Greetings in the Name of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I pray His Blessings are upon you and your family.
Would you be interested in joining a Non-Denominational and Non-Traditional Evangelistic Outreach Church Plant? The position would require moving to Fort Wayne, Indiana, which if you are not familiar with it is a mid-sized city of about 300,000 people in the Midwest near the Indiana-Ohio border. It is also where I grew up in some of the worst conditions imaginable. I endured poverty, violence, drugs, abuse, and so much more before God rescued me and gave me a new life. On that night 35 years ago when I found out God had been with me every step of the way through my living Hell of a childhood, the Holy Spirit told me that one day I would share His Love with people just like me. In the years since, I have done so in a variety of ways and in fact have planted three previous house or store-front churches dedicated to reaching out to the poor and homeless, in other words people just like me. Now it is time to step forward and do so once again.
To keep this post somewhat short, I will not go into all the details of what we have planned, but we have a strong online presence and have already begun our work through Facebook, YouTube, Podcasting, and our website. I ask that you follow our Facebook page (theshepherdsloveoutreach) and check out our website, www.theshepherdslove.com, to find out more about our ministry and mission.
One point I do want to bring out now is that I am sacrificing everything in order to go back to the streets I escaped from and share God’s Love with people who have no hope and no concept of someone loving them. I am currently working as a Chief Financial Officer near Chicago. I will be leaving this position and giving up the home I have here to return to Fort Wayne and launch this mission. I am that convinced about what I believe God is going to do here. Fort Wayne is about to see a massive Move of God and a great Revival such as has rarely been seen after the First Century Church passed from the scene. We are going to start out as a church plant, but it is quickly going to grow into something much greater than that. I am already seeing miracles and wonders through my ministry and this is just the beginning. My hope is that you will want to join us in this ministry and bring light into the darkness of these spiritual wastelands.
I share that so you can see that I am dedicated to this and I am making a great sacrifice to serve God and fulfill my calling. At the same time, I want you to know I am a very gifted businessman and all those skills are going to be brought to building this organization. All it is going to take is a starting point and I will build something large and enduring. Joining this ministry would undoubtedly require some sacrifice on your part as well in the early days, not the least of which will be moving to a strange city. But we will be in that sacrifice together. I will not ask you to do anything I am not also doing. I truly believe God is going to reward that sacrifice both in this life and the next. I also truly believe many souls are going to be saved who would otherwise end up in Hell. That alone is worth any sacrifice. Will you join with us in leading these lost souls into the Kingdom of God?
As I launch into this next missions work the Holy Spirit is leading me to, I am cognizant of what I am called to do and what I am good at doing. I also understand my limitations and weaknesses, which is why I am seeking a Partner in the Ministry who can lead the Youth Ministry of this Outreach. I am not gifted or called to this areas and need someone to come alongside me and head it up. It may just be you are the person God is calling to fill that role.
If you were to join our church plant in this role, you would have complete autonomy and authority over your ministry. I mean it when I say I am looking for a partner in the ministry. I am not looking for someone to “work” for me. I know what I can do and what I can’t do. As a businessman, I have always believed in putting the right people in the right roles and then letting them do their jobs. The same is true in the church. Each person needs to be able to do what God called and gifted them for without micromanaging from someone else. So, the Youth Minister is going to develop and lead the Youth Ministry. The Worship Minister is going to develop and lead the Worship Ministry. And all of us will be responsible for developing and leading the overall ministry. In each area of the church, we will work collaboratively and assist each other, but the Minister for each area will ultimately have final say on what that Ministry looks like. They will also ultimately be responsible for recruiting people to be a part of their Ministry area and bringing people into the Church through their Ministry. We will all then work on evangelizing the neighborhoods around the church building, as will everyone in the church, and bringing new people into the Kingdom of God and making Disciples as Jesus commanded.
While you would have responsibility for your area and would spend the majority of your time focused on that, I do want to assure you that if you feel you are called to teach or preach, there will be plenty of opportunities to do that as well. Ultimately, my calling is to disciple others which includes having those people do the things they are called and gifted to do. I have never believed it is the Senior Minister’s job to do the preaching. It is his or her job to ensure the people are fed the Word of God and Discipled, regardless of who is doing the preaching. Therefore, many people will have opportunities to share as the Holy Spirit leads. I also want to emphasize another core belief I have, which explains why I am looking to Job Boards to fill this job just as I would if I were hiring someone for an accounting position. What matters is not someone’s relationship to the Senior Minister but their relationship with God. The only thing I care about is whether you have a genuine relationship with God and are obeying the Holy Spirit’s leading. If you are, then it is not up to me to stop you from doing what God is saying to do. As part of this, I am going to do my best to help teach all who want to learn how to do so to learn how to prepare and deliver a sermon or a Bible Study. And if you ultimately want to be a Senior Minister or to plant your own church, I will prepare you to do that as well and then help you launch your ministry when the time comes. I believe strongly we will see several ministries and churches grow out of this one seed God is planting in Fort Wayne in the next few years. Yours can be one of them if that is what God is calling you to do.
If this sounds like the type of ministry you believe God is calling you to, especially if you are like me and have been blocked by traditional pastors from fulfilling that calling, I ask that you would pray about this opportunity and then contact me at theshepherdsloveoutlook.com to discuss it further.
This is a paid position, although it would begin as a part-time role with a promise that it will grow into a full-time paid ministry. As God brings people into the ministry and as we do our jobs to grow the church, additional funds will become available. I am committed to using those funds to first make sure both of my Ministry Partners can be brought on full-time so their whole focus can be on serving God and those He has called us to help. I cannot tell you how soon we will reach that point, but it is something I am committed to. Basically, I will say that the more effort that is put into evangelizing and growing the church, the sooner we can move towards full-time positions. In the meantime, you and/or your wife if you are married would need to work another job in addition to working for the church. I know that is not ideal, but it is the reality of a church plant just as it is with a new business that is started. I also want to make it clear I am not taking any salary from the church as we begin so that as much money as possible can go to reaching out and helping others.
As noted, in order to join this ministry, it will be necessary for you to relocate to Fort Wayne. My goal is to have the first services in Fort Wayne the first weekend in October, although it would be good if you could come sooner than that if it works out that this is a match God is putting together. At this time, we cannot offer to assist with your relocation expenses. I am putting all of my limited amount of savings into this ministry in addition to giving up my job and home. And I want as much of that limited source of funding as possible to go towards start-up costs and doing outreach in these neighborhoods. However, there are a couple of options I can offer which may help eventually defray these costs. The first option is that you can save all your receipts and tally up the amount spent to relocate. The church can treat that amount as a donation which would allow you to claim them and anything else you give to the church during the year as a charitable donation on your taxes if that is something you do. The other option would be to save all the receipts and at some point in the future when the church is able to do so, we will reimburse you. I realize that is not an ideal situation, but as I noted with any church plant and indeed with any real service to God, there are sacrifices that need to be made in order to help others find the path to salvation. It is my prayer you will be willing and able to make that sacrifice and will join our work for the LORD.
Thank you for your time and for considering joining our mission. I will look forward to hearing from you and hopefully having the time to discuss our vision and mission in more depth.
Your Servant in Christ,
The Shepherd’s Love