Church Growth
Why It’s So Uncomfortable To Talk About Money In Church

Why It’s So Uncomfortable To Talk About Money In Church

Tithely media icon
Modern Church leader
Church Growth
Publish date
March 15, 2019

This week on TV, Frank talks with Brett McCracken, senior editor at The Gospel Coalition, a web-based ministry devoted to integrating the gospel with all of life.

During the show, they talk about:

  • How pastors can be preach generosity to a consumerist world
  • Why being uncomfortable isn’t a sign that you’re at the wrong church
  • How pastors can shape their worship services in a way that prompts giving


Here’s a list of resources mentioned during the show:

Never miss a show, subscribe via:

Subscribe to increase giving and grow your church

Is your church in financial trouble? Do you wish you had more resources to reach people for Christ? Subscribe to TV to learn how to increase giving and multiply resources in your church.


This week on TV, Frank talks with Brett McCracken, senior editor at The Gospel Coalition, a web-based ministry devoted to integrating the gospel with all of life.

During the show, they talk about:

  • How pastors can be preach generosity to a consumerist world
  • Why being uncomfortable isn’t a sign that you’re at the wrong church
  • How pastors can shape their worship services in a way that prompts giving


Here’s a list of resources mentioned during the show:

Never miss a show, subscribe via:

Subscribe to increase giving and grow your church

Is your church in financial trouble? Do you wish you had more resources to reach people for Christ? Subscribe to TV to learn how to increase giving and multiply resources in your church.

podcast transcript

(Scroll for more)

This week on TV, Frank talks with Brett McCracken, senior editor at The Gospel Coalition, a web-based ministry devoted to integrating the gospel with all of life.

During the show, they talk about:

  • How pastors can be preach generosity to a consumerist world
  • Why being uncomfortable isn’t a sign that you’re at the wrong church
  • How pastors can shape their worship services in a way that prompts giving


Here’s a list of resources mentioned during the show:

Never miss a show, subscribe via:

Subscribe to increase giving and grow your church

Is your church in financial trouble? Do you wish you had more resources to reach people for Christ? Subscribe to TV to learn how to increase giving and multiply resources in your church.

VIDEO transcript

(Scroll for more)

Dean Sweetman:  Good day, everybody. Dean Sweetman here, along with Frank Barry. Good to see everyone today. What's going on, Frank?

Frank Barry:    Oh man, it's good to be here after a nice little one-day trip to Austin yesterday and jumping back to San Diego.

Dean Sweetman:  Mate, we had the best brisket I've ever had in my life.

Frank Barry:    Oh, the barbecue was amazing. It was a good trip.

Dean Sweetman:  Slid through.

Dean Sweetman:  It was a good trip. So, good. Well, it's good to go, it's good to come back. Hey, we've got a fantastic guest today who has got a phenomenal name, right?

Frank Barry:    Yes.

Dean Sweetman:  I just want to say it in Scottish because it's so awesome.

Frank Barry:    It's good to be a good [crosstalk 00:01:06].

Dean Sweetman:  We've got this laddie called Brett McCracken, and he's got a book out and we're going to have a whole bunch of fun with him today.

Frank Barry:    Yup, yup. Hey, Brett. How's it going, man?

Brett McCracken:    Hey guys, I'm doing well. How are you?

Frank Barry:    It's great to have you with us. Yeah, Brett McCracken. You've been around the publishing industry for quite some time, it sounds like.

Brett McCracken:    Yeah. Yeah, that's been my kind of career, my thing. I got my start with Relevant Magazine. If you're familiar with [inaudible 00:01:41].

Frank Barry:    Yeah.

Brett McCracken:    Yeah. They were getting started in the early 2000s. I was in college, and they needed content and writing, so they were happy to publish my stuff. And then I wrote for Christianity Today for a number of years. And then I'm with the Gospel Coalition right now.

Frank Barry:    Yeah, yeah. So you're the senior editor there and it sounds like in talking a little bit before the show, you also do some movie reviews and other things like that for the Gospel Coalition. So tell us, give us 30 seconds about your role there.

Brett McCracken:    Yeah. So if you're not familiar with the Gospel Coalition. We're a website, so we were online-only, but we have articles, and podcasts, and video content, and we do conferences and events as well.

Brett McCracken:    And it's just kind of applying the Gospel to all areas of life. So we're not only ministry, but just everything, parenting, and the arts, and culture, and movies. So that's Kinda my area. So, I oversee our content on movies, music, TV, technology, cultural trends, that sort of thing.

Brett McCracken:    So, it's fun. It's a really lively topic to be writing about. I get to review movies and see what is trending in the cultural imagination, and how that intersects with the Gospel and Christian needs.

Frank Barry:    Right.

Brett McCracken:    So yeah, that's kind of what I do.

Frank Barry:    Yeah. Yeah. Very cool. And in your spare time, you just had a kid, and wrote another book. So, you know, you're all over the place.

Brett McCracken:    Yeah, I had, I had two babies. One actual baby, and then a book.

Frank Barry:    Yup. Yup. It's the great-

Brett McCracken:    [inaudible 00:03:13] similar.

Frank Barry:    Yeah, yeah. And great book title. I guess we don't need to get into your kid's name just yet, but the title of the book is "Uncomfortable," and we're going to unpack a little bit of that today. So, it's gonna be exciting.

Brett McCracken:    Yeah.

Dean Sweetman:  Yeah.

Brett McCracken:    "The Awkward and Essential Challenge of Christian Community," is the subtitle.

Frank Barry:    Nice.

Brett McCracken:    The discomfort of church, basically.

Frank Barry:    Right, right, right.

Dean Sweetman:  So, diving right in, in the book, you challenge readers to give up on the idea of their dream church and except that life in a local church can be uncomfortable.

Brett McCracken:    Yeah.

Dean Sweetman:  Tell us what you mean by that.

Brett McCracken:    Yeah, I mean, I think a lot of times we approached church as consumers, because we live in a consumeristic society and we approach everything that way. So, you have people who come to church expecting anything in a consumer society, it should just fit me. It should kind of ... It should fit me and my checklist of items that I want. Like, this music I want, this is the type of children's ministry I want. I'd like this type of coffee if possible. You know? Like, everything.

Brett McCracken:    And, so I'm really just challenging that idea and saying like, "Church is actually a beautiful escape from the consumer mentality." It's a place we can go to not be the center of the universe, where the church doesn't revolve around you and your preferences. And it's actually for your health and for your good.

Brett McCracken:    I think to sometimes push yourself into discomfort and push yourself into communities, especially where not everyone is your ideal person to be around. And, you know, some people might be awkward and uncomfortable, and the church, I think, can be a beautiful sort of discomfort because it's this motley crew of people from all walks of life, every ethnicity, cultural background, socioeconomic status. It just runs the gamut. And that's kind of always been what's beautiful about the Christian Church.

Brett McCracken:    And yet, I think we often, in an American church contexts, we often don't lean into that as much as we can. And sometimes we build our churches around like-minded-

Dean Sweetman:  Yep.

Brett McCracken:    ... Similar people, so that they're just kind of homogenous communities.

Dean Sweetman:  Yep.

Brett McCracken:    You have the hipster church, where hipsters go and feel comfortable because they're around everyone that's just like them. And you have the middle-class, kind of suburban soccer mom churches where you go and everyone is just like you.

Brett McCracken:    And so, that's our tendency and that's our default in a consumeristic society. It just choosing what's like me and what's gonna affirm me, where I'm at. And I don't think that's a healthy way to live, and spiritually especially, I think it's to our detriment to choose the path of least-resistance and the path of comfort.

Dean Sweetman:  Great Point.

Frank Barry:    Yeah. Yeah, totally. But it's sort of counter cultural, right? Which, a lot of things about Christianity are and following Jesus. But in a lot of ways, most people are seeking comfort. They're seeking peace and things being easy and nice, and the way that they like them, and sort of falling into our hat like we're creatures of habit, right?

Frank Barry:    We seek that in a lot of ways. So, what would you tell the Christian who is seeking a comfortable church?

Brett McCracken:    Yeah. Yeah, I [inaudible 00:06:47].

Brett McCracken:    Do you want to grow? Is that ultimately the goal here? I think it should be with a church. That is, I think, ultimately what the church is for, to grow people in their discipleship, to become more like Jesus. And the thing about growth is you don't grow in comfort.

Brett McCracken:    Like, more often than not, you don't grow in your comfort zone. So, think about like a sport or an athletic skill you're trying to develop. Like, you're not going to grow just kind of by sitting on the couch in your comfort zone. You're going to grow by pushing yourself, and it's not going to be easy, it's not going to be comfortable. But that's the only way you're going to train those muscles and develop good skills. So, it's just across the board in life. I think the reality is we grow not in comfort, but just kinda in areas where there's friction. Or we feel [inaudible 00:07:44] happens.

Brett McCracken:    So, to the Christian who was kind of choosing the comfortable way, the comfortable church, I would just challenge them a little bit and say like, "Do you really think you're going to grow the most in a context where there's never an idea that you disagree with? There's never a person who rubs you the wrong way? There's never anything that just makes you uncomfortable?" I don't think so.

Brett McCracken:    I'm actually in my own experience in various seasons in my Christian life, and I've grown up as a Christian, it's been a part of my story since I was a kid. There have been seasons where I would say I chose that more comfortable church and I just kind of picked the church that fit me in whatever seasons that was in. And, you know, it was great.

Brett McCracken:    It's fun, but I wouldn't say I grew. I wouldn't say that I moved the needle in my spiritual life. Whereas the last couple of years, and kind of the impetus for me writing this book "Uncomfortable" comes out of my own church experience in recent years of choosing a church here in southern California that actually is very different from what I would say is my dream church or my perfect church.

Brett McCracken:    It's actually a very uncomfortable church for me. And I talk about various reasons why in the book, but I have found that I've grown more in the last five years, being a part of this church, than almost any other church experience I've had. And it hasn't been easy. And there's been moments where the consumer in me wants to just throw in the towel, and leave, and just go to like the church down the street that has the music that I like better, you know? But I've stuck with it, and I've found that that has been really fruitful for my spiritual life. So, I wanted to just challenge other Christians to take that kind of just less comfortable approach to church.

Frank Barry:    Right, right, right. One thing that I find ... Just on that topic, you know. I've kids. They're seven. I've got triplet boys, right now. And we're all ... We're in this stage of, like, they're getting into sports, and they're in first grade, and there's all these things, right? So we're constantly putting them in situations that are probably very uncomfortable for them, right?

Frank Barry:    Because they're kids, and we want them to experience, and grow, and learn, and everything's uncomfortable 'cause it's all new. Right? So with our kids, we'll put them in uncomfortable situations in healthy ways, right? I'm not talking about like bad stuff, but we do that 'cause we know they need it, and they need to grow. But then, as adults, we often we revert to comfortability and peacefulness and these kinds of things. So it's kind of funny, right? We get it for our kids, but then, as adults, it's easier to revert back.

Brett McCracken:    Yeah. And we live stressful lives and we live in a busy, chaotic age, so it's understandable why people wouldn't choose an uncomfortable, uncomfortable church, right? Like it's one day a week, maybe, where you can not be stressed out. You're not at your job, you're not shuffling the kids around to soccer practice on Sundays.

Brett McCracken:    So, it's understandable why people would opt for the kind of comfortable church, but I think our spirituality is one of the most important areas of her life to challenge ourselves to grow and stretch ourselves and not take the path of least resistance.

Dean Sweetman:  Hey Brett, we deal with a lot of passes around the offering moment that ... And that can be extremely uncomfortable, not just for pastors delivering it, but for the parishioners, members, receiving it.

Brett McCracken:    Right

Dean Sweetman:  I'm interested in the research. Did you come up against that and have any kind of thoughts around that? The whole generosity moment inside of church?

Brett McCracken:    Yeah. You know, when I was writing the book, I kind of pulled a bunch of pastors that I knew, and asked them "What are the most uncomfortable things that you find in your church, the areas of friction with people?"

Brett McCracken:    And a couple of people mentioned tithing. It actually wasn't as often-mentioned as I thought it would be, 'cause that is one of the things I think you think about when you think about uncomfortable topics in church.

Frank Barry:    Right, yeah, yeah.

Brett McCracken:    But there definitely were a few pastors who mentioned tithing. And interestingly, most of them were in Orange County, California. That was like a big issue here. So, that's interesting. I don't know if there's regional differences in terms of parts of the world.

Dean Sweetman:  Yeah. I think it's everywhere, but if you have a big conglomerate of Christians and churches, and people move from church to church, there's a lot of offended, air quotes, people, you know? And then churches get stuck getting super sensitive to it, you know?

Brett McCracken:    Oh, yeah. Yeah. And I think the fact is [inaudible 00:12:44] people can choose from in the marketplace, if you will. And I hate referring to churches in marketplace language, but if the marketplace is flooded, and it is with churches, then you have pastors who worry about every little thing that they say that might turn someone off, means that a person's likely to just leave and go to one of 30 other options nearby in terms of church.

Brett McCracken:    And so that's one of the big downsides about having too many choices in a consumer society where people really do think in terms of being a consumer. There are people who have that mindset of, "Hey, if there's something about this church that starts bothering me, doesn't that kind of fit me perfectly, I'm going to go try another one."

Dean Sweetman:  Wow.

Frank Barry:    It's like, "Have it your way," right? You know? It's fast food. You go for the one that you like.

Brett McCracken:    [inaudible 00:13:41], and all of a sudden, you start getting sick of it. There's all these other brands of toothpaste you could try. And so, it's just problematic, I think, that the church has become just one of many consumer items that people approach just like any other consumer item.

Brett McCracken:    And so I'm really trying to challenge that mentality in the book, both to pastors, I'm trying to push pastors to not kind of fall into that and perpetuate that mentality of being overly sensitive to the consumer's needs and trying to meet everyone where they're at, and please everyone, but also of course, the book is challenging people, the church goers, and really trying to get them out of that mindset that church is just something you go to to get the church service. The church is there to serve me.

Brett McCracken:    That's just not what Jesus wanted His church to be about. Right? He wanted people to serve not be served.

Dean Sweetman:  You think about the early church, you talk about church shopping. There was only one church in every city. If you didn't like it, there was nowhere else to go.

Brett McCracken:    Right. Yeah. And sometimes, I wish we could go back to that. It probably wouldn't ... There'd be other things about that era that we wouldn't want, but-

Dean Sweetman:  Right.

Brett McCracken:    ... I do think that there's just bad things that happen when there's so many choices, and it becomes easy for people to get complacent. Like, if you're a Christian in some part of the Middle East where there's literally one option of a church, and it's the only safe place Christians can gather, you're not going to be picky about the music and the coffee.

Brett McCracken:    But here in Orange County, California, you can be picky about all that because there's a church for every flavor, you know? Whatever you might be interested in.

Frank Barry:    Yeah, yeah. I mean it's like, just referencing the early church, over in Acts 2 when you're like, "Man, they met together all the time and they broke bread, and they prayed," and you read that in the Spirit of that scripture, and you're like, "That's how it started." Right? And that's what we all want to have in our own local churches, is that kind of community, that kind of spirit, which is not selfish. It's not comfortable. It's not self seeking, right? It's, it's the opposite of all those things.

Brett McCracken:    There was a beautiful sense of communal identity, where it was about the whole, and it was about serving the whole and not serving the self, and not looking at it mainly in terms of, "How is it serving me and my needs?"

Frank Barry:    Yeah. You mentioned in the book, also, addressing the ... Not just the church leader, but the church goer, the Christian, right? And what kind of uncomfortable things did you uncover related to Christians and managing their own money? Right? So, being a Christian and knowing that that should have an impact on my financial life as well, that shouldn't be excluded, you know? Where does that get uncomfortable for people?

Brett McCracken:    Yeah, I mean, I think the same mentality that makes people hesitant to submit to any authority outside of the self on anything, like they don't want a pastor to tell them something that calls them out on anything. That same mentality makes people really uncomfortable when there starts to be talk about your money, right? Because, "It's my money. Like, this is my money. I get to decide what I do with it." Like, "How dare anyone else speak to that. This is a very private thing."

Brett McCracken:    So, it kind of is the same mentality that leads you to approach church, as ... Ultimately, it's about me and how it serves me, and meets me where I'm at, and helps me accomplish whatever goals I want, spiritually. That same mentality makes us, I think, really hesitant with money to ... Like, "Hold on, you can't take this from me." Like, "Maybe I'll give it if I feel inspired at some point to give back to the church," but the minute you start being challenged to do that, and that is actually voiced out loud in a church, I think people get really uncomfortable because it goes against the grain of everything in our consumer society.

Brett McCracken:    Which does kind of say, "You own what you own. What you've earned is yours to do with whatever you want, and the world is your oyster." "You can buy what you want to buy, you can go on Amazon and choose to spend your money however you want."

Frank Barry:    Yep.

Brett McCracken:    No one can tell you how to spend your money or not to spend your money. And so, ultimately, I think it comes down to a real friction with individualism and communal identity. So, I think, as Westerners, as individuals [inaudible 00:18:47].

Brett McCracken:    We just really don't like the idea that like our decisions on anything, whether it's sexuality, or our vocational path, or what we do with our money, that there's any sort of ... That that should be open to other people [inaudible 00:19:04] into that.

Brett McCracken:    But the Church is fundamentally a communal identity. It's a family. We're meant to speak into each other's lives on those important topics. And yet, I think there's just a lot of friction there within our culture, because we don't like other people to speak into those private areas that we think should be private.

Brett McCracken:    So, yeah.

Dean Sweetman:  Hey, Brett, do you think in reverse, flipping it over ... Is that why pastors feel uncomfortable about talking about money? Because you've got people in the pews of all different types and sizes depending on the [inaudible 00:19:42] if there's this kind of ... Almost a baseline of, "Man, this is mine. I worked hard for it," kind of mentalities.

Dean Sweetman:  And the current hipster culture, the younger culture, millennial culture, digital culture, I see studies across. I see they're super generous and they're super not generous.

Brett McCracken:    Yeah, yeah.

Dean Sweetman:  But all that's gonna play into the pastor's mind on how to actually talk about giving in the church context.

Brett McCracken:    Yeah. So, I think the pastor feels very aware of that. Like, all of the things we've already talked about, the whole fear of anyone being the least bit put off on any topic is gonna leave. So, I think there's that practical fear of losing members. I think there's a sense that pastors have that people live in a culture where they're being bombarded from every direction of seeing things being sold at them.

Brett McCracken:    Millennials and Generation Z, especially, have grown up just surrounded by advertisements, and people asking them for money, and to spend their money. So, I think there's a real hesitancy to make the church seem like just another entity that's trying to sell something or trying to get your money. And that's a real problem, I think.

Brett McCracken:    And I think that's a bigger issue of the church just feeling like it's one of many kind of-

Dean Sweetman:  So, how can church-

Brett McCracken:    [inaudible 00:21:20]

Dean Sweetman:  So, how can churches differ differentiate? Obviously, we're not like Amazon. We're not like where you can just come and buy stuff. It's not transactional in that sense.

Brett McCracken:    Right.

Dean Sweetman:  It's like you're part of this God-ordained community on the Earth to preach the Gospel, and expand the message, and grow the Kingdom.

Brett McCracken:    Yeah.

Dean Sweetman:  How do you flip that? Cause it's not the same.

Brett McCracken:    It's not the same, and that's, I think a really hard question. But it's one that we need to figure out. Like, "How do we position ourselves in a way that we're not just another consumer commodity? We're not just another voice in the chaotic chorus of voices coming at people?"

Brett McCracken:    We are a qualitatively different thing, so different. So I think one way is just to challenge the consumer idea and just say like, hey, we aren't here to ... We don't exist just to be for you, what everything else in your world is. We're not another app on your phone that exists to make your life easier. We're not just another product on Amazon that you can pick because it meets you where you're at and accomplishes something.

Brett McCracken:    We are an eternal entity that will ... What has been around way before you and will outlive you. And you know, it's not about you, but you are invited into this story of what God is doing on mission in the church. And it's a privilege for you to be here, to be involved in this, and tithing is a real practical way that you can invest in this eternal mission, this story that has been going on for centuries and will persist after you're gone.

Dean Sweetman:  Yeah.

Brett McCracken:    So, I think broadening the horizon and really framing it, not as just a consumer transaction for the here and now in your life, but this is about investing in something bigger than yourself for a mission that is just way greater in works then any sort of, "What this does for me," type of question.

Dean Sweetman:  Yeah.

Brett McCracken:    Yeah.

Dean Sweetman:  I mean that's a challenge.

Frank Barry:    Yeah, yeah. And it's like, people need to understand that we're not here for the church to serve us like we the church, right?

Frank Barry:    And of course, the church serves us because you have great friends and families, and all these things that are here taking care of us. But you get ... Like, the Bible teaches you get what you give out, right? You're going to get back more when you're a giving, serving, loving person. It just comes back, right?

Frank Barry:    So, when people start to understand that, it flips the whole thing around and you're like, "No, I want to invest in my local church because that's what God calls us to do." And it pays a hundred fold. Right?

Brett McCracken:    Yeah. I mean, I think one thing that I suspect with the younger generation, because we live in this like hyper-present focused moment culturally where everything is about the now, right? Instagram is called Instagram for a reason. [inaudible 00:24:34]

Frank Barry:    Yeah.

Brett McCracken:    So, We live in this very ... Just kind of breathlessly, exhausting, moment where it just [inaudible 00:24:45]

Brett McCracken:    Nothing is fixed, everything is transient and disposable. And my suspicion is that generation wants this bigger picture. They want to be part of something that transcends that kind of transience.

Brett McCracken:    They want something transcendent. And so, inviting them into the church, and really portraying a big vision of the church that is older, is much bigger than your context, wherever you are, and giving them that vision and asking them to buy into it, literally, for the sake of something far greater, and bigger, and bolder.

Brett McCracken:    To me, that is a message that will resonate as our society just becomes increasingly claustrophobic because everything is about what's happening now in my life and what's serving me as a consumer right now. Like, "What can I watch on Netflix right now? What can I [inaudible 00:25:43]?"

Brett McCracken:    And everything is gonna be forgotten tomorrow, and there's no sense of history, we're not connected with the past. And I think that's just driving people crazy. I think we're going insane, as a society, because we're so un-rooted and we're so disconnected. And tithing, and investing, in a bigger picture of the church is the great push back against that, I think. [inaudible 00:26:05].

Dean Sweetman:  We're so counterintuitive to how people think, just automatically, with money, right? It's like, "Man, this is mine." And then, for Jesus to come along and say, "Hey, I want your whole life. You want to follow me?

Brett McCracken:    Right.

Dean Sweetman:  So, we, "Oh, it's not about the 10%." No, it's about a hundred percent, now, in the New Testament. So, you better get used to this giving away of your life thing, 'cause that's the constant. And as you mature in your walk with Jesus, every day, there's this sense of, "Man I don't own anything."

Brett McCracken:    Yeah.

Dean Sweetman:  You know, in the context of the early Church, they piled on all this stuff and borrowed it, and helped the needy.

Frank Barry:    Yeah. Sold their property. Right?

Dean Sweetman:  Right.

Brett McCracken:    Right.

Dean Sweetman:  We have a different context now. We're in a western environment, 2000 years on, but still the spirit of that of, "You know what? There's people in need around me and I gotta get out of my own self and be part of something that's missional."

Dean Sweetman:  And you said that word a few times. And the mission is, "I gotta keep expanding this message." And that message is good. You know, the Gospel Coalition that you work for, that's the good news, right? And that's the journey of getting, maybe, younger Christians who were a little younger thinking more and more ... With a biblical perspective on what they're supposed to be doing in the here and now.

Frank Barry:    Yeah, yeah. Brett, so circling it back, and even with Dean's hitting on some of it, we circle it back to the church leader, the pastor. How do they start to overcome some of this? Or what did you describe in the book, or in your conversations with pastors and Church leaders? Like, how do they overcome them being uncomfortable and challenging the church in appropriate ways based on the scriptures? Like, what do they do? What works?

Brett McCracken:    Yeah. I mean, there's no one kind of silver bullet way to solve this problem, but I think it's just the accumulation of small choices where you don't plan your services out with the self-conscious awareness of like, "Oh, but if we do this song that crowd is not going to like it." Or "If we're preaching about this topic, most people aren't going to like it."

Frank Barry:    Right.

Brett McCracken:    Start from a place of, "What is Biblical? What are we called to do and what's gonna be for the good of our sheep?" Like, as shepherds of the church, how are we going to grow our sheep? And whether or not they like it, it shouldn't be the primary question. If that's our primary question, and then we're just perpetuating the consumer Christianity.

Brett McCracken:    So I really think just that mentality is where you should start as a pastor to shift your mentality to be okay with challenging, and stretching, and making church a little bit more uncomfortable for people. And maybe talk about why that's a good thing for the pulpit. Talk about this value of, like, we grow more when we're stretched. And so, as our church, as this community, let's commit ourselves to lean into that.

Brett McCracken:    And let's come to worship ... Just to use one example of music, which tends to be a very controversial flashpoint when it comes to why people choose or not-

Dean Sweetman:  Style.

Brett McCracken:    Yeah, a music style. So, I would just challenge pastures to speak to their congregations about, "Look, I know this music might not be everyone's cup of tea, and you might actually hate the music style here, but don't just endure it, and don't stand there with your arms at your chest. Just kind of-"

Frank Barry:    Folded.

Brett McCracken:    Yeah. This is an ... Worship is an opportunity to get outside of yourself and to just make it about God, not about you. So, whether or not it's your preference, whether or not it's your perfect style, sing anyway. Give yourself to it anyway and that will be so freeing for you.

Brett McCracken:    And it'll make for such a healthier church when we're all fully there, present in worship, even if we know that some people like it more than others, the style of music. And for me, that was a big thing at my church that I go to now that was very uncomfortable for me. The music style? Not at all what I would choose. I'm more of a traditional hymns ... I love organ, you know? I'm kind of an old soul when it comes to music. I guess [inaudible 00:30:42].

Brett McCracken:    Like raw, with guitars, a wall of sounds. You have to have earplugs. Some people literally have ear plugs.

Dean Sweetman:  I have ear plugs when I go to my church, too.

Brett McCracken:    Oh, okay. Well, maybe I have to do that and not feel like that's ... Yeah.

Dean Sweetman:  No, mine are bright yellow.

Brett McCracken:    Oh, yeah?

Dean Sweetman:  Yeah. And my son's the pastor, so ... And he puts me up in the front on front of the speaker. I'm like, "Dude, I'm dying here."

Brett McCracken:    Yes, that, exactly. I have to sit in the front at my church 'cause I'm a [crosstalk 00:31:11].

Dean Sweetman:  It's all good.

Brett McCracken:    It's just very loud. But all that to say-

Frank Barry:    Forget the ear plugs, just go with the full headset. Just put on the jet headset. Like, if you're on the run tarmac.

Brett McCracken:    Yeah.

Dean Sweetman:  Noise canceling.

Brett McCracken:    Yeah. That wouldn't send a message to the [inaudible 00:31:24] and all.

Frank Barry:    Oh, man.

Dean Sweetman:  Good stuff, man.

Brett McCracken:    Yeah. For me, that has been such ... It's been a freeing thing to approach worship as, "Look, it's not my favorite style, but man, I love the chance that I have every Sunday to just worship God."

Brett McCracken:    400 people from every walk of life who I would never be in the same room with in any other circumstance, and just to look around and see, "Okay, there's this crazy cross-section of people who have nothing else in common except that we're worshiping God," and we're just pouring ourselves out.

Brett McCracken:    And that's the beauty of church, when it's not about you, it's not about your preferences. It's about this thing that's happening collectively where the Holy Spirit is present, and we're oriented around God and not ourselves. And so, that's ultimately what "Uncomfortable" is about. It's that our willingness to endure discomfort for the sake of something bigger than our own comfort zone.

Dean Sweetman:  Love it.

Frank Barry:    Yeah.

Dean Sweetman:  I love it, man.

Frank Barry:    Love it.

Dean Sweetman:  So, where can people get the book?

Brett McCracken:    Amazon. I know we've been talking about Amazon derogatorily, but Amazon is the easiest place.

Brett McCracken:    So, speaking of consumerism, you could go to Amazon. But yeah, it was published by Crossway, so you could go to Crossway's website, or really any online bookstore will have it. So, yeah.

Frank Barry:    Yep. Search Uncomfortable.

Dean Sweetman:  All right, Frank, wrap it up.

Frank Barry:    Well, I was just going to say, search Uncomfortable, Brett McCracken, and the book will show up in Google too, and you'll find your favorite place to buy it, I'm sure. So, Brett, It was great to have you today, man. Thanks for coming on, sharing some of your wisdom, your insight, what you've been learning yourself, personally. It's all really good stuff.

Frank Barry:    And hopefully church leaders watching this will be inspired to not get ... Not be fearful about talking about the uncomfortable stuff, and I think ultimately your point, Brett, about ... You just have to have conviction about what the Bible says, and be confident in talking about it.

Brett McCracken:    Yeah.

Frank Barry:    So, loved that. So Brett, great to have you, man. We'll get this show up soon and we'll catch you another time.

Dean Sweetman:  Good to meet you, Brett.

Brett McCracken:    Yeah. Thanks guys.

Frank Barry:    That was good stuff. And we've got a great show next week. I'm actually ... I'm pumped. All the shows are awesome, but next week we've got Clayton and Ashlee Hurst. They're pastors at Lakewood Church, and we're going to talk about marriage, and family, and money. It's going to be awesome.

Dean Sweetman:  That's going to be great. I know those guys, and what a great church, and they'll have a bunch of wisdom. So, great show today. Always fantastic seeing you, mate. And if you're listening or viewing, hope you're enjoying the podcasts and the TV side of things. We appreciate it.

Frank Barry:    Yeah, absolutely.

Dean Sweetman:  And we will see you next time.

Frank Barry:    Next week. Give us a like, share us on Facebook. Love you guys. See fans.

Dean Sweetman:  Thanks, love you guys. See ya.

This week on TV, Frank talks with Brett McCracken, senior editor at The Gospel Coalition, a web-based ministry devoted to integrating the gospel with all of life.

During the show, they talk about:

  • How pastors can be preach generosity to a consumerist world
  • Why being uncomfortable isn’t a sign that you’re at the wrong church
  • How pastors can shape their worship services in a way that prompts giving


Here’s a list of resources mentioned during the show:

Never miss a show, subscribe via:

Subscribe to increase giving and grow your church

Is your church in financial trouble? Do you wish you had more resources to reach people for Christ? Subscribe to TV to learn how to increase giving and multiply resources in your church.


Why It’s So Uncomfortable To Talk About Money In Church

Related Blog Posts

Button Text
Tithely Pricing