I have been finding in my research and efforts to fund this ministry that so many people have developed a pre-determined stigma against Non-Profit Charities, Religious Organizations, and Churches. They have chosen to consider them an easy paycheck for people who take advantage of others’ generosity.
I just like everyone else who has heard of the bad apples that leave this sour taste in the greater perception. Those who have used what should have been a good work to scam people of their money. We have all heard the stories and read the facts of CEO’s and heads of various Non-Profits and 501 (c) (3) classified entities, and sadly even Churches and Ministries making huge salaries, some as high or even higher than $400,000 a year.
I don’t like to read this information either. It rolls my stomach to know that we have hundreds of thousands of families and people in this world who are worried about how they are going to get their next meal or how to take care of their family, meanwhile, someone heading a large charity or non-profit is sitting in their nice warm mansion eating steak and lobster all paid for by money that could have helped others.
In all fairness though to those who have founded, or head up some of these Non-Profit spiritual or humanitarian efforts. The work that they do does deserve a fair wage and compensation if that is what they do as employment. It is not easy work, but fair in my perception does not mean half a million dollars a year or the like.
So, you may be asking yourself right now, Pastor Steve, why are we talking about money, paychecks, and fat cat CEO’s, and corrupt charities?
I suppose it’s a matter of open disclosure.
Making my personal situation and intentions clear for those who may be uneasy about supporting the Ministry I am working very hard to start.
I feel if I disclose everything about myself and lay it out, then I and this ministry can not be accused of being a fraud or scam.
Many who have followed me on social media over the years know my story, but I am not writing this for them. I am writing this for those who don’t know about me personally. I believe for anyone to completely understand my vision for this ministry you need to know where I stand. I’m not going to give a detailed autobiography. You can find this kind of stuff on my profile on our Ministry Website but I am going to point out some facts to help highlight and shine on my way of thinking and experiences.
So here is my list of facts and explanations in the interest of transparency:
1. I’m a Disabled Person.
Though, I actually hate terms like “Disabled”, “Handicapped” or “Crippled”. (I have a funny saying about this I’ll share another time.) I carry myself on two feet under my own power and can care for my own needs I am a disabled individual. I live in pain almost every day as the result of an incurable disease I have had since a child. A lot of effort and expensive medical aids go into keeping me able to function as I do. Somedays, are worse than others.
I had to leave my profession in 2005 because of the impacts it was having on my health and family.
I receive Disability Benefits, and though this may sound like a gravy train, if I did not live with my family I would not be able to afford a roof over my head or food on my plate without further assistance programs.
2. I know what Hungry means.
Though I can’t say I have even been in a super desperate situation for food I would never overshadow those who go weeks or months without or on stuff most people would not consider ever eating.
I have though awoken many times in the past having to seriously consider the only item left as a breakfast food and my only meal for the day. To this day I can’t eat can of cold baked beans without remembering it being my only meal.
3. I’m a Volunteer Too!, I refuse to take a dime.
I am starting this Ministry entirely Volunteer. From top to bottom everyone is a Volunteer. Though sometime down the road once the ministry is accomplishing its mission and operating soundly I would entertain a ‘MODEST’ paycheck, and one for those who work for it too. This would not be of my own decision, but that of the Board that will govern it. Anything higher than a middle-class income for anyone working in this Ministry to me would be ridiculously excessive, especially for God’s Work.
4. I’m personally paying for Ministry stuff right now.
That’s right, even on what little I bring in I am giving my part, and sometimes more.
No Tax-Writeoffs for me though. Even if we were tax-deductible at this point it serves me no personal benefit because I have no taxable income.
Though we are still trying to get started, a portion of my meager $1000.00 or so a month’s income goes toward some expenses, like the website I have for the Ministry at https://dimom.org. I pay for this out of my personal pocket right now. (With the 501 (c) (3) Status I am working us toward, I could get us the resource for FREE)
5. I don’t even own my own car.
I share a car with Family, sometimes I fight to put my share of gas back in it.
I Co-Own an old 1985 pickup truck with my Son (for Insurance Purposes), but for me to drive it is not comfortable or easy for me to get into.
6.) My credit is destroyed.
Through many factors, divorce, past depression, and yeah even a short yet conquered and overcome drinking problem following my divorce my credit score is destroyed.
This is why I just can’t “Take Out A Loan” or “Charge It” to a card to start this Ministry.
I have no Credit Cards nor would I dare enter into a loan (even if I could)
This is a matter I have placed at Jesus’s Feet.
7.) I have been Mad At God!
Yes, that’s right. For many years I lived angry at God. Like many, I did things I am not proud of. I won’t go into detail, read my testimony to understand more. But the Lord has forgiven me and has understood my pain.
8.) The Money raised for the Ministry is for the Ministry!
Money and resources donated or raised for the Ministry are not for my personal use or even personal expenses without exception. It is for God’s Glory and the Solidification, Operation, and Growth of HIS ministry; to bring people to Jesus Christ and the ‘Church’ to the people.
Pastor!!! Why are you telling us all this?
This ministry and my walk with Christ Jesus is not a choice, it is not a vocational decision. This is a calling. I didn’t ask for it, I didn’t decide on it. It was asked of me.
It was a moment of prayer when I said Lord help me, I need you!
and the Lord responded in his way,
NO! You Help Me! I Need You More!.
For you to trust me with doing God’s Will, and for those who choose to support this ministry I feel it is very important to remain transparent.
I lay my all at your feet just as I lay it in front of Christ Jesus
Like everyone, I have my personal struggles to bear. Like everyone, I am a sinner and have made my errors and mistakes during my life, and ask God’s Forgiveness and Guidance.
It is his guidance that has me on this path.
Mark 12:41-44 NLT
41 Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. 42 Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins.
43 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, â€œI tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. 44 For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.â€
To God Be The Glory and Honor,
— Pastor Steve