Barnabas founder reports where money went in 1998

The writer is founder and director of Barnabas Ministries, P.O. Box 310208, Detroit, Mich. 48231, U.S.A. Barnabas Ministries is on the Web at

By Alan Ruth

FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich.--This is the 1998 year-end report for Barnabas Ministries. This service organization is dedicated to encouraging understanding of God's Word and a deeper relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ. We also pursue preaching the gospel to as many people as can be reached.

First, let me say that this past year has been one filled with various trials and difficulties that at times have made it tough to maintain and enhance the services offered. Yet through it all God has sustained and kept this ministry motivated to spend time blessing others. Thank you for your prayers.

Contributions for the year were about $3,700 in U.S. dollars. Expenses for the year were approximately $9,700, which leaves a $6,000 deficit. Expenses included money spent on office supplies, utilities, postage, copying costs and partial coverage of travel expenses and miscellaneous outlays.

Additional expenditures were incurred because of the need for updated computer equipment and software. Our basic cost to have a Web site on the Internet tripled in 1998 thanks to the need for more storage space and transmission ability to handle the tremendous volume of Bible-study materials requested.

This service has been blessed to accomplish a great deal with the contributions it receives.

Part of the reason a little has gone a long way financially is that Barnabas Ministries runs lean. We have no buildings to support, no full-time employees to pay and no other costly commitments to drain contributions away from our primary goals. We are a solely volunteer effort that spent 100 percent of the money donated to preach the good news of the Bible to the world and to serve wherever we can.

Here are highlights of 1998's accomplishments:

  • The Internet Web site, at, has experienced explosive growth both in materials added and retrieved. We added an audio sermon area so that our tens of thousands of visitors can listen to great biblically based messages and included a bookstore to aid purchasing Bible-study materials.

Our home page, the first screen people see when they visit the site, was redesigned. We deepened our offering of Bible articles, biblical research and links to other Bible resources.

All this contributed to a phenomenal increase of more than 900 percent from the previous year in the amount of information the world pulls off the Bible Study Web site.

Visitors at the end of 1998 were requesting the equivalent of 55,000 35-page booklets of Bible-study materials every month. Not only that, but numbers at the end of January 1999 show an increase of another 85 percent above December 1998 figures.

We have also been pleased to detect an increasing number of referrals from other Web sites. Various Church of God groups, sites affiliated with the Church of Christ and Jehovah's Witnesses and several independent fellowships and service organizations have begun to send people our way.

  • Year-2000 seminars were conducted to help people prepare for the potential fallout of computers not correctly handling certain dates.

These interactive discussions helped people understand the Y2K problem and what they can practically do to lessen the effects of this soon-coming challenge. Our computer guide, which gives tips on how to buy a computer and how to cruise the Internet, was also updated.

  • Several Bible-study weekends and seminars were attended. These meetings included Christian Education Ministries study weekends (sponsored by the CEM, Tyler, Texas) in Toronto and Chicago, the Intercontinental Church of God leadership conference in New Orleans and the United Church of God Big Sandy's study weekend in December. Church groups of various sizes and home fellowships were also visited in 1998.
  • Three Bible bookmarks were created and distributed. These bookmarks contain scriptures to comfort people, a calendar of when God's days of worship occur and Internet sites people can visit to find commonly requested information. This ministry additionally handled mail and E-mail requests from the United States and other countries for literature and study materials.

For 1999 we hope to branch out and begin advertising the Bible Study Web site outside the Internet. We may put some small ads in religious magazines or newspapers to let people know where they can get biblical answers to their questions. Of course, this service will continue to improve and add materials to the Web site over the next year. Other projects will be scheduled as well.

Thank you for your support. May God bless all of us so that we can boldly continue to grow in His grace and knowledge and serve others with all our strength.

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