We just had a large group of people from around the country here for our Coaching with Excellence event.  As we delved into the dynamics of coaching and the business of coaching the most pervasive question was, “How can I provide ministry and still have a profitable business?”  We gently laid out that providing a service with a heart of ministry does not mean you have to give it away.  Everyone receives a bigger blessing if there is a financial transaction.  The recipient of the coaching will be more invested in taking positive action, and the provider can pass the financial blessing on to family and others. 

Here’s an example of another continuing theme:  “I want to have a retreat center where I can have pastors, couples, struggling kids, orphans, etc. come to be refreshed.”  And my question is  - “Are you inviting people into your home now?  Are you offering to pay the rent for a person in need or to take them out to dinner?  Would you be willing to spend an hour with a young couple going through some challenges?”  And often the answer is “No, I’m expecting God to give me the $2 million I need to start this retreat center?

Really?    I spoke this morning with one of our 48 Days coaches who founded a very large ministry retreat center.  He recently talked with a young couple who feel “called” to go to China.  He mentioned that the local university has 2,000 Chinese students.  He suggested they could invite these students into their home, feed them dinner, engage in meaningful conversations and take them to church.  But the young couple had no interest in any of that.  They are called to go to China and are waiting on God to provide the resources so they can quit their jobs and be fully supported in this worthy service. 

How often do we overlook ministry opportunities because they don't fit our idea of being big enough?  If you’re called to help single Moms I doubt that you need to quit your job and raise support to fulfill that call.  If you want to provide a restorative place for pastors, I suspect you could offer that today, without waiting for a 300 acre ranch.  If you have a strong desire to minister to Muslims, come to Nashville, TN.  Get a job anywhere and you will encounter those of varied faiths.  Let your work provide the interactions that open the door for your ministry.

Or as the Quakers are known to say – “Let your life speak.”