Sunday, February 24, 2013

Ministry on the Road

Ministry on the Road
The Story and History of Randy Thompson Ministries, Inc.
By Randy Thompson

I imagine there are people who wonder what Randy Thompson Ministries is and what I did so I thought I would write the story and the history of my ministry so you would know what I did for 17 years. 

In 1989 I was still the janitor for Open Door Fellowship, affectionately known as "the singing Janitor" and I began to feel God’s direction to start my own ministry built around my music and concerts. I had been writing songs for years about my faith and personal journey as a Christian and sharing them with churches and outreach ministries for all of that time. I sang at Hand in Hand ministries for many years before making my first recording. I had also been doing an annual Christmas Concert of original music for a number of years about the birth of Christ and His coming into the world.

I was convinced that God would honor my desire and make it successful and so I began the process of incorporating my ministry. With the help of a good friend David Chatburn I got the forms from AZ State Corp. Commission to incorporate my ministry. This entailed filling out forms, creating a post for the journal explaining my ministry, and paying the fee to get the corporation listed with the AZ Corporation Commission and also to get my Non-profit tax number.

Once this was done I was ready to begin the process of generating concerts and opportunities for me to share my music, my journey, and my heart for Christ and His kingdom. This was not easy. Once you realize that this is your only source of income, you have to get busy promoting the ministry and trying to generate opportunities. A lot of phone calls, creating, printing, and mailing promotional materials, and creating CD’s of the music.

Then I had to fill out forms for the federal government explaining my non-profit ministry to get approved so that people could give and their gifts be tax deductible. I filled out all the forms and within a couple of months got the approval papers from the Federal Government which allowed me to do this non-profit and allow tax deductible giving.
Then I began in earnest to generate concerts and tours, which I did for 17 years. They took me to all these places:

Arizona (Yuma, Page, Wickenberg, ShowLow, Springerville, Eager, Snowflake, Alpine, Morenci, Phoenix, Mesa, Tucson, Casa Grande, Chandler, Tempe, Kingman, Williams, Maricopa, Anthem, Flagstaff, Lake Havasu City, Parker, Gisela, Sierra Vista, Bagdad)  
New Mexico (Albuqueque, Silver City, Sante Fe, La Luz) 
Oklahoma (Oklahoma City, Newcastle)
Texas (Edna, Abiline), 
Missouri (Kansas City, St Josephs, Washington, Knob Noster, Whiteman AFB) 
Kansas (Hays, Salina)
Nebraska (Omaha), 
Wisconsin (Eau Claire, Sheboygan, Wausau, Black River Falls, Menomonie, Mosinee)
Illinois (Springfield)
Indiana (Indianapolis)
Idaho (Pocatello), 
Nevada (Las Vegas, Elko, Reno) 
Utah (Provo, Moab, Price) 
Alaska (Anchorage, Wassila, GlenAllen, Kenai, Eagle River) 
New Jersey (Medford)
California (Blythe, Indio, Las Angeles, Santa Clarita, San Diego)
Oregon (Drain, Klamath Falls, Reedsport, Roseburg, Waldport) 
Washington State ( Seattle, Tacoma) 
Montana, (Missoula)
Colorado, Englewood, Colorado Springs, Horn Creek Camp, Castle Rock, Denver

That is 79 cities in 20 states.
There were times when I was on the road for two weeks and did 20 concerts in those two weeks and the only time I could call home was when I was at a church with a phone. We didn't have cell phones at the time. When each of my kids turned 10 I would take them out of school and take them on the road with me so I could spend time with them. I got all their homework assignments and they did those while we travelled or when we would stop in a hotel for the night. These were some of the most special times I had with my Children and they still remember the trips and talk about them with me.

I was convinced that God would provide for the needs of the ministry and for my personal needs as I did this, and He did. In all the years I did this I never had a month when the bills of the ministry were not covered or when I wasn’t able to pay my bills through the generosity of the people who gave to my ministry. I was also able to record and produce 9 CD’s during this time and always had enough money to pay for the studio time and for the production of artwork and actual CD’s of my music. It also meant writing songs and recording them.

I was so convinced that God would make it work that I made the decision that I would never charge for a church to have me come. I didn’t want money to be an obstacle for a church to have me come. I also never put a price on my CD’s. They were made available to anyone who wanted one and they could give whatever they wanted. Surprisingly, it worked very well. I never wanted my CD’s to be seen as a product. They were an extension of my ministry and I didn’t ever want money to be a hinderance to anyone who wanted to have the music. I explained this at the end of every concert and People gave because they believed in me and my ministry and were impressed that I would do it this way. In fact there were times when someone would say they couldn’t afford the CD and I would give it to them, only to have the next person give $100 for a couple of CD’s and they would say they wanted to make sure someone who could not afford one could get one. 

Because I did the ministry this way, there were times when I spent the night in my car because I couldn’t afford a hotel or a motel. I stayed in rest stops, theatre parking lots, one night I even spent sleeping in my car in a cemetery. I sacrificed so the ministry could survive and so I could have enough money to take care of my family. I trusted God and He never let me down. I always had enough and He is still providing for my ministry as people order CD’s and give to my ministry because they believe in it and me.

Along with all of this I also had to keep the books for the ministry, file yearly 990 forms with the IRS, and keep track of expenditures and income so I would know where the ministry stood at any given moment. I also wrote articles for my monthly letter (RTfacts) that I sent out. (Now I do it by email and post it on the ministry site “”, under the Link “Latest RTM Newsletter”.

In all the years I did this I saw many people come to the Lord, renew their commitment to Christ, and write me letters telling me how much my ministry had meant to them. I got to share with non-believers about my God and my faith. I got to see people who were broken come to an understanding of God’s love for them and choose to believe in their creator and God.  I was humbled to see people confess their doubts and then choose to give their lives to Christ.

I was so fulfilled in getting to be used by God and Christ in me. I always knew God had designed me for this and that I was His servant in doing this. I remember one night in Drain Oregon I did a concert for just a few people at a Baptist church and when it was done I was so disappointed by the turn out and so I went for a walk to talk to God and sort out my feelings. I even called Linda and told her how hard this was. After our conversation I kept walking and I began to think differently about this. I remember thinking that I was doing this for God, not people and then a thought came to me and think it was the Holy Spirit in me speaking. 

He said, Randy, what if this is what brings me glory is you sharing with who ever comes no matter how small the crowd. Would you do that for Me? 

It was then I realized the truth. Yes, Lord, if this brings You glory then I will do this for You. I only want what You want and not what I want. From that night on I never doubted again. I was convinced that I was doing exactly what God wanted and in doing it I was honoring Him and it wasn’t about me. It was all about Him. He continued to bless me and my ministry and I was so humbled to get to share with so many people all over the country. This was God’s doing, not mine. Yes He honored my faithfulness but I always saw Him as the one for whom I was willing to sacrifice and trust. He was the focus, not me. He was the one who gave me the gifts and talents to use for His glory. He is my God and my Lord and He deserves all the glory and I have tried to remember that every-time I am in front of people ministering and telling them about my God and my Savior. It is all about making them see Jesus more clearly and to come to a deeper understanding of His love and the sacrifice He made so we could know new and abundant life. I am the vessel and He is the content. He fills me and inhabits me so I can be used for His glory. Any glory I’ve been given all belongs to Jesus, the one who gave everything so I could have life and know His love and know the hope of eternity with Him. I am still believing that God is not done with me and the future is still open to what God has next for me. I am trusting Him and believe He will open more doors and allow me to use my gifts and talents to bring Him glory and see people come to know Him. I am excited for what God has next for me and I am believing that whatever it is He will provide for that too, just as He always has.

I wouldn’t trade one minute of this adventure for anything else. I was used by God and felt  His pleasure everytime I stood in front of people and shared my heart and passion for my Savior. That is all I ever wanted, was to know that what I did mattered for His Kingdom and the one who loved me enough to die for me. I would do it all again in a heart beat because He is worthy of my best and my sacrifice. He gave everything for me and I can do no less for Him!