It’s Unspiritual to Talk about Money
One of the biggest lies propagated among church leadership is that it is unspiritual to talk about money.
This belief comes from a strange disconnect between our views on faith and its impact on our lives. It’s a dangerous notion that, somehow, our faith only exists between our ears, that it’s only about what we think, about developing the right thoughts and having the right ideas. Some believe it not about how we live, and in this case, what we do with our money. This mindset has led some of us to the point where we believe that it’s somehow unspiritual to talk about money and generosity.
Jesus is clear on this: how we invest our lives and how we invest our money reveals much about what we value in life. Challenging people to think correctly about money, be generous, and lead generous lifestyles is at the core of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. At the core, Jesus challenged us to live another centered life. In a world so obsessed with money, there are few other, more obvious ways to a centered life, other than being generous and donating your resources to help others get connected with Jesus’ teachings.
Discussing money is incredibly spiritual, plus it is one of the things that people worry about all day long. Striving to ensure that people understand biblical teachings about money, and helping them apply those lessons to their lives, will accelerate your membership’s spiritual growth.
You Feel Like a Used Car Salesman
Why is it that when we consider talking about church funding, the stereotypical picture of a used car salesman comes to mind?
You know that guy: he’s little and slimy, his hair is greased back, he wears a bad suit, and he’s just trying to rip you off. Why do so many people possess this mental image when considering whether to discuss church funding?
Part of the reason that this is the case is that there have been “slimy car salesmen” in the name of Jesus. They’ve ripped people off and used their money for nefarious ends. There is no lack of evidence of church leaders who have abused this privilege and honor to help people with generosity and help them move into a more generous lifestyle.
But here’s the thing, you are not a slimy used car salesman. You’re not attempting to help people grow in their generosity because you want to get something from them. You’re doing this because you want something for them. You want to help people transition into a more generous lifestyle. You want them to experience the freedom and exhilaration of a fuller lifestyle through giving. You are not trying to extract cash out of them so that you could fund some new crazy plan at your church. You’re not a used car salesman. You’re a messenger of the peace of Christ, and this is a critical aspect of the conversation that must be communicated to our membership.
Your Personal Finances are in Chaos
Are you drowning in debt? Are you living your life with no margin? Are you not being generous because of the financial decisions that you’ve made?
Too many pastors are living less than paycheck-to-paycheck. We’ve structured our financial lives in such a way that we’re struggling, and we’re not giving generously, and that’s ultimately driving us into debt. This issue of debt is an epidemic among church leaders nationwide.
If this is the case in your life, I strongly recommend that you get help in this area. Whether it’s Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University or Joe Sangl’s Financial Learning Experience or Good Sense, you can take control of this area of your life and get things right in your finances at home.
Too often, people aren’t generous because they have too much debt.
What is debt? Debt is simply living beyond your means. It’s not trusting that God will provide, and it’s leveraging other people’s money to live the lifestyle you want to live. The antidote to an active debt lifestyle is generosity. It is a tool that will break the debt mindset, because what is generosity at its core? Generosity, at its core, is saying that God will provide. That I’m going to give up this money to help someone else, and that I believe that God will provide for me. Maybe the thing you need to do is to be more generous.
Listen, I understand that living and life costs a lot of money, but this might be a wake-up call for you to get your finances in order, to help you speak more clearly and with conviction to your own people and, ultimately, see them take steps towards generosity.
Are you looking for more help in church funding?
We’ve put together a few resources to help your church build even more in the area of generosity, providing an important example of what you do as a church leader. This free download includes an MP3 and PDF.
- MP3 // Increasing Your Church’s Generosity Culture with Steve Stroope // Steve started as the first pastor at Lake Point Church about 40 years ago and has since passed the baton to Josh Howerton. Lake Pointe began with a launch team of about 60 people and has grown to eight campuses with over 15,000 attendees. In this interview, Steve offers practical tips on how we can increase generosity at church.
- PDF // 5 Free Resources to Increase Your Church’s Generosity // Each of these resources can be used and implemented to help your church see ever-increasing levels of generosity. This “read to apply today” PDF is a great tool get the conversation and action rolling with your team!
Click here to download these two resources and access the information to help your church increase generosity.
This article originally appeared here, and is used by permission.