Step 1: Tax Exemption
The very first step is to achieve our tax exempt status including our letters of incorporation is completed. We received a generous donation to cover the $1700 in legal costs of filing for our 501c3.
We have our Employee ID Number, have been accepted as a Charitable Organization by the state of Illinois, we are now waiting for the IRS to approve us as a registered 501c3 organization.
IL Employee ID Number
IL Charitable Organization Number
IL Sales Tax Exemption
US Postal Reduction
Step 2: Education
Pastor Mitchel has graduated from Christian Leaders College with his Bachelors of Divinity Degree. Click here to see the progress he is making.
Step 3: Property, Farm Stand, Living Quarters
The first step is to acquire a suitable property, and build a sustainable revenue. We want to establish our first greenhouse, our first chicken run and the farm stand.
Our dream farm stand would be a 50 x 40 steel building with multiple coolers and tables for produce as well as be an outlet for other farm stand sales opportunities. The building would also be our starter residence on the second floor until we get to the main residence / classroom / dining room.
The priority is moving out of town, and we're looking for a small "hobby" farm around 20 acres, hopefully with a usable farm house to get started with.
The first greenhouse would be similar to the Micro-Farm 3 from Nelson and Pade which features a large hoop house with their zero discharge aquaponics system, deep water culture beds, a NFT seed starting system, and a media bed, along with all the components for the fish system. This greenhouse will be one of multiple systems in the final design.
Are we planning on buying Nelson and Pade's system? Not until the second money tree starts blooming (that's a joke son). We have studies many aquaponics systems and we would like film out building process as part of a class we will teach on Aquaponics startu-ups.
Step 3: Chickens & Pigs
The third step is to integrate pastured chickens for egg and broiler sales at the farm stand. We have been keeping 5 chickens (city limit) and I can't imagine my wife ever being happy without her daily "talk with the girls".
We also want to raise pastured pigs to sell as hanging meat to the butcher or individual sales, or as live sales to our local meat packing plant.
Step 4: Main Residence, Dining Room, Class Room
The fourth step is to build our main residence which will have a large great room to facilitate our class room and dining room for the residents.
Our starter residence will be revamped to become the temporary dorm, and we will finally be able to start bringing residents on for our first year of ministering directly to the people this whole endeavor was designed for
Step 5: Dedicated Dorm
The fifth step is to build a dedicated dorm building for our residents with a fully functional shower room, lavatory, lockers, bunks, and desks. Each person will have their own bunk, closet, locker and desk. Each bunk mates will be assigned one toilet, sink, and shower to keep clean, and be in a rotation for mopping the bunk house, lavatory and shower room.
Each person will get 5 sets of work clothes, 1 dress casual outfit, and 2 sets of sweats, and two pairs of athletic shorts along with undergarments and personal hygiene kits. This will be afforded by the $500 registration fee and or donations.
Step 6: Business and Staff Expansion
The sixth step will be to expand the business or add new lines of business in anticipation of expanding the ministry opportunities and being able to afford them.
In addition to adding business will be adding staff. As we get older, our ability to do all of the management and work will be diminished and we may need to bring on a full time farm manager, dietitian, and counselor.
Step 7: Ministry Expansion
The seventh step will be to add new dorms to bring in more people to minister to. This is a vague concept, and depends on how much business we can generate to afford more people as well as give them something to do.
Step 8: Step out
After seeing what happens when good leaders stay for too long before deciding to retire, I have built in this step on purpose. Once the ministry is built to a sustainable level, it will be time to look for a new director for the Discipleship Center and for me to step down from the position as director and do something fun at the mission like lead in recreational time or teach a class or run music, anything other than be the director.