In today’s world with the economy as it is, the busyness of people’s lives, and the overall pace of change, if the church and ministries are going to thrive, we need to think outside of the box. This means that we must be willing to take risks. Of course, all we do must be enveloped in prayer, consistent with God’s Word, and follow the leading of the Spirit.
We do have precedence for thinking outside of the box with Jesus.
Jesus lived in a world steeped in tradition where the phrase “But we’ve always done it this way” would have been the way of life. He enters the scene in a most untraditional way … a virgin birth, born in a manger. His teaching, healings, and miracles varied. He did not serve people the same way each time but rather tailored what He did to the moment. He raised women to a higher plateau than common for that day. After being killed on the cross, He came to life proving that He could conquer death and sin. Who had ever done that before?
How often His church gets stuck in ruts, doing ministry the same way from year to year. And then we wonder why we are losing ground! If Jesus, in a world where the pace of change was not near as rapid as today, thought outside of the box and took risks, why shouldn’t we? Make no mistake, Jesus lined up His earthly activity with the will of the Father. See John 5:17-23. Likewise, we too are accountable to God for the risks we take. They must be consistent with God’s Word and gel with the His character.
With this in mind, here at Ministry Tools Resource Center, I saw the need to make some changes in light of the economy. I had to think outside of the box in the way copyrighted materials are offered. Certain materials, like the teacher training workbooks which are non-reproducible, have only been sold in hardcopy format. The primary income that keeps this ministry afloat comes through the sale of materials. My fear? If workbooks are sold as downloads, won’t people take greater liberties to make copies? If so, the ministry loses income. After prayer I realized it was time to think outside of the box and make them available as downloads and do it with quantity pricing wherein the more copies requested, the less the cost per book. It helps in today’s economy because people pay less for downloads and do not pay the cost of shipping. Ministry Tools saves on printing and time wrapped up in packaging and shipping. — A Win-Win situation . . . yet, still a risk. Unfortunately too many in the church violate copyright laws. Too many feel that because something is done for ministry, it is okay to just do it. Nonetheless, after prayer, this was a risk I knew needed to be taken. I simply need to trust the outcome of this risk to God.
As to downloads: The Creative Bible Teaching With Results Workbook was just made available as a download.
That is just one way I have thought outside the box and taken a risk in ministry. What about you? Have you been thinking outside of the box in your church or ministry? What risks have you taken in Jesus’ name?