This morning I'm having this feeling from God that he wants to me to back off my current internet marketing business and go back to my original www.myupsidedownlife.com and start putting my efforts there instead.
I'm a little nervous about making my career there instead of my marketing business. ( thats not making any money for the record).
My question is this : Is it really ok to make money from a ministry or Christian based website. I would be selling christian affiliate products. Providing helpful and inspireing content through the blog, and probably hosting webinars about issues in our culutre and then selling ( Christian information products).
For some reason I feel I need confirmation that its ok to profit from the things of God.
Please give me your honest feed back as I am struggling with this issue.
I'm not an expert on theology by any stretch of the imagination, but here's what I think: if we view God as a loving God (which I believe is accurate), and we view ourselves as God's children (which I imagine you do), then we consider God to be our Father, right? So let's take a parental perspective on this question.
Do you have children? Would you be unhappy with your children if they benefited from the gifts that you gave to them? Would you take the position that those gifts were not to be used to enrich their lives? Or rather, would you expect that the gifts you give your children were given for the express purpose of enriching their lives?
I think if you look at the question from that perspective, the answer will be clear.
Best of luck,
This is definitely okay. God wants us prosperous. Especially those of us who are doing things to advance the kingdom. Remember, God is the one who instituted tithes for the church (and israel). How else would the church get funded? government? drug dealers? strip club owner? people aren't paying for the gospel, but they are paying for the advancement, support, and spread of the gospel/kingdom of God. Christian shouldn't be synonymous with poor or Free. God knows you need money to run your website, create books, pay bills, travel expenses, etc. He's the one who encourages us to give to people. Don't use your christian business to rip people off, but don't expect to not make profit. Even Jesus ministry had a treasurer. The treasury was used for things they needed and to help the poor. A person's heart isn't judged by whether they charge a price or offer something for free. Just remember, the gospel is always free, but how you package it may not be. the books -someone had to pay to bind the books, pay for the paper, artwork, shipping, etc. that's what your charging your customers for, not specifically the good news found inside. -my opinion from my experience. who WORKS for free and stays in business????
Satan will convince us that it's okay to pay for trash, things that destroy us (porn, strip clubs, drugs) but make us feel bad if we offer something good for sale (christian literature, etc.)
Shawn - you raise a question that has been an elephant in the room for Christians all through history. I think the issue is not whether or not you can make money from a Christian website as much as it is: "Am I serving people or taking advantage of them?" If you are truly serving people then the transfer of money is a spiritual exchange. Money is created and everyone is better off. If someone buys a copy of 48 Days I now have $20 to feed my family. If that person is now $20 poorer I shouldn't call myself a Christian. My hope is that the information will add $50,000 to their income next year.
I highly recommend my friend Rabbi Daniel Lapin's book - Thou Shall Prosper. It is the best handling of this issue I've ever seen.
Hey Shawn, lots of great input here. I had the same struggle for some time. Then I realized that it wasn't making money selling "Christian merchandise" that hung me up. It was a question of whether to make my efforts overtly Christian or not. I have not yet read "Thou Shall Prosper", but it is high on my list of books to read.
Should Dave Ramsey feel bad about all the money he makes? He's helped thousands if not millions of people get out of debt and live better lives. Should Jim Dobson feel bad about all the money his books have made him? He's helped millions of people have better marriages and families.
As Dan says, knock it out of the park!
In 1 Corinthians 9 (http://mydailypause.org/psg/?psg=1%20Corinthians%209) Paul gives several arguments for making a living off your ministry. My favorite is verse 11 "If we have sown spiritual things among you, is it too much if we reap material things from you?"