Free Books from Study-Grow-Know Ministries
You know, I’ve written about so-called ministries that have built those ministries on their books, videos, audios, PowerPoints, and everything else. It seems to me that these ministries often grow to a point where there is no going back for them.
In other words, they become businesses, supporting sometimes, hundreds (if not thousands) of employees, 401ks, mortgages for buildings, and the like. They are in the position of having to continue to sell things, make appearances here and there, and all the rest that goes along with that in order to keep their ministries nicely afloat and growing. In my mind, it becomes a vicious circle.
One of the things that the Lord seemed to be prompting me to do is to make my books available for free. I wondered how I could do that and then realized that they can be made free as PDF documents from our website. It didn’t take much prayer to figure out that this is what God was directing us to do, so we did (and do) just that.
If you go to our website – http://www.studygrowknow.com – and click on the button labeled “Books (All)” from the menu on the left, another page will come up highlighting all of the books we’ve written. From there, you can simply click on each cover and you will be taken to a page for that specific book. Once there, you’ll note on the bottom left hand side a PDF icon for that book. Simply click it and it will open up into your browser. From there, you can save it to your computer’s hard drive. There is no requirement for you to “register” in order to do this. You do not have to provide me with any information. You do not have to sign up for anything. You simply click away on each and every PDF icon for the specific book or books you are interested in downloading. It’s that simple.
Bear in mind that these books are not softcover books like the kind you would get if you actually ordered a book from Amazon or someplace else. Those do cost and I can’t really do anything about that because the price is essentially set by the printer (though I have given many of those away as well as the need arises). However, you can print each of the books out that you download and put them in binders, or if you prefer, leave them on your computer to read there as reference tools.
My biggest question these days is why are there so many alleged Christian organizations and ministries that need to be paid for everything? Speaking at a church often provides an honorarium and that’s fine. I have no problem with that. If a church or organization benefits or is blessed from something I preach or someone else preaches, then they are free to pass on that blessing to the speaker since the worker is worth his wages. However, some speakers charge thousands of dollars before they will agree to speak someplace. They need all their expenses paid and they often require the expenses for their spouse to be paid as well.
The weird thing about this to me is that I don’t see this phenomenon occurring in Scripture, do you? In fact, the exact opposite seems to be happening. The crowds simply gathered around Jesus and He wound up feeding them in several cases! Jesus gave and gave and gave. Paul did the same. So did the others.
Why are Christian ministries looking too much like Fortune 500 companies today? Because the leaders of those ministries believe that they need to have credibility with the public. In order to gain that credibility, they must be “in demand” whether it’s their books, their videos, or their in-person speaking engagements. The more “in demand” they are, the more they are tempted to think that God must thoroughly be blessing their ministry.
I want to be as far away from that as I can possibly be. Download my books! Enjoy them! If they bless you and after comparing them with Scripture, you believe they teach the truth, then feel free to share them with others. It is more important for me to get the information out there than to make money on what I produce within my ministry. In other words, when I stand before Him, I really do not want to look back and feel embarrassed about the fact that the things I have produced – whether books or something else – related to the ministry had a price tag associated with it.
The more I view the landscape of Christendom, the more disgusted I become because it simply appears to me that there are way too many self-aggrandizing Christians who are more concerned about making sure their book is a “hit” with Amazon reviewers. Admittedly, I was at one time concerned about that myself. I thought “Oh no, people will stop buying my book if reviews are bad!“ The response to that is “Who CARES?“ Is what I do governed and/or blessed by God or people? If it is by people, then I deserve to be a complete failure. If it is by God, then He deserves all the credit, blessing, and honor.
I believe ministries need to take a good, hard look at the way they run their ministries (businesses). Would Jesus do it that way? Would he charge some over-the-top honorarium to appear at the latest and greatest prophecy conference? No. He provided that information completely free of charge.
It seems as though the Lord may be getting ready to use me more to fill pulpits or even to pastor a small church. I’m not sure, but it seems as though that may be the direction He is moving me in. Am I okay with that? Sure, with one stipulation. I really do not want to be paid much, if at all.
I spoke this past Sunday at a church in my area and before I left, I was handed a check for “pulpit supply.” I honestly was not expecting it, but certainly thanked them for their generosity. It was a very small church and they are – interestingly enough – looking for a permanent pastor. I cannot imagine what they can actually afford, but that would not matter to me if the Lord opens the door for that position. If He moves me to continue moving until another door opens, that’s fine too. I just have a problem with going into ministry (including being a somewhat regular pulpit supply) as a paid career. It just seems weird to me because of what I know from Scripture that Jesus, Paul, and others did.
Will you pray for me, that I will listen to Him and walk through the doors He alone opens? Will you pray for wisdom for me so that I will remain far more concerned about giving back in the form of true ministry than receiving from?
Ultimately, I just want the Lord to be blessed with the service that I offer to Him. Thank you for joining me in that prayer. And don’t forget my books! They’re yours for the downloading, free of charge!
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