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Let brotherly love continue. – Hebrews 13:1 (KJV)

This walk of faith can seem lonely.  We can get to the point where it feels like no one is on our level.  We can feel as if we have grown into isolation.

That just should not be so.  Sadly, it is a real truth for many who believe in the Lord.  They are in church, but they feel very much alone.  They don’t feel the brotherly or sisterly love.  They feel on the outside.

Numerous churches have worked diligently on being missional and developing community.  They have worked tirelessly to create relevant ministries in their local communities.  In fact, some like Saddleback Church and Willow Creek have gone on to create resources such as study guides and e-books on ministry based upon what has worked for them.

Here I have listed some online communities of faith that may help others discover their ministry or a sense of Christian community:

Be sure to check out Christian Publications Available at Amazon

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You are in ministry.  You might be the pastor or a ministry leader.  You are responsible for the ministry’s or the church’s success.  Well, we can say at least to some degree.  We all know that Lord is the head of the church.  You know what I mean.

I believe in utilizing a variety of sources to keep Life Path Ministries & Services afloat.  Surely, I do not shun donations from supporters and friends, but I cannot rely solely on such support when hard times hit people all around America.  I have to spread out and seek other forms of support, especially online.

Here’s a short list of what you can do to spread out online:

  • Sell, Sell, and Sell Some More: One of my earliest online ventures was to add a merchandising storefront on Zazzle.  I love it.  One of my most successful items has been the I Love My Neighbor t-shirt.  We used this for our Love Your Neighbor Campaign as part of Operation Reach Out.  It’ll be back again this year.  Maybe we’ll do tie dye.  You can sell all sorts of goods.  Got volunteers? Drive them (and direct them) to your storefront’s link via Facebook, Twitter and other online communities and communications, even your website.
  • Start Publishing: It’s a gem.  I love writing and I really love writing about ministry, especially writing about evangelism.  I write and publish books on ministry, offering them to audiences online and in print.  How? I use Lulu.  Yep.  I said: Lulu.  On Lulu, I have a storefront for e-Books and print-on-demand books.  Frustrated with some materials that only catered to churches that afford and only dream of affording various software and systems to manage everything from accounting to just plain membership, I wrote “When the Laborers are Few.” This free downloadable e-Book has been downloaded by people in all sorts of ministries.  Missionaries, evangelists and prayer warriors, even a new pastor, have downloaded this e-Book and commented on how it opened their eyes to new ways to operating their church or their ministry.  Start publishing and start sharing.
  • Look at Other Models: Anyone who knows me in ministry will eventually hear me mention Life Church.  I read about this church in Outreach Magazine a few years ago and got excited.  They do multi-site church like I don’t know what.  I love the whole concept.  Their tech guys are constantly whipping out something new.  You have to visit their site or YouVersion.  How often do bloggers- who scramble and scrounge everywhere for subscribers- compliment and tell readers to go to someone else’s blog? Well, I say check out Life Church’s Swerve blog.  You’ll get hooked and get hooked up, and I don’t get any glory for it.  I just think that it will help you in extending your ministry online.  It is worth a look.

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“Charity sees the need, not the cause.”- German Proverb

You can raise money without a lot of fuss these days.  There are all sorts of grassroots methods that seem to fit perfectly with social networking and social media sites Post a video or add a widget to your site or blog, then watch people visit and even fund your projects.

What do you need?

First, you need a worthy cause.  Your project has to be connected to a cause.  It needs to be a cause that gets people excited or touches them right at their hearts and souls.  It should be the type of project that makes people feel like they can make a difference

Secondly, you need to make your project easy to fund.  Make it seamless.  Make it almost effortless.  You fund projects via text message today.  That makes it real easy.  There are sites that offer you help and support, even tools, to raise money for worthy projects and these make it easy for both you and your donors.

Here are some sites that may be of some help:
http://www.gofundme.com/
http://www.chipin.com/
http://www.kickstarter.com/

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Literate Leaders

“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”

― Frederick Douglass

“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who can’t read them.”

― Mark Twain

I grew up reading. 
 
I love history.  Civil War books really had my attention.  Westerns came right after that.  Biographies would fit somewhere in the top 10.  I grew up reading and I love reading.
 
Leaders are readers.  Readers are leaders.  Which is it? I think that it works either way.
 
Here is a list of sites where you can get a fix for your reading buzz:

“To encourage literature and the arts is a duty which every good citizen owes to his country.”

― George Washington

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Developed by Daily Devotion

Daily devotionals can keep a believer grounded.  Believe me.  I know that from personal experience.

Some years back, when i really started taking my Christian walk seriously, I got wind of My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers.  It changed my entire approach to my daily encounters and interactions as a Christian.  I began to have Chambers’ words mixed with tidbits of the Scriptures on my heart and mind as well as on the tip of my tongue as I went through my day.  It made a major difference in how I dealt with people.  I began to have a different experience with others as I continued my daily readings and reflections.

Visit Crosswalk’s devotional section and see what it has to offer.  I also like C.H. Spurgeon’s Faith’s Checkbook as another option for devotional reading.

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Here is a simple post for Christian writers.  I am just listing a few sites for Christian writers to explore and possibly post some of their work.  There are numerous ways to use these sites.  Look for the opportunities for writers on them. Godspeed!

http://www.faithwriters.com
http://www.christianstoryteller.com
http://www.biblemaster.com
http://www.sermoncentral.com
http://www.christianaudio.com
http://www.ebibleteacher.com

If you know of some more sites for Christian writers, please feel free to add through the “Comments” section. 

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Surprisingly Simple: Independent Contractor, Sole Proprietor, and LLC Taxes Explained in 100 Pages or Less

Incorporated self-employment is 37% of total self-employment. In January, for example, there were 14.5 million self-employed workers in the U.S. with 5.2 million incorporated and 9.3 million unincorporated.

Small Biz Labs

The Big Book of Small Business: You Don't Have to Run Your Business by the Seat of Your Pants

If you are in business or thinking about going into business for yourself, there is good news.  There is still room for you.  With 14.5 million self-employed Americans, there is still room for you.  There is still room for growth.

Why All of the Optimism?

WebCatalog Builder 3.0 - Your eBusiness Launch Kit - The Easiest Way to Build an Online Store - CD-ROM -I believe that the average American possesses the ability to start and sustain a small business on his or her own, with the help of family or friends, or in an LLC or partnership.  You can franchise it or start it up from scratch, but you need to get the mindset that you can run a small business.  In fact, in your pursuit of happiness, along with life and liberty, it should be among one of those patriotic things that you list for yourself to do as a contribution to society and your personal bottom line.
The Internet Opportunity

Small business is no longer about hanging out a shingle and calling it a day, awaiting foot traffic and catching the eye of the passerby.  No way, buddy! You have to go where the people are today.  You need to get connected online.  in fact, simply having a website alone can be the equivalent of letting your business go to pot.  You have to engage people online in order to get their attention and get them attracted to what you have to offer.
The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the WorldThe brick and mortar business is almost dead unless you have the type of product or service that cannot be mobilized and made virtual with a webinar or a podcast, even an e-commerce storefront.  The real estate bust should tell us how these markets have been consumed by Google, Facebook, iPhones, iPads and the like.  The modern-day consumer has shifted from browsing the shelves to browsing web pages and portals, comparing prices with a click of a mouse.


Start Simple:

  • Use eBay or similar sites to shop products to consumers
  • What Would Google Do?Get as much Google in your daily diet as possible… blogs, calendar, docs, YouTube, RSS feeds, Checkoutapps for business, and you name it (they got it!) And, of course, you need some Gmail
  • Get on Twitter and at least see who’s tweeting about what that may be of interest or related to you… check out @mashable or @google
  • Make a consumer-conscious appeal* with every keystroke


*Your consumer-conscious appeals will reach the average consumer and cause them to at least consider taking some form of action on your site or fan page… sort of like Facebook’s “Like This” button or Twitter’s retweets and #’s

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