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3 Mistakes Churches Make When They Talk Money

Written by Ed Stetzer on . Posted in Ed Stetzer

Ministry leader wants to spread the biblical message of generosity in order to grow generous givers.

It may be one of the most dreaded and uncomfortable sermon topics—both to preach and to hear. Money and giving can stir all kinds of emotions and reactions in even the most faithful Christ followers.

While I’m no preacher, I spend a good deal of time with Christians who want to understand generosity better and the opportunities they have to impact God’s kingdom with their money. Through my experiences and many conversations and stories, I’ve become familiar with some of the pitfalls of talking about money in church and how to navigate them.

Not Talking about Money at All

The first mistake is to avoid the topic altogether. Although I understand the urge to avoid this conversation, Jesus modeled talking about this important issue more than any other. The Bible has a lot to say about money. It’s closely tied to our hearts, to our relationship with Jesus, and to the work he’s called us to do.

Jesus said money is the primary competitor for Lordship in our lives. He said, “you cannot serve God and money” (Matt. 6:24). He actually didn’t say this about any other issue. So avoiding the topic is likely a disservice to those we are called to lead and instruct.

Unfortunately, many pastors put the conversation off until they are forced to talk about money because of a shortfall in the budget or an upcoming capital campaign. This is not the ideal time to talk about money. Jesus didn’t talk about money because he needed to raise money. He talked about money because it is a key to our hearts and affections.

I’ve observed people are not resistant to learning about handling money in a God-honoring way; however, they can be resistant to being asked for money.

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