The last few years during the Great Recession have been difficult for all ministries. It has been especially difficult for us. Because of our message of deliverance, we receive little support from traditional churches. Ostracized would be a kind way to put it. I’m at peace with that for three reasons. First, when Jesus cast out demons His critics accused him – the Son of God! – of having a demon himself. Should I expect any less? Second, I have learned to go where my gift and calling are celebrated. It’s a big world out there and there are so many places hungry for the message of freedom from spiritual oppression. Our recent, hugely successful missions to Ukraine, Russia, and Bahamas witness to this. Third, one of my pulpits is the secular media. By God’s grace, though scores of TV shows, we’ve shared Christ with hundreds of millions of people, more than if I preached in every mega-church in America for a decade.
But raising financial support to carry on our work continues to be a struggle. According to a USA-TODAY report published this week, charitable giving in America is finally edging its way back upward after a drastic decline. The last peak year was 2007. It’s been downhill since then, until now. Charitable giving finally went up by 3.4% last year; but here’s the catch. Most of the giving went to art, culture, education, and ANIMALS! Groups representing animal causes had a 6.8% increase! It seems that Americans are more concerned about saving pets than saving souls.
Eileen Heisman, CEO of the National Philanthropic Trust which studies charitable giving, commented on the downturn in donations to religious organizations: “People don’t see religious organizations as the center of their communities anymore. There was a time when your church- where you belong with God – defined you, and I don’t think religion is the centerpiece of identity like it used to be.” Heisman describes how people now give more toward museums, children’s art programs, and animal rights organizations rather than distinctly religious groups.
This shift in public sentiment makes your support of this ministry more important than ever. Thank you for still caring about reaching the lost for Jesus and setting the captives free!