DESIRING GOD MINISTRIES is one of the resource distribution arms of Bethlehem Baptist Church. I say "one of them" because I see the people of Bethlehem as the main "resource distribution arm" of the church. Our main resource is the grace of God in our lives. The primary means of distribution is telling the gospel of the glory of Christ and loving people to show what Christ is like. This is how we bless the city and the world. We point people to Christ, not to ourselves (2 Corinthians 4:5) in whom are all the treasures of wisdom and power and love forever. He is the greatest gift we can give and the greatest good we can offer. "Distribution" is at the heart of who we are. As the mission statement says, "We exist to spread . . ."
DESIRING GOD MINISTRIES is part of this mission "to spread a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples." Its unique part in the process is
· the distribution of books and tapes,
· the hosting of a website where 20 years-worth of sermons are available for free,
· the management of a pastors' conference for 900+ pastors,
· the development and distribution of a God-centered children's curriculum, and
· the running a bookstore with "books by a bunch of dead guys and a few live ones."
DG salts the evangelical landscape with the savor of Christian Hedonism - the truth that God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him. Our perspective is not the only true one, nor the only good one, nor the most important one. But it is, we believe, a needed one. And we are happy to make our little contribution to the diet of truth that the church needs to be strong and healthy.
DG is at a remarkable juncture in its development. Here are some of the most significant changes in the offing.
Location. With the impending demolition of the "old sanctuary" and the "1914 building," DG will move its offices off site this week (May 29-31). There is no place at Bethlehem to house this growing ministry with its 11+ full-time employees. Remarkably God opened a way for the ministry to move to the 9th floor of the Dain Rauscher building downtown at Sixth and Marquette. Sounds pricy. But the fact is we are getting what amounts to a 67% discount because of being able to sublet from a company that had to back out on its lease. We will be there for a year and look for something more permanent during that time.
Leadership. With the growth of the ministry from a mom and pop tape ministry (thanks to Olive and Arnie Nelson) to a two million dollar distribution venture, the time seemed right for a restructuring of leadership and organization. Therefore the DG management board (appointed by the BBC elders) voted unanimously to call Jeffrey Anderson to be the new Executive Director beginning July 1. I was appointed CEO. Jon Bloom, who has led the ministry for six incredible years of growth, will become Director of International Offices, Publications, and Vision Partners Development. Justin Taylor will become Director of Theological Resources and Education and work closely with me in theological research and editing. Scott Anderson is moving to Minneapolis this week to assume the role of Director of Children's Desiring God, with Jim Tomaszewski taking the role of Children's Desiring God Customer Service Manager. Bill Walsh now serves as Director of Operational Systems.
Pray that God would refine our hearts in all faith and gratitude and lowliness and love, that he would keep us true to his infallible Scripture, that he would use us to spread a passion for Christ that magnifies him by making him known as the greatest treasure in the universe to millions of people who esteem him lightly, and that we would never cease to see and savor Jesus Christ above all things.
Standing amazed with you,