The State of the Ministry, 2016
Mike Miller · Jan 01, 2016
By Ted Pittenger
In January 2014, we had the largest monthly growth in new members in our history (2,770) until this past January, when we had 3,604 new members. As we are going to press, it appears likely that this month (January 2016) will set another new record.
We started last year with more than 39,000 member households. Today we have more than 53,000. At the beginning of last year, members were sharing more than $10 million each month. This month it is more than $15 million.
From the beginning of Samaritan Ministries more than 21 years ago, one of the foundational principles of the ministry has been that God is the only One Who has enough, in fact more than enough, to provide for the needs of everyone. He created everything. He sustains everything. All things belong to Him. No one else—no person, no company, no government—has the resources He has. No matter how big, they are puny compared to God. Yet from the beginning of the world, humans have resisted depending on God, seeking protection in many other places.
Our desire at Samaritan Ministries is that every person, beginning with the Body of Christ, trust in Jesus Christ for everything, including medical needs. We also want every believer to fulfill their God-given responsibility to love and care for others, especially fellow believers (Galatians 6:10).
The way we have approached this objective with regard to health care is fairly simple. Every month, every one of our members is asked to help care for the medical need of one other member. They do this by sending a gift and a note of encouragement directly to the member with the need and praying for them. That’s it. It’s really that simple.
None of us are able to provide for all of the medical needs of everyone, even of all believers, in the country or in the world. Only God can do that. But we all can do something. And the first step Samaritan members take is to share in the medical need of one other believer every month. Of course, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t also care for the needs of others around us as God enables us. But it is a good first step.
In the past few years it has been encouraging to see more and more believers join together through Samaritan Ministries to bear one another’s health care burdens spiritually, emotionally, and financially, but this rapid growth also brings challenges. We have been aggressively working to expand and upgrade our facilities and our technical capabilities. I continue to be grateful to God for all of His provision in so many ways, including the faithful, determined effort of our staff.
When we purchased our current office building in 2011, we thought it would enable us to serve 50,000 members. But we didn’t expect to reach that number so soon. As we saw how rapidly our membership was growing, we began looking for additional office space we could lease or purchase at other locations. We couldn’t find anything that was suitable, so after much thought and prayer, we began preparing to seek bids on constructing a second building on our current property.
Just before we actually sought any bids, we learned of the availability of a building about 10 minutes from our current location that would provide needed space for about half of the cost of new construction. It had a large, free-span main room that would give us a lot of flexibility in installing a cubicle system to meet our needs.
In early December, we were able to purchase this building using funds we were able to save from growth in new memberships, continuing our commitment to remaining debt free.
We are thankful to God for this answer to prayer. Please pray that we will have wisdom as we do needed renovations and install the computer, telephone, and electrical networks. If you would like to help with the cost of the renovations, you can contribute to the building fund using the form at the bottom of your share slip in this mailing.
We are excited that more Christians are deciding to depend on God and on fellow believers for their health care needs. We believe it is important for all of us, and for our country, to have more health care freedom for all citizens. We appreciate your part in this ministry of faith, seeking to build the Kingdom of God.
We are encouraged daily by the cards, notes, and letters of encouragement so many of you send to us. We pass them around to all of our staff members so they can be strengthened by them. We have a bulletin board full of your letters on the wall in a main hallway near our lunch room for everyone to read. Thank you to all of you.
I continue to be grateful for the prayers of all of you Samaritan members for the Board and staff, and for all of our members. We see evidence daily that He is answering your prayers. We are helpless without Him.
Please continue to pray that God will provide staff members who love Him above everything else and have the gifts and abilities needed to manage this rapidly growing ministry. Pray that we would be able to maintain personal caring and sharing, while establishing efficiencies where possible.
For The Kingdom!
Ted A. Pittenger