Many church leaders struggle with talking about money in their church or loathe the offering time. However, you can alleviate this fear by making a shift in your perspective about money.
The topic of money is not about money per se. The Kingdom of God and helping people to live as disciples of Christ is the true aim of money. In the words of Peter Greer, "Money is a vehicle, not the ultimate objective."
The reality for pastors is that money is essential for ministry. It's needed when it comes to paying your bills and money is one of the biggest struggles and stresses of the people who sit in your church.
To help you navigate the topic of money in your church, here are five things to keep in mind.
1. People genuinely want to know what the Bible has to say about money
People come to your church to hear what the Bible has to say. They drove there, probably looked at your website, they drove past a sign that said church, so they are expecting for you to open the Bible and read it.
People want to know what God thinks about a whole host of things—money included.
Why? Because very few people have strong financial knowledge.
There are so many ideas on what you should do, how to get out of debt, and where you should invest your money. All of this information can feel overwhelming and many people would just rather stick their head in the sand than think about.
Telling your church what the Bible has to say is incredibly helpful and refreshing to them because it says more than "you should give to the church."
What is more, most couples are fighting over money, and most people are laying in bed at night stressing over money. Talking about it hits them where they live and answers some of their most burning questions.
2. Get your financial house in order
Many pastors don't talk about money because many pastors aren't generous and don't give. Generosity doesn't come easy for me but preaching on what the Bible has to say about money has led me to grow in it.
If you don't preach about tithing in the Bible, generosity, or biblical stewardship, it's probably because you're not doing well in those areas, which will affect the life of your church. Generous leaders lead generous churches.
Be honest with your struggles if you have them. Talk about what you have learned and how God is continuing to grow you. People will resonate with your vulnerability.
Every time I talk about money I'll hear people say over and over, "Thanks for being open about what is hard for you."
3. Make sure you don't make promises God doesn't make
It's easy to make promises God doesn't make when it comes to money—especially with passages like Malachi 3.
Is God faithful? Yes.
Does God bless people financially when they give? Yes.
Are there lots of wealthy people who don't give? Yes.
Are God's blessings to us always financial reimbursement? No.
This one mistake in preaching on money had led to lot of damage.
4. Stewardship is more than money
While most pastors preach on money to get more people to give money, that isn't the goal. The goal is to help people follow Jesus when it comes to stewardship, and that includes money, but also includes how they use their time, house, car, and retirement.
Make sure that when you talk about stewardship in the Bible that you help people understand that God's heart is for more than their bank account, but also their calendar, relationships, and heart.
5. Give clear and helpful next steps
You should provide a definite next step every week you preach, but with money, it's incredibly important.
Whether you're doing a 90-day giving challenge, providing a financial class like Financial Peace University, or promoting online giving or mobile giving, don't leave people hanging. Remember, people want to know how to handle money, so make it easy for them.
Editor's Note: This is a guest post by Josh Reich. Josh is the lead pastor of Revolution Church in Tucson, AZ, the author of Breathing Room: Stressing Less & Living More. He is passionate about helping people not settle in life and miss all that God has for them.