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Discussion Forum : Scriptures and Doctrine : Is it okay to sell your ministry as merchandise?

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Joined: 2008/11/23
Posts: 68
Sulphur Springs, Texas


"I guess it boils down to who's ministry is it?

God's or man's?

Epic quote Phillip. and very much agreeable.

Maximino Cosme II

 2008/12/7 7:11Profile

Joined: 2003/5/8
Posts: 4419
Charlotte, NC

 Re: Is it okay to sell your ministry as merchandise?

The apostle Paul said, "If a man does not work he should not eat." He also said that we should "bear one anothers burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ." While I believe it is an excellent thing for ministries to give away freely whatever books, videos, cd's, etc., they have to offer, I believe we as saints should not think it improper to charge a small amount of money for the ability to distribute to the saints whatever things the Lord has given to us. After all, real money went into the purchasing of paper, printers, CD's and other tools in order to make it possible to distribute, not to mention shipping & handling costs. There is nothing wrong in expecting the body of Christ to help support one for producing these "goods."

However, if the Lord has supplied the means of doing so, I believe it is far better for one to simply give away freely whatever it is they have. But even then, should one truly be blessed by the works of another, it is only right that as the Lord gives them the means, to bless the Lord's worker for their labor.

Take for example, the individuals who continue to print and distribute the writings of T. Austin-Sparks. Once a few years ago, I received about a dozen or so free T. Austin-Sparks books in the mail that I had requested. Then, over the past couple years, that ministry has felt led to distribute certain books without having received a personal request to do such. Sometimes I have gone out to my mail box to find it simply stuffed with new books... all for free.

While I have not really published anything yet save through the internet, with my own ministry in the up and coming months and years, I plan on starting to distribute some materials as the saints request them. So far as the Lord enables me, I plan on doing so for free. But if the requests ever got large enough, unless the Lord provided the money from somebody else to do so freely, I can easily see myself charging a very small and modest fee for the costs involved.

I do believe it is wrong though, when I see some ministries charging $15-20 for simply purchasing an audio CD. Granted, such persons usually are producing materials that are very "slick" looking and professionally done, and often have a paid "staff" whose job it is to process those orders. But one can have little doubt that there are some unnecessary profits being made in such.

So, in general, I believe ministries should try to give their materials away for free as much as possible. If they feel they must charge a small amount of money in order to distribute their material, that is fine. However, should somebody without the means want the materials, they should freely give what they can afford to.

Jimmy H

 2008/12/7 8:55Profile

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