Ministry is Wherever People Are

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Long before my friend, Bishop Dale Bronner, was pastoring a large church in Atlanta, he began working in the family business. And he was only 12 years old!

"I started handling payroll for our entire organization," he recalls. "We had up to 500 employees, and I was the human resource guy all the way through high school and college. And I had to do it manually, before we had computers! I then spent 10 years in IT in our business, managing all of our computer information systems.

"Little did I know God would use every place that I walked in the business world for the ministry. My business training in the real world became more practical for all of the functional gifts of actually running a large ministry. I was being equipped and didn't know it. God does not waste our experience."

Even before Bishop Bronner began his career in the family business, he had heard the call of God into ministry when he was seven. Yet he never experienced a conflict between his work in the business world and his call to ministry. "I only had to choose which one I would serve."

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"Ministry is wherever people are," he explains. "I was like the chaplain in our business. If there was a person who was going through depression or having suicidal thoughts, they always brought the person to me. My ministry didn't start when I got a church. My ministry started when I was exposed to people."

It's interesting that Bishop Bronner's church ministry was actually birthed through the business as he began first speaking at staff motivational meetings, then to larger audiences of barbers and beauticians who would come for events. More and more, people would ask, "Who has a good local church here?"

"Initially we were referring people to local churches, blessing them and taking them there. Then we said, 'Hey, we've got space here. We've got a ballroom. We've got a minister. Why don't we provide the church for them and they won't have to go anywhere?'"

Ministry, Bishop Bronner explains, is not something you do; it is who you are.

"It's an anointing that you carry. It is a grace and a compassion for people. And wherever we were exposed to people, that ministry gift is going to be ignited and positive, powerful things will happen."

"If ministry is in you," he adds, "God will draw people in your path who need the deposit that God has placed in you."

To hear the rest of this inspiring interview with Bishop Dale Bronner, listen to "Life by Default or Design" on A Word in Season with Doug Stringer & Friends. For more information about Doug Stringer, visit DougStringer.com or SomebodyCares.org.

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