Daily Devotional for Tuesday June 16, 2009
The Economic Crisis and its Impact on the Gospel
The economic crisis and its impact on the Gospel. One of the sad byproducts to the economic crisis this nation has been experiencing in full force since last September, is the impact it has had on the Gospel. The Gospel is free, but there are costs involved in taking that free message of Christ to the lost and hurting. Jesus had a treasurer, due to the fact that He and His disciples had to have funds to meet their daily needs as they ministered during those 3 years. In Paul's letters to the churches you will find some of the best fundraising challenges ever given as he took the Gospel to the world of his day.
Let me explain what has happened. Every church, every ministry, every non-profit organization depends on a small percentage of large donors for anywhere from 30%-70% of that organization's budget, counting on the faithfulness of others to make up the difference. The fact is, it has always been a few who have fed the many. How many people had food to share and were not willing to give it up when the little boy sacrificed his few fishes and loaves which allowed the Lord to feed the multitudes?
Sadly, every day I get emails of churches and ministries closing due to a lack of funds. With the horrible economic decisions this current administration has made, there is really little chance of things getting any better soon, so there is no doubt this trend will continue. In addition to the horrible economic decisions being made in Washington, it is the desire by the Obama administration to cut the amount people can contribute to charities. This will only further hurt giving more to charities as many people do factor in the tax advantages in their giving.
I am certain that King Obama is very aware of what he is doing. There is no doubt left that the government would like to control all aspects of life, including religion. Did you know that prior to the 1930s when the government began to get involved in feeding the hungry, taking care of the elderly, and a whole array of social issues, the church had always been the primary place where those needs were met? Slowly over the years, the government got more involved, the church less involved, until now most social programs are run by the government and the church has turned its focus to slick marketing campaigns and building multi-million-dollar facilities.
What has happened over the last year is that many of these large donors have been crushed. Many who had jobs they worked their lifetime to acquire, making $100k-$3m and more, were either lost or their income dropped dramatically. On top of that, as the market dropped over 40%, most saw their investment portfolios also drop by 20%, 50%, even more. So those people who were able to give large amounts of money, were now simply trying to restructure their own finances just to survive. Those key people churches, ministers, and other non-profits counted on for a large percentage of their funding were no longer able to give.
Liveprayer has also been adversely affected by the economic crisis. Over these many years, we have built up a wonderful group of approximately 30 people who not only gave significant amounts each year to help God's work here, but they were people I could call in an emergency and they could immediately send $5k, $10k, even more if the need existed. That group of 30 is now down to 2. This has not only affected our ability to raise what we need to operate each month, but when those times arise when we need funds quickly, there simply isn't place to go any longer.
In addition to the donor issue, Liveprayer made the dramatic move in late 2007 to fully develop our Internet broadcasting system, putting us years ahead of the marketplace where all broadcasting is going to eventually end up. We have developed state of the art TV and radio broadcasting over the Internet, with a fully-equipped studio to broadcast LIVE hi-def TV and stereo radio to anyone in the world with Internet access. Much of this was done based on the advertising models in 2007.
As you know, since mid-2008, numerous major metropolitan newspapers have closed or are in bankruptcy, EVERY major TV and radio network has experienced tens of millions of dollars in losses, while Internet advertising is also down over 30%, all due to the economic crises that has caused advertisers to cut back significantly on their advertising budgets. So what seemed to be a perfect source of funding much of our operations in late 2007 and early 2008, has provided only a fraction of what we had expected.
BUT GOD IS IN CONTROL!!! One of my prayers each day is that the Lord will raise up NEW people for this special group of large donors. God always has a ram in the bush, and I know that despite the economic crisis, there are still many out there who He has protected, who have resources, and can step up and carry the banner others have carried over these past 10 years of Liveprayer.
One dear man whose family God richly blessed, loved our work here and was able to give over a million dollars, passed away over a year ago. I know there are several who are part of the Liveprayer family who have those types of resources, and am asking them to pray about stepping in to fill the critical role that dear brother played for many years. We are doing what nobody else is doing in boldly, visibly, and without compromise taking God's Truth to this lost world through the secular media. God gives us all jobs to perform, and for some, He has blessed you with resources so that you can help finance His word
PLEASE TAKE A MINUTE AND HEAR MY HEART! I didn't get into the ministry nearly 20 years ago for money or for fame, but to simply serve the Lord. I could have easily taken the path everyone else takes, go into the Christian media, preach to the choir, have huge buildings, a new Gulfstream private jet, multiple huge homes, brand new luxury cars, and lived a very simply, easy life. Instead, I have worked the past 10 years out of the back of a used-car lot, my home has been mortgaged 2-3x to meet the ministry's financial needs, I drive a care with 110,000 miles on it, and deal daily with people who want to see me dead for the Biblical stand I take. That is fine, since my only desire is to serve the Lord and do my part in leading people to faith in Christ and this nation back to God and His Truth.
We currently have approximately $1.4 million in debt, $600k of that being debt from monthly shortfalls from the TV/radio program, and the last $800k of the $1.2 million we borrowed to establish the TV program on the Internet in preparation for all of broadcasting to be using that platform in the very near future which has put us far ahead of most everyone in that world.
I need $150,000 by the end of June to cover the last $60,000 of our June budget and $90,000 of obligations from previous months we have not been able to pay yet. From July 1 through the end of the year we will have $550k in operating expenses for all of our ministry operations, and we need $600k, or $100k a month, for the syndication of the TV and radio programs into national cable and radio networks to expand that important nightly outreach to reach the masses in the marketplace.
So that is a total of $2.7 million we need to raise in the last 6+ months of 2009. A few months ago I asked 300 people to step up and make the commitment and sacrifice of $1,000 a month and 20 people responded. I am asking you today to pray about being part of this group to help me over the next 6 months. I realize that this is a huge commitment for many. For others, you might be able to commit $2,000, $3,000, $5,000, even $10,000 a month. Those who can't give those large amounts can still give what you can, since the Bible teaches we are to give according to our ability to give.
That $2.7m will pay off 100% of the debt of the ministry, keep all of our current operations going strong, and allow us to create a base of several million people in the Jonah Project so that we can make our voice heard and lead this nation back to God and His Truth, while helping lost souls find faith in Jesus Christ. I have literally given my life to the Lord's work these past 20 years. For nearly 10 years now, I have labored 7 days a week, mostly 16-18 hour days, as Liveprayer has been used to impact tens of millions of lives worldwide. I have literally given every ounce of my time, talent, and treasure to serve the Lord, and will do so with my last breath.
I love you and care about you so much. Our work here at Liveprayer is not quite finished yet, however, I can't do this alone. I need 300 people who want to make an impact with their life for God by making a commitment to send in a gift of $1,000 or more each month for the next 6 months and I need everyone who is able to make the sacrifice to send the best gift you can for the next 6 months. This is the time for true men and women of God to step up. This is not a drill, the soul and future of this nation is hanging in the balance. God has given us the tools and the ability to lead this charge back to His Truth. I will pay the personal price to lead this charge, but I can't do it alone. I need you!
Just a thought. Despite my incredible schedule each day, I am willing to fly anywhere in the country on the weekend to speak at you church or in your home or other location to a group you assemble. Over these next 6 months, my only mission is to help lead this nation back to God and to Biblical Truth, and my life is His. I will do whatever I have to do to bring God's people together as we take our stand for Him. If you would like me to come speak at your church or to a group you assemble, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can set that up.
Also, everyone knows someone. Please pray about who you know who God has blessed financially who love the Lord and probably don't know about Liveprayer. Very few in who stay in the Christian circles and who give to ministries know about us since our work is exclusively in the marketplace, reaching the lost masses. People give tens of thousands, millions to build buildings and other efforts that will have little impact. This is about changing the spiritual direction of this nation while saving souls in the process.
I know there are some who have been blessed with the gifts and talents to raise funds. Liveprayer has a 10-yr track record and the proven vehicles to accomplish all God is calling us to do. What a better way to let God use your life than by helping me put together the funds we need to take this bold and visible stand for Christ in the marketplace. I need just a handful of people who are willing to sacrifice some of their time and talent to help me. Will you???
Throughout these past 10 years, the Liveprayer family has answered the call, and because of our faithfulness, tens of millions of lives around the world have been impacted for Christ and over 300,000 souls we know of will be in Heaven. God has one last job for us before our work here is over, and that is to lead this nation back to God and to Biblical Truth. There is nothing we will ever do greater than to serve the Lord. This is our opportunity. This is our time. God is calling us. I have answered His call, will you???
I am asking you to pray about being one of the 300 people I need who will commit to send at least $1,000 a month for the next 6 months. Please email me at: email@example.com and let me know you will be one of the 300 I need. I will keep everyone updated on how many we need until we get those 300 people. I have struggled each month for 10 years to keep Liveprayer alive financially.
This is the one area satan has battled me fiercely, since he knows that with just a fraction of what most major ministries take in, we can lead this nation back to God and millions to faith in Jesus Christ. I can't tell you how much time and energy I have had to invest in keeping the ministry alive financially that I could be using to save souls! This is not the time to struggle financially, but to have an ABUNDANCE.
I am believing God today for a major outpouring of finances as He moves on hearts. I want to see the $150k we need for June in by the end of the month. There is one person God is speaking to who can cover that amount. I am praying to see hundreds respond to be part of the 300 with a gift of $1,000 or more each month through the end of the year. My frustration is that with what is really a small amount of money by the world's standards, we have the vehicle to literally change the spiritual course of our nation. How much greater an opportunity could you ask for than to be part of that? Our nation and the eternal souls of millions are counting on us. God is calling. There is no time left, we must act now!!! I couldn't say no and I pray you can't either! I need you, God needs you!
***TO GIVE A GIFT TO LIVEPRAYER, you can use your major credit card on our secure server at: www.liveprayer.com under the "Donation" link, you can give using your PayPal account using my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org , or you can mail your gift to: Liveprayer 6660 46th Ave. North, St.. Petersburg, FL 33709 All gifts to Liveprayer are 100% tax deductible.
In His love and service, Your friend and brother in Christ, Bill Keller