I know it has been a while since the last newsletter but I also know many understand. I hope each person receiving this has signed up for The Virtual Pew updates and the Mosaic Church updates. You can do that by subscribing to various lists on the Newsletter page at our home page, http://www.thevirtualpew.com/ You can tell a lot about what has been going on by making sure you subscribe to all of the blogs and article RSS feeds. There are links to do those things at each of the posted articles. Now on to the newsletter update titled, Reflections.
Today I want to reflect on the ministry I have with The Virtual Pew and Mosaic Church. One has to understand what drives me. I don’t know how better to explain that than to state some things I have been reflecting on lately.
I have been doing a lot of reading, a good thing; it means I am back in the gym. I have finished 4 books so far and am now reading another book by Creston Mapes, titled Nobody. I started reading it sometime ago but things got hectic, so 2 days ago I started it over. I am amazed at how similar things have been that I have been reading lately. It seems as if there is a lot of emphasis on helping the poor, the homeless, the downtrodden and so forth. Those things were illustrated to me today as I sat down and willingly and intentionally gave a homeless guy my absolute last $2. I concluded 3 weeks ago that I was going to do this after a Bible Study I was doing with Mosaic Church here in Wichita. Today, I practiced that concept, giving to the point of sacrifice, unconditionally to someone in need.
It seems as if finance has always been an issue. I grew up without money, have had to work for what I do have. I know in fact, because some have let me know, they take issue with the fact that as a ministry I ask for financial support. Some have been outspoken in public ways, not realizing the work and effort that goes out, or simply not caring, unfortunately this is an attitude that many have, and they simply don’t care about the poor and needy. Growing up poor, pride was a big issue; truth is, in some ways it still is. I actually hate asking for financial help, but it must be done.
I was talking to my wife last night; I don’t know if folks realize how hard I actually work in ministry. Just this week, I have been there to help encourage a girl going through abuse issues at home, a young man who is feeling rejected and left out, another who faces the certainty of becoming homeless, and yet another lady who feels rejected and abandoned, seemingly having no friends or people around her who understand. Believe me, I wish it were not so, but this is only a sampling of the work this week. These types of ministry, encouragement, love and so forth takes time, yet little income comes in. I don’t complain about that, it seems as if God always provides a way. I take some honor and am grateful in knowing some people give because they believe and know what we are doing.
While I haven’t “officially” taken a “vow of poverty,” it seems like that is par for the course. I am reminded; this is God’s work, not mine. Being a college graduate with graduate studies, and former executive experience, having made decent money, I know what I have given up to do this work, that said, when someone tells me, “Thank you, I don’t know what I would have done without you Mike.” Or, “Mike I really believe you have brought me closer to God.” I know that what I do can’t have a value placed on it. I also know, I am not doing this alone, each person who has helped, has helped me do this work.
I also know that sometimes people make promises, then for whatever reason, they realize they can’t follow through. I am okay with that but I do ask folks to prayerfully take seriously the commitments they make. I had numerous people who promised some level of help around Christmas when I went to visit my mother in the hospital. For a larger ministry, these things likely don’t matter, for a ministry like The Virtual Pew, it matters a great deal.
Right now, The Virtual Pew has $8 in our account, I don’t get paid from Mosaic until the last day of this month, and so far this month, The Virtual Pew has had nothing come in. In the next month, there is much ministry that needs to be done, for me to meet my basic financial obligations I need at least $300 a month to come into The Virtual Pew, for additional ministry, we need more than that. There are these needs plus the desire to spend more time with my mom in Tennessee in March, for that to take place, I need an additional $300-$500 to come in.
Many of us are only a few weeks away from being homeless. We live in a time where finances are tough, but if people gave $5 here, or $10 there, a huge difference could be made. I’m not talking specifically about The Virtual Pew, but various local ministries. My challenge is that each recipient of this newsletter would give money to smaller ministries that need it, maybe a local homeless shelter, half way house, maybe a home for battered women, any number of areas that signify you care for The Lost, The Last and The Least.
All of this said I feel great! I don’t make what I used to, but you really can’t pay to see the things I have seen happen. The great thing about it though, is each of you can take part in ministry. You can make a difference in the life of someone who needs it. I remember the words of the late Keith Green, “God wants you!”
At Mosaic, we are facing the same crunch other non profit groups and churches are. We really want to partner with local churches in the Wichita area; we need 10 people who can come on board at Mosaic that is spiritually grounded and mature enough to help lead a church to the place where we can make a difference. If living locally I ask you to consider Mosaic, if a pastor of a church, please consider letting me come and speak to your congregation about our needs and the ways you can help. God calls churches to plant other churches, this is a way you can be a part of that calling. While the additional money would be nice, 10 mature adults who can take part in our life, body, church and contribute in service and tithes or offerings would be great.
At Mosaic, we are discussing the vision and mission of Mosaic. Next week we are speaking about the ministry vision for the near future. We want to minister to our area, and in the near future we will be exploring ways to have direct ministry to the community.
The bottom line, I do love and appreciate the opportunity to minister to the folks at The Virtual Pew and I greatly love and am honored to serve Mosaic Church. I love and value each of you and appreciate your prayers and financial support to this ministry. God bless you, and God bless the work of The Virtual Pew and Mosaic.
The following is a video of the type of ministry we try to be involved in. Think it needs support? Double click on the video to watch, if for some reason it don't appear, just click on the following link:
Click Here to Go to The Virtual Pew Daily Verse and Read The Bible in a Year Passages
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Now for those that do not know, make sure you check out the numerous articles and blogs by checking out the archives. If visiting The Virtual Pew or MySpace they are archived on the left hand side of the page. Scroll down to where you see newer or older listed under archives and then click there. There are hundreds of postings so make sure to check out the archives. You can also contact me for a free e-book pre edit version of The Keystone Kid at firstname.lastname@example.orgYou can visit http://www.thevirtualpew.com/ and on the front page down on the left side you sill see our store. Your purchase provides needed funds to The Virtual Pew. If you do not see something to purchase you can click on the search engine, (do not put anything in the search box at this time). You will be taken to Amazon where you can search for anything you desire. Hopefully you will consider a gift to The Virtual Pew.
Now I get asked this quite often, Can we repost your blogs or articles? The short answer to that is, what an honor that you would ask, and by all means, spread the word.Here is our contact information
The Virtual Pew
P.O. Box 17731
Wichita, KS 67217
Click on the following links to learn more about The Virtual Pew
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