the resources around him.
Sam didn’t let his personal lack of resources stop his vision. He learned to think and plan in terms of team ministry.

By sharing his vision with others, he began to find the people resources he needed to make his vision come to life. Volunteers, business owners, and educators, began to join with Sam to teach and mentor the teenagers in his program. Corporations, businesses and local government began to get involved as sponsors. Individual sponsorships were made available from $30 to $100 a month. Some sponsored one child’s complete annual tuition amount. This not only covered the student’s cost of curriculum, but also their one week stay at Vanderbilt during the summer, their trip to Wall Street, and their leadership Retreat during the Christmas holidays. Several companies sent executive volunteers to teach classes and serve as consultants.

This recruitment of strategic ministry partners (people resources) is a powerful method of overcoming your lack of financial resources.

A major skill for launching your vision will be the ability to include others and equip them for the work of the ministry. Solo visions are inherently weak. Recruiting partners can include counselors, consultants, mentors, experts, retirees, authors, advisors, friends, key employers, your pastor, financiers, civic organizations, Better Business Bureau, Small Business Administration, civic leaders…. Pray, the Lord will send the resources! As a matter of fact, those resources are all around you right now.

If you try to do everything alone and never partner with others in the Body of Christ, you create huge barriers to your own potential.  The size of your ministry team, should determine the size of your dream! For a vision to motivate believers to work together, those believers must first be convinced that the vision is a promise and revelation from God Himself and not just some dream of one ambitious gifted leader.

Finally, after formulating your Strategic Ministry Plan and Action Time Line designed to get things done……. Just jump in and do it!  For help with your project contact:  Mark C. Lee,  mentors@bellsouth.net

Posted by: Destiny Map | February 7, 2012

The Courage to be a Minister in the Marketplace

Courage is not just seen in the great exploits applauded by men. More often, courage lies in the battle of overcoming our past failures that seek to destroy our souls. Your future might be a mystery and your past a misery, but you can choose to rise above it all! That’s real courage. Courage is discovering your destiny and asking God for a step-by-step plan for getting it done. When the traditions of men tell you that as a “lay person” your life doesn’t count, it will take courage to stand up and be who God has called you to be. This is the Day of the Saints. A time when all the resources of God are being released to complete the Great Commission. You are a vital part of what God is doing today!

Posted by: Destiny Map | February 7, 2012

Does your life account for anything?

Ask yourself; when you leave this world will your life actually count for anything? Have you sat in your pew thinking that you will never be anything other than a spectator? Can you really be satisfied just being a church member, listenig to a thousand sermons, being a constant consumer of ministry nailed to a pew but never realizing your destiny? The greatest tragedy any Christian can experience is the slow gradual death of never fulfilling or even understanding your true destiny.

Posted by: Destiny Map | April 12, 2009

How to Finance Your Ministry – Post 2

Learning to obtain federal, state and private Grants to Fund Your Nonprofit Ministry
Great Commission Companies are being launched all over planet earth. The marketplace is the last mission frontier. More than 90% of the prophets in the Old Testament never functioned inside the walls of the temple earning their living from “church” ministry. Most were business people or government officials. You may be a part of this great company of Saints called to minister and manifest the life of Christ out in the public square of the marketplace.

How to Find Grant Money
If your marketplace ministry is primarily a for-profit, traditional business model – your income is derived from a combination of goods and services. However, if you choose to organize strictly as a nonprofit, you will have to develop the basic skills necessary to obtain donations and grants from individuals, foundations, endowments, trust funds, churches, corporations, associations, other nonprofits, as well as, federal, state and local governments. Because there are so many potential sources of income, your first step in organizing your fundraising strategy will be to develop a data base of potential donors.

It is easy to get overwhelmed with all the nonprofit resources out there. In the beginning you need to just focus on the primary sources of information. The following resource list will help you get started.

Federal Grants – web site information centers
www.grants.gov  – is run by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and is considered a primary source for finding and applying for federal government grants. You will have to register in order to apply for a grant. You can register as an individual or as an organization. This is a great place to begin your education on the “language” of grants and become familiar with current grant opportunities.

www.cfda.gov – is another government source. The CFDA is the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance. It provides a full listing of all Federal programs available to State and local governments; tribal governments; territories of the United States; domestic public, quasi-public; and private profit and nonprofit organizations & Institutions; specialized groups and individuals.

You will have spend some time getting used to “government speak” using this site – but hang in there it’s worth the effort. You can find federal programs that cover everything from eradicating blight from domestic trout to rebuilding homes destroyed by hurricane Katrina. A word of caution – after finding a funding opportunity in the catalog, always call, email or write the agency concerned to make sure the grant is still active. Although they update the catalog frequently, it can go out of date. It’s best to check first, before you devote too much time on the project.

Finding Grant Money in the Private Sector – Put Together a List of Prospects
After learning the ropes of finding grants with federal, state and local governments, you will want to get familiar with grants offered in the private sector; there are plenty of organizations and sources of information to help you do just that.

www.fdnccenter.orgThe Guide to U.S. Foundations, Their Trustees, Officers, and Donors
The Foundation Center is a primary source of funding source information for grant seekers. The center operates 5 libraries across the US and offer several directories in print and on CD-ROMs. They also offer a subscription online service. If you can’t find a foundation center near you, try to locate a branch library or cooperating collection, community foundation or large university library; they will often have copies of these materials. To save money, you can also purchase a short-term subscription on the Foundation Center web site.

Additional Grant Sources and Nonprofit Information/News
The Fundraising Forum – www.foundationnews.org

Grant Advisor (Subscription) – www.grantadvisor.com/index.htm

Grassroots Fundraising Journal – www.grassrootsfundraising.org

GuideStar – www.guidestar.org

The Nonprofit Times – www.nptimes.com

Nonprofit FAQ- www.nonprofits.org

National Technical Information Service – www.ntis.gov

Organizations and Associations for Nonprofits
Alliance for Nonprofit Management – www.allianceonline.org

American Association of Fundraising Counsel – www.aafrc.org

The Council of Foundations – www.cof.org

The Foundation Center – www.fdncenter.org

Independent Sector – www.independentsector.org

There are literally hundreds of government and private resources including websites, books, magazines, newsletters, CDs and videos to help you establish, fund and manage your nonprofit organization. These sources of information listed above will give you a great start in getting your nonprofit off the ground. Mark C Lee – mentors@bellsouth.net

Posted by: Destiny Map | April 6, 2009

How to Obtain Nonprofit Status to Finance Your Ministry

How to Obtain Nonprofit Status to Finance Your Ministry

As a part of the new generation of Christians eager and ready to take your faith beyond the church pew and into the world, you don’t see business simply as a job, but as a calling. For you, your business place is your ministry place. You are a world changer; a marketplace minister sent to influence and transform the community around you.

To manage a successful work in the marketplace, the one skill you must master is how to finance your ministry. Generating a consistent income for both you and your marketplace ministry budget, will place your organization on a firm financial foundation.

One of the many ways you can generate financial support is through the vehicle of setting up your ministry as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

There are 3 advantages of gaining 501(c)(3) nonprofit status for your marketplace ministry.
(1) Your organization is tax exempt from having to pay federal income taxes.
(2) It allows your donors to deduct contributions to your ministry on their personal tax returns. Obviously, this provides a powerful benefit and motive for your supporters to give to your cause. A Tax deduction benefit is often the critical factor for attracting donations.
(3) Creating a nonprofit enables you to gain access to federal, state, and private grant money.

5 Basic Steps to Starting a Nonprofit

(1) Qualify for Nonprofit Status
The first step to becoming a Nonprofit is to make sure you qualify. Your group is eligible for tax-exempt status under the IRS 501(c)(3) tax code only if your primary activity intends to pursue one or more of the following purposes: *Charitable *Religious *Educational *Scientific *Literary *Testing for Public Safety *Fostering National or International Amateur Sports Competition *Prevention of Cruelty to Children or Animals

For detailed information on the criteria for each type of tax-exempt status, see IRS Publication 557, Tax Exempt Status for Your Organization. Also, if you feel you need help with filling out the 501(c)(3) application, you can go to www.LegalZoom.com for assistance. The cost is $595 for filling out the questionnaire; with an additional $300 to $750 for the government’s filing fee.

(2) Name Your Nonprofit
What will you call your marketplace ministry or group? Try to use a name that communicates your mission and purpose. Use the web, domain search, phone directories, industry sources, federal trademark database, state trademark registries to make sure your proposed name is not being used by another nonprofit or business.

(3) Develop Your Strategic Plan and Devise a Budget
Translating your hopes and dreams into a specific plan of action will help you get beyond the idealistic vision stage. A strategic plan and mission statement will enable you to focus on what you want to hope to accomplish and how you intend to reach your goals. In addition, a well defined mission statement is crucial to obtain nonprofit status with the IRS. The government will look closely at your statement and business plan to make sure your organization meets eligibility requirements. A great resource for: How to Write a Mission Statement is the National Council of Nonprofits. ( http://www.councilofnonprofits.org)

A Budget is Not the Boogey Man!
Budgeting is the planning process of estimating the finances you will need to pursue and reach your mission and goals. Don’t let the budget boogey man intimidate you; a financial plan can be a great help. For example, try publishing your budget on your internet site and invite your core group, friends, family, and supporters to participate to help “author” the budget. A website is a great way to communicate your financial needs; it also provides motivation and momentum for your supporters to feel they are an important part of accomplishing your ministry mission. Getting folks involved in the budget strategizing process also gets them more excited about paying the bills!

(4) Set Up Your Board of Directors
One of the fundamental tasks of setting up your nonprofit is choosing a board of directors. Look for members who might share a passion and commitment to your ministry mission.
The ideal board member:
* should be willing to roll up his or her sleeves to help with the necessary work involved.
* have strong connections to their community
* be willing to help raise money
* have some experience writing grants
*possess fundamental business skills and have the necessary time available

(5) Decide on the legal structure of your ministry. Should you incorporate?
Although it is not necessary to incorporate to get 501(c)(3) status, a group that plans to seek federal tax-exempt status will likely benefit from the more formal corporate structure. The main reason most nonprofits incorporate is to protect those who work for the organization from personal liability. What legal structure you plan to eventually choose for your organization (LLC, C  or S Type Corporation) will depend on many factors. It would be wise to take your business plan to an attorney and seek legal advice before you make a final decision in this matter.

Recommendation: Starting and Building a Nonprofit – A Practical Guide
If you intend to form a nonprofit marketplace ministry, an excellent detailed manual and resource is offered by Nolo. (
www.nolo.com) Check out: Starting and Building a Nonprofit. A Practical Guide. The cost is around $29 and covers just about everything you will need to know to obtain 501(c)(3) status for your business/ministry in the marketplace.

Posted by: Destiny Map | March 19, 2009

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