Friday, September 20, 2019

Taking Care of Business

Bro. Samuel from Beams of Light slipped into eternity Wednesday evening. Please pray for his wife, all of his family and the church family. Bro. Samuel was a true Christian man and his absence is going to leave a permanent mark on a lot of lives.

Take Care of Business
Life can not be all tent revivals, church revivals and mission trips. All of those things are the public and enjoyable side of ministry. There are also buses to maintain, miles to drive, books to keep, bills to pay, budgets to write and a million other things, most of which I seldom write about.

Bookwork and business may be boring, but if we neglect the business side, the wheels of ministry will fall off and we find ourselves broke down beside the proverbial road wondering what in the world just happened.

This week it was time to take care of some business. We always require lots of help and instruction on the business side. Kelly Jo and I rely heavily on people that know more than we do. They guide us in every area of our lives. 

It may be humbling for some to admit that we do not know things that we are "supposed" to know, but it is also liberating. It is pleading guilty to being a normal human and by doing so, we open ourself up to wisdom, guidance and direction we would otherwise miss.

In 2003 we looked into incorporating our ministry and applying to the IRS to be recognized as a 501c3. It seemed too daunting and expensive and that outweighed the benefits in our minds. We decided to wait.

Near the end of 2007, some of the men that we trust for guidance thought we should reconsider and work toward qualifying as a 501c3. We began the process in early 2008 by incorporating in Ohio and then hiring a company to lead us through the process with the IRS.

It was time consuming and aggravating, but in early 2009 we received our determination letter from the IRS. As a 501c3 we can receive donations that have the potential to be tax deductible to the giver, just like a church. But since we are not a church, we have to fill out a tax form at the end of each year.

During our early years, our income was low and the tax form was a simple formality that took about 3 minutes online. It was basically an acknowledgment that we were still in business and carrying on under a certain financial threshold.

With City Reach and then building the house, we began to go over that threshold. Last year we had to file a more complicated version of that tax form. We parked at a Flying J truck stop and buried ourselves in forms, figures and fistfuls of facts. After two full days, we were feeling fatigued, but finished with our financial filings! Hallelujah!

The form for 2018 is now due November 15. The next several weeks will be chock full of travel and preaching and it really does not look like it will slow down until way past the deadline. That is why we had set aside this week to get it done.

This week went a little sideways with unplanned stuff, but we needed to get on track. With revival service being canceled Wednesday we went to work. KJ pulled out last years forms, I pulled out the financial numbers from 2018 and we plunged in. In about 4 hours, we were really close to wrapping up. Wow! That is better.

Thursday I took several hours to go over the forms AND all the instructions for the forms, dotting my "i"s and crossing my "t"s. I think it is ready and we are very grateful. Business is taken care of for a while. Whew!

In a few minutes, we will leave and begin our journey to Richton, Mississippi. We hope to get settled in at the park and measure and mark the stake line for the tent before dark tonight. Saturday morning the tent will go up in the air for the final time this season by the grace of God.

Thank you for reading.


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