Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Through the years I have heard this statement more than once, “At our church, we never preach about money.” Now, I do understand that, as the church, we should never ‘ask for money;’ but to not preach/teach about money….that is to fail in leadership responsibility to the church for several reasons:

The Bible teaches about money and stewardship. Brian Sluth, former president of the Christian Stewardship Association, has counted the passages dealing with money and material possessions….there are 2,350 references. The Lord Jesus himself had quite a lot to say about it in the Gospels. In fact, he taught more about this subject than heaven, hell or even loving your neighbor. Surprised? Matthew records the words of Jesus in 6:21, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” The primary tug-of-war for our hearts is between God and mammon [money]. God’s quest to capture our priority attention will require managing the distractions of money and the material world. We cannot serve both, Jesus said. And because we cannot fail to speak where Jesus has spoken, we teach stewardship.

Teaching about money blesses people. I truly believe that God’s truth puts His people in a place to experience His favor. Teaching God’s Word aligns people in a way that they can experience God’s best. At Crossroads we don’t ask people for money. The offering moment is a very low-key and very positive part of our worship service. At the same time I intentionally preach four or five sermons on stewardship each year. And often they are not about giving at all, but have to do with earning money honorably, spending money carefully and saving money faithfully.

Teaching about money matures people. How many times have I seen dramatic changes in people as a result of getting their priorities straight in the area of stewardship? I have personally witnessed how life-transforming it is when someone becomes a conservative spender, a careful saver and a generous giver. If, as a preacher, I fail to teach these Biblical principles, I am failing to challenge God’s people in their faith-walk. I am robbing them of the joys of the deeper life.

Generosity is a positive witness. I remember meeting a man who began faithfully worshipping with us. He had seen in the newspaper the response our church had made to the earthquake victims in Haiti last summer, giving $170,000 and, in addition, funding, assembling and shipping 506,000 meals to starving children. As believers, he and his family were impressed with such generosity and were attracted to identify with our fellowship.

Money advances the Gospel throughout the world. There is a paragraph in Romans 10:14ff that asks a series of rhetorical questions: How can unbelievers call on Jesus to save them if they have not heard about him? And how can they hear without someone telling them? And how can someone tell them without being sent? The logic is undeniable. Witnesses must be sent. And their travel, living, supplies, program, and time must be underwritten with the resources of those who are already saved.

Pray with me: Dear Father, for all these reasons and more we are blessed to be able to imitate You in Your generosity. Thank you for the promise of our Lord Jesus, that it is ‘more blessed to give than to receive.’ In His dear name I pray, amen.

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