The other day I read a blog post from a pastor that began by stating, “No pastor likes to talk about money, and nobody in the church wants to hear a sermon on money.” A few days before, I noticed a tweet from a pastor who claimed that he “survived” preaching on money that morning.
We recognize that many people have abused the subject, but we believe it’s time to conquer the fear of talking about money in the church. Here are five suggestions for preaching on money effectively:
- Don’t apologize for talking about money. It’s not a necessary evil – it’s an important part of the discipleship process. Jesus said that people’s hearts and people’s finances were connected. So when you stand to preach on money, you’re not preaching a money sermon; you’re preaching a discipleship sermon. Never apologize for asking people to follow Jesus.
- Make it normal to talk about money. People talk about money all of the time, probably EVERYDAY. It’s time for this to be a normal topic in the church as well. This means that you need to talk about spending, savings, debt, retirement, and insurance, in addition to giving.
- Start talking about money EARLY. If you’re a church planter, one of the healthiest things you can do in your church is to teach on stewardship and generosity early on. In fact, talk about generosity with your core group, because what they model will happen on a larger scale. You’re not going to flip a switch and become a generous church with generous people.
- Un-churched people aren’t stupid…they know it takes money to run a church. Pastors are often afraid to talk about money because we’ve all read the books showing skeptics think the church is all about money. People who don’t go to church need Jesus, but they are not dumb. They aren’t offended when they are asked to contribute, and they know it takes money to pay people and operate a facility. Don’t’ let the fact that you’re reaching skeptics keep you from talking about money.
- People do want help with their finances. For too long, the church has just asked for money from people, yet offered no practical help in the process. What would happen if you helped your church WIN with their finances? Would people in your church respect you if you helped them pay cash for a vacation? Let’s want something FOR people, not just FROM them.