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Meet the Ministries: Eternal Perspective
November 10, 2010
Last year I posted a series of interviews under the banner of Meet the Ministries. It was a means of introducing you to some of the great ministries that serve the church today. You got to meet Grace to You, Desiring God, Acts 29, Peacemaker Ministries, CCEF and Truth for Life. I am going to continue that series this fall with another set of interviews. And it begins today with Eternal Perspective Ministries.
How and when did Eternal Perspective Ministries (EPM) begin?
Randy was a pastor for 13 years at a church he loved—and continues to be a part of—before he began participating in a number of peaceful nonviolent rescues (civil disobedience, blocking entry) at abortion clinics. This decision to participate came after being involved for years in many other aspects of prolife work and included much soul-searching, Scripture-searching, prayer and counsel. As a result of his involvement in rescues, he was named in a lawsuit where the abortion clinic was awarded the largest judgment in history against peaceful protestors: $8.2 million. In order to avoid garnishment of his wages by the clinic, he was forced to resign as a pastor.
God, in his faithfulness, used what was intended for evil and turned it to good. Consequently, Randy founded EPM, which gave him the ability to devote much more of his time to writing.
Why does EPM exist? What are its chief goals and key emphases?
Eternal Perspective Ministries is a Bible-believing, Christ-centered nonprofit organization with two goals:
- to teach the principles of God’s Word, emphasizing an eternal viewpoint;
- to reach the needy in Christ’s name, calling attention to the needs of the:
- unreached, who’ve never heard the gospel;
- unfed, unclothed, unsheltered and poor due to circumstance (not choice);
- unsupported, Christians suffering in hostile spiritual environments;
- unborn, targeted for abortion, and their mothers deceived and exploited by the child-killing industry;
- unreconciled, those of different races and cultures who are alienated, hostile, or suspicious of each other;
- untrained, a generation growing up in a society without moral absolutes and eternal values, who need to hear God’s truth spoken in love, and whose parents need to be equipped to be their children’s educators and role models.
How can EPM serve the readers of this web site?
Our website, www.epm.org, is a wealth of free information, covering a wide range of subjects. There are over 2,000 articles, Q & A’s, etc., mostly written by Randy, as well as video and audio to draw from.
We have free resource packets for pastors and group leaders that can be used to help their study and teaching on a variety of topics.
Follow and connect with Randy at his blog, Facebook and Twitter.
We have a free quarterly newsletter, Eternal Perspectives, which features many thought-provoking articles written by Randy as well as news about his latest books and resources. You can read a color copy of the newsletter at our website or sign up to receive a mailed copy at http://www.epm.org/newsletters/.
On the same page you can sign up to receive our monthly ENews Update that shares current information about Randy’s speaking schedule and our book specials. It often highlights other worthy ministries and their current needs.
100% of designated giving is passed on to a worthy ministry within our EPM guidelines. So if someone wants to give to missions or famine relief or prolife work, etc. but isn’t familiar with a specific organization, the donor is free to give to EPM and that money will be sent on to one of the many we support and/or recommend. This method can be useful for people who do not want to be on the mailing list for several different organizations.
Who are the key leaders within the ministry?
Randy and his wife, Nanci, founded EPM in 1990 and Randy is the director. Our Board of Directors meets annually and helps with decisions throughout the year.
We have a very competent staff who are specialized in their areas and our office runs quite smoothly. Kathy Norquist is Randy’s executive assistant and is also a board member.
How many employees does EPM have?
The main EPM office is located in Sandy, Oregon. Randy is the only full time employee and he works out of his home office in nearby Gresham, OR. Our staff consists of 14 part time employees, in addition to two contract employees responsible for computer needs, freelance research, and editing.
What is EPM’s annual budget?
Here’s a breakdown of expenses for 2007, 2008, & 2009:
2007 General Fund Expenses $120,852.23
Payroll Expenses $202,572.75
2008 General Fund Expenses $139,606.24
Payroll Expenses $215,780.45
2009 General Fund Expenses $125,351.29
Payroll Expenses $238,314.98
Expenses have gone up about 12.5% comparing 2009 to 2007.
How is the ministry financed and how do you ensure financial integrity?
Note posted from Randy on our website:
Eternal Perspective Ministries has been supported by many donors over the years. Their prayers and kind gifts allow us to continue giving all the royalties away to God’s kingdom, so that every time a book is sold, it not only touches lives through its words, but also through the income it generates. Meanwhile EPM and its staff, including Nanci and I, have the benefit of people’s hearts being where they’ve put their treasure—so we receive not only financial support, but prayer.The book royalties far exceed the amount our ministry spends to operate. So why don’t we just hold on to them and pay our own way, so no one needs to support us? Because we believe we need to depend on God, and on his people. If we knew where the money was coming from every month, we wouldn’t be as dependent.
EPM keeps careful and detailed financial records. Major policy decisions are made by the staff and board in consultation with others. We seek to adhere to the standards of the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability. However, membership in the ECFA requires certain procedures that those examining our books tell us would create significant and unnecessary annual expenses for a ministry our size. Since we are small and our financial statements are forthright and detailed and examined by an accountant—with annual records prepared by a CPA—we believe we maintain financial accountability as effectively as most ECFA organizations.
How do you expect EPM will be different in ten years? Twenty years?
Note from Randy posted on our website:
We hope and pray that Eternal Perspective Ministries will continue to reach more people and at a deeper level, first through my writing, and also through the website and other media.
In 1990, we laid out some foundational financial principles which also reflect our ministry priorities. The first of these expresses my sincere willingness for our ministry to cease to exist should God so lead. My belief is that God raises up some ministries to go on for generations, long outlasting the founder. But in other cases God intends a ministry to serve its purpose in its own generation and then close its doors. I am wide open to God’s leading concerning this.
Eternal Perspective Ministries belongs to Jesus Christ. EPM staff are privileged to be his servants (1 Corinthians 3:6-7). EPM will exist only as long as God wants it to. If it becomes evident that His purpose for EPM is finished, we will close our doors. The sun does not rise or set on this ministry. It is simply a tool at God’s disposal (2 Timothy 2:21), for Him to use how and as long as He chooses.
How does EPM work with other Christian ministries?
Randy gives away 100% of his book royalties to worthy Christian ministries, which to date have totaled close to $5 million. Though our main involvement is providing financial support, we also network with others who want to know about worthy ministries to support. We feature different ministries and their needs in our publications. Our staff prays throughout the week for the ministries we support. Randy has been a speaker at many of the ministries we support, though he has needed to curtail his speaking engagements in recent years in order to devote more time to writing.
What are some of the ways EPM has seen evidence of God’s hand of blessing?
Randy says he receives a double blessing. Not only does he have the privilege of writing books that impact lives for eternity, but he also has the joy of giving the royalties away to support other Christian ministries. Even when finances have been tight in the past, God has always proven Himself faithful. We have not suffered financially like most organizations have recently, and only once in our history did we need to lay off anyone due to limited income. Randy makes minimum wage along with some benefits and we have stayed within a modest budget.
We are also blessed to hear from thousands of readers over the years whose lives have been impacted by Randy’s books. Many have come to faith in Christ and others have recommitted their lives to Christ or made a life-changing decision to go into mission work full time or begin giving generously.
How can the readers of this web site serve and support EPM?
We would very much appreciate prayer for EPM, and especially for Randy. You can sign up to be an EPM Prayer Partner. Approximately every 6-8 weeks we send out specific prayer requests related to Randy’s book projects and speaking engagements.
We’re always appreciative of financial support. You can donate online.
Word of mouth is always a good way to spread information. If our ministry has encouraged people, we hope they will share with others, pointing them to our website and the many free resources that are available, as well as to the 30-plus books Randy has written. And since we give away 100% of the royalties from the books, we don’t mind encouraging people to buy them.