I have been cleaning out my email inbox over the last few days. I discovered a very interesting thing. I have thousands of spams and advertisements for various ministry helps. Some of these I originally signed up for, because they offered some free book or note of material that I really found helpful. However, I am finding that many of these, even from reputable authors and Christian advisers are really just advertisements to make money.
Don’t get me wrong, all work that someone does should be given proper respect it deserves. It also takes money to run ministry, trust me anyone in small-town ministry understands this. However, it is obvious that many ministries are really more worried about making profit from spreading the Gospel than really sharing resources to spread the Gospel of hope to the world.
What is disturbing is that so many of these organizations and people are luring people in with promises to help focus their ministry, to help teach evangelism, good discipleship training, or help your board members serve better. They may even deliver on their promises, but first you have fork over hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
The truth is that most of the small-town churches in America are already on tight budgets. They may benefit from some of the teachings or programs being offered, but they can’t access these, because many larger churches, organizations, and well-known individuals are operating like big business.
I am so glad the message at the heart of our faith wasn’t delivered to the world in the same manner that we in modern Christian Society promote things. Jesus came and met with people individually and in groups to share God’s hope. The disciples who followed him continued the mission of sharing Jesus openly and freely. They trained the early church leaders by example, and sacrificed to carry it our to more people.
The Bible remains the main message and teaching tool we have, and it comes to us thanks to the generations who came before.
It’s great that we can use free resources from the internet and other place from some ministries that are more concerned with spreading the Gospel and helping others than making money. I’m grateful for those ministries over the years that post helps and information, so our small-town ministries can get other training material.
I thank those ministries that are striving to offer free or low cost materials that can be reproduced. Others may not share their appreciation, but I am sure that many other small-town and smaller congregations are grateful for the helps than you may ever know.