What Is EPM And How Are We Supported?
In our magazine, we deliberately speak very little about EPM or our financial needs. Sometimes people wonder why. More than anything, we want to keep the focus on the Lord, and issues of eternal concern. We don’t want to draw people’s giving away from their churches or worthy Christian ministries. And we really want to provide our magazine as a no-cost service to people. Jesus said, “Freely you have received; freely give” (Matthew 10:8).
Still, sometimes we’re asked “How’s EPM doing financially?” We usually say “just fine.” God is our faithful provider. However, our EPM board has encouraged me to communicate more about our finances.
We have a core group of supporters who give regularly to our ministry. Some of them started giving when the ministry began in June 1990 and our office was in the Alcorn basement. Nanci and I were the only employees and funds were never an issue. (Because of lawsuits from abortion clinics, due to peaceful nonviolent civil disobedience in 1989-90, I can only make minimum wage anyway, which really helps with EPM’s overhead expenses!) [2013 update: Since Randy is no longer under the judgment, his wages have increased to make up the supplemental salary of his wife’s work since she is no longer being paid as an EPM employee.]
As the years have gone on, moving into an office and expanding our ministries have involved greater financial needs. However, only twice in our history have we faced what I’d call serious financial challenges. The spring of 2001 was one of those times. We decreased the outflow and God graciously increased the inflow. Believing that these cuts were good stewardship, we’ve kept them in place.
EPM is active in many ministries, and serves as a resource for everything from people with questions about eternity, heaven, missions or famine relief, to students wanting to make a prolife speech or pray for persecuted Christians or go to the mission field. Most of these contacts are spurred on by my twenty-seven books and our newsletter.
I am the only full-time employee of EPM. All other staff work part time. As our financial reports testify (you’re welcome to one), the salaries we pay aren’t high. With every new book, newsletter, speaking opportunity, phone call, email and visit to our website (which has had over 800,000 visits from all over the world), EPM continues to expand. Our newsletter is now received at no cost by over 18,000 people representing every state and many countries. We find ourselves in contact with more and more people each month. We’re joyfully laboring to keep up.
One of our reasons for existing is to help fund worthy organizations. We call to people’s attention some of God’s most strategic kingdom efforts. 100% of all contributions sent to EPM and designated to special ministries go there.
Some people like to centralize their giving and have chosen to do this through EPM. In a sense, they use us as an eternal investment counselor or broker. They write one check, with a note designating the gift to one or several specific ministries or areas of ministry. We keep up with a number of different worthy ministries. If we become aware of problems that raise concerns about this ministry’s effectiveness or integrity, we send our support elsewhere until this is resolved.
All of my books and royalties are owned by EPM. This source of income has been significant. It is my desire, and the board has agreed, to use all of this royalty income for ministry purposes: (as of September 2013) 90% to other worthy Christian organizations and 10% to EPM to help offset the costs related to the writing/researching/editing of the books, as well as to help facilitate the giving away of our books to people all over the world. Since the inception of Eternal Perspective Ministries in 1990, EPM has given over six million dollars to ministries around the world.
It may seem strange to give away royalties like this when we could keep them and not need to rely much on donors. However, we believe the giving and prayers of people are vital to what we’re doing. Jesus said our hearts follow our treasure, and we want some of God’s people’s hearts and prayers to be in our ministry. We also believe God’s hand is on the book sales and He is pleased when we dedicate those to Him and give them to His work. (Sometimes when I see my books on the bestsellers list I think “God, you’re just raising funds to help ministries you love, aren’t you?”)
Partly because of our emphasis on special giving to other ministries, rather than to EPM’s general fund, our monthly support sometimes falls considerably short of our needs, even though we labor to keep expenditures at a minimum. God provides in the form of periodic gifts from some of you, but these are not always enough to offset our expenses. But God has always provided in the end.
If God does lay on your heart to give to our ministry, or to pray for us (the greatest gift you can offer), know that we deeply appreciate it. If you decide either to regularly or periodically support EPM, you can do so at our online donation page, or call our office.