es, Virginia, this is a development letter.
We seek to develop relationships and out of relationships develop the necessary support to underwrite the board-approved goals of this Gospel mission. We aim to write these letters once per quarter. Initially, the letters will focus on garnering support for this Gospel mission. We hope to also provide stories of God’s grace, be honest about struggles, and demonstrate transparent and responsible stewardship over Faith for Living, a North Carolina nonprofit corporation. Faith for Living is an IRS recognized 501(c)(3). We will write to provide an update and end of the year board report.
What is Faith for Living? What do we do?
Faith for Living, Inc. was founded by Michael A. Milton in 2003 (incorporated in 2013) to minister for the glory of God and the good of all people through communication, discipleship, education, and public service. Admittedly, our vision is an ambitious undertaking. However, we “are ambitious to be well-pleasing” to the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:9). We believe that we can realize the vision by staying true to the Word of the Lord, the Holy Bible, and to prayer.
Faith for Living focuses its mission on a focused part of the Church and the common good: helping pastors and church leaders in communication, discipleship, education, and helping the broader public with specific areas of public service. Each of those sectors of ministry has corresponding “initiatives.” Those initiatives include the D. James Kennedy Institute of Reformed Leadership (education and discipleship), Bethesda Music and Bethesda Publishing Group (communication and discipleship) and Civitas, a ministry of supporting excellence in church administration, Christian nonprofits, and bringing a Biblical worldview to public service.
The president of Faith for Living, Inc. is Michael A. Milton (Ph.D., the University of Wales, MPA, UNC-Chapel Hill). You can learn more about the president of Faith for Living here. With an assistant and a board of directors and advisors, Faith for Living ministers each day to realize the vision. How so? Essays, sermons, and articles on the website are merely part of our work, an important part, for it is the part that is seen. In addition to this, each day, the president of Faith for Living, with the aid of his wife and his executive assistant, reach hundreds and often thousands of people with Gospel ministry. Each week that ministry is expressed in less visible ways, more personal ways. Here is an example from one week (and we should add: this is not a remarkable week, but an ordinary schedule of ministry appointments):
- Writing two to three essays for the website (read by up to 7,500 each week);
- Counseling a pastor through the labyrinth of contention, mistakes, misunderstandings, and personal weaknesses as he struggles to locate spiritual stability;
- Mentoring a new church planter to cultivate pastoral core competencies in a notoriously unchurched section of America;
- Counseling a new believer in a protracted season of intense discipleship, helping to receive the things that have sought to destroy him as the ruling motif of the cross, “in Christ Jesus the very things that seek to destroy you become in the hands of a sovereign and loving God the very things that save you and sanctify you;”
- Preparing a sermon and preaching on Sundays to a church being planted with Faith for Living leadership (and at no salary and intermittent honoraria);
- Each sermon is written as a manuscript in order to multiply and maximize ministry to the greatest number of people;
- Each sermon is ordinarily published online or in print with one of our several partners;
- These are sometimes compiled into a new book (as in our latest from one of our initiatives, Bethesda Publishing Group, “Deep Roots: A Biblical and Thheological Framework for Church Planting”);
- Meeting with church staff to craft the week’s worship service and other pastoral duties related to the church plant, Trinity Chapel Charlotte);
- Designing courses and webinars to be taught online for the D. James Kennedy Institute of Reformed Leadership, another major initiative of Faith for Living;
- Writing a chapter on an upcoming book (there is always one in the “hopper”);
- Writing a Forward to a new book by a young pastor-scholar;
Yes, those things are often accomplished in one week. Much is done from a home study because of health limitations. Yet, the work goes forward.
In addition to these customary weekly activities, we are pleased to report that the website, michaelmilton.org (also www.FaithforLiving.org, which redirects to this site), a Faith for Living YouTube channel with sermons and lectures, Faith for Living on iTunes, Amazon music, Spotify, a Faith for Living radio channel, and other online stations are providing “messages and music to heal the wounded soul.” And all of this is an on-going ministry that is available 24/7, 365 days per year. Naturally, there are plenty of other ministries out there doing the same. For that we thank God. The difference with Faith for Living is simply that we might reach some that others won’t. It is altogether in the hands of the Lord. But the material is regularly produced and is reaching thousands of human souls. We know that from the quantifiable reports we receive each month.
We are also in partnership with others. Michael A. Milton’s sermons and essays regularly appear on popular sites like Crosswalk, Christianity.com, Christian Today (in Great Britain), Preaching.com, Gospel Coalition, ByFaith, ServantsofGrace.org, and Aquila Report, to name a few. These are outstanding partners in ministry. Partnerships reflect our “parish” emphasis, “We do more together.” We do not receive any payment for the republication of our material.
The ministry is at a crossroads: we have before us an ever-increasing number of requests for popular books, scholarly monographs, editing compilations, along with counseling, guiding, and equipping. Thank We must call a director to handle the open door of ministry before us through the D. James Kennedy Institute, which will provide a one-year residency for new pastors, at their place of ministry, through synchronous and asynchronous online learning experiences, along with on-the-ground supervision from mentors in partnership with us. We need to provide support to our Executive Assistant, who is presently helping the church but will need to increasingly migrate over to Faith for Living support. Finally, the president, Dr. Michael A. Milton, is without income for his ministerial labors at Faith for Living. He receives no salary from the church that Faith for Living is planting. Dr. Milton does receive income from disability insurance and is allowed to have additional income to a certain amount. A part of that allowed income is provided by the James Ragsdale Chair of Missions at Erskine Theological Seminary. The disability insurance will end soon. Our hope is to provide honoraria from Faith for Living, according to a board-approved budget, and, of course, contingent upon the ability to raise that budget.
Our board of trustees and advisors is comprised of remarkable church leaders: Dr. George Grant (PCA pastor, author, educator), Reverend Michael Jones (ARP Executive Director of Outreach North America), Dr. R.J. Gore (ARP, Dean of Erskine Seminary, educator, ), Dr. Leslie Holmes (Provost of Erskine Seminary, currently Moderator of the Presbyterian Church, ARP), Mr. Jeff Johnson (PCA, deacon, owner-agent, State Farm Insurance), Reverend Jan Sattem (ARP, pastor, Chairman of Outreach North America), Mr. Kent Warner (Southern Baptist, senior telecommunications, HP), Mr. Steve Maye (PCA, Real Estate executive), and Mr. Phil Williams (ARP, retired chemical engineer, and retired Moderator, ARP). In addition, Mrs. Christine Hartung, Assistant to Dr. Milton, serves as Recording Secretary. Mrs. Milton is a non-voting member.
The approved budget for Faith for Living is (rounded) $350,000. Of that figure, a line item is approved for $24,000 for the president. The budget includes all initiatives as well as line items for the president, assistant, and a director. While we are an independent ministry, the staff, board, and advisors are under ecclesiastical accountability to the Associated Reformed Presbyterian Church, the Presbyterian Church in America, and the Southern Baptist Church.
The ministry is constituted to become an “enterprise nonprofit;” that is, a Christian nonprofit that will generate revenue streams from deliverable products such as the residency program of the D. James Kennedy Institute of Reformed Leadership. Book and music sales and an Amazon Associates membership also provide other streams of income to the ministry. Grant proposals have not been used heretofore, but there is a plan for regular grant-writing activity. Clearly, the single greatest source of revenue, like other nonprofits, must come from individual gifts.
We will make an appeal each quarter and hope to introduce an annual fundraising dinner with a speaker.
At the end of the funnel of all of this activity is a child in a pew. She is struggling to make her parents’ faith her own. Her pastor has been trained in a residency that emphasis 12 core competencies for pastoral ministry that must come from outside of seminary. He is mentored. Resources for discipleship and education have been poured into this pastor and help has been given to his lay leadership. Faith for Living is behind the scenes. The little girl knows nothing about Faith for Living. Yet, this ministry will be the unseen hand on the shoulder of the pastor that morning, as he speaks to the heart of that child. She is born again. And she and a faithful line of descendants will be gathered on that day when Christ comes again. This is our vision:
“For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Is it not even you in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at His coming” (1 Thessalonians 2:19)?
This is a rather elongated epistle. Yet, we felt it right to lay out the details to you for the sake of righteousness. There are three responses we ask.
Yes, one is prayer. We do not view prayer as the necessary add-on to “sanctify” the letter so we can get to the “real need:” money. Fervent and persistent prayer to the Lord God is essential to (1) establish the ministry; (2) protect the ministry, her staff and officers; and (3) to be spiritually effective for the glory of God and the good of all people (who will be reached by God). Yes, God could have chosen to advance His Kingdom without prayer. But, no, He didn’t. The Lord directs His children to pray. So, yes, we ask for prayer.
Secondly, we ask that you give this nonprofit ministry your best comments on “Great Nonprofits,” a site dedicated to improving nonprofit effectiveness. This is not a “like me” request. This is a request that will help others who are considering our ministry for grants or other gifts. We do need that endorsement from you.
Thirdly, without apology, we ask that you pray about whether we could be a worthy mission for you to support. We promise no gimmicks, no prayer cloths, no promises of health and wealth if you contribute. In fact, we suspect that giving to this ministry above your tithes and offerings to your local church will represent a significant sacrifice. Give only if the giving is, in fact, an act of worship coupled with prayer and thanksgiving. And give out of your own burden to support “shepherding shepherds who will shepherd the flock.” While we have other objectives, equipping pastors for effective Gospel ministry is our number one mission.
To help you respond, here are three steps that correspond to the three requests.
For Prayer. Please write to us and let us know you are praying. Please write to [email protected]
For your review of our ministry on Great Nonprofits to support our grant-writing work:
To give regularly or to give a one-time or occasional gift: