Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Mind Your Business

There is more to dance ministry than meets the eye. We must learn to be good stewards over the ministries that the Lord has given us. If the church dance ministry is under a local church, then most of the finances and budgeting of that ministry will be handled through the church. Many dance ministries today still have very limited budgets in the local church and rely on the finances of the participants for ministry purchases. As ministries increase in excellence, skill, and faithfulness, many churches will recognize the need to sow into the ministry of dance. With permission, church dance ministries can also offer to add money to the budget with participation from the dancers and congregation. This must be handled with prayer.

Ministries that operate on a community or individual level have various options when it comes to Kingdom business. Whether one selects to incorpororate, obtain a 501c3, become a Sole Proprietor, or file as an LLC, we must be aware of the regulations to conduct business transactions for our ministries. Banks require official documents to open business accounts. The local Post Office may ask for a business license to establish a PO Box.

Stewardship can work to our advantage as we can obtain tax write-offs for purchasing garments, obtaining music, booking ministry-related travel, etc. We must make sure that we are accountable and that what we itemize is legal. It is advisable to keep accurate records and save all receipts.

Most importantly, we need to pray and ask the Lord to guide all of our business decisions. We must not turn His temple into a marketplace! We must conduct business at a proper location. People with experience may be able to give advice, but the Lord's counsel will stand in the end. Let us keep all of this in perspective: Ministry is about serving the needs of others, not ourselves. If our intentions are not pure, we will ultimately fail.

Psalm 107:23-24 (NKJV)
Those who go down to the sea in ships, who do business on great waters, they see the works of the LORD, and His wonders in the deep.

Matthew 25:27 (NKJV)
So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest.

Luke 19:13 (NKJV)
So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Do business till I come.’

1 Thessalonians 4:10-12 (NKJV)
And indeed you do so toward all the brethren who are in all Macedonia. But we urge you, brethren, that you increase more and more; that you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.

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