I used to dread preaching about money.
Most people think that pastors love to talk about money, and some non-Christians think all pastors talk about is money (Thanks, TBN). But in reality, many pastors and church planters I know are sheepish when it comes to talking about money, fundraising, or asking people to give. I used to be.
It makes sense for at least three reasons:
- Money is a very personal issue and can make people feel uncomfortable.
- Since a pastor’s salary is paid by the congregation’s giving, it can feel like a self-serving conflict of interest.
- Many pastors have a poverty mind-set that sees scraping by as almost a badge of holiness.
I was also trained in a church that did mostly verse-by-verse preaching and avoided topical series (like ones on money). We didn’t bump into many “money” passages, so I didn’t have a lot of exposure to sermons about money (though the ones I heard were good).
But now I love preaching about money.
Over the next few posts, I want to share some of the reasons. Here’s the first one:
I’m certain that money is one of God’s main competitors.
This isn’t a new idea, but it’s an important one. Jesus didn’t say that we would have to choose between serving God or Satan. He said we’d have to choose between serving God and money (Matthew 6:24).
Particularly in North America, money and possessions contend for the hearts of people. Many people don’t start exploring spiritual questions until they’ve hit a tough patch financially.
It’s hard for rich people to enter the kingdom of God, because they don’t think they need anything. It’s also hard for poor people to enter the kingdom of God because they think what they need is money, not God.
To be a faithful pastor, I must exhort people to love God and use money, not love money and use God.