If there is one topic most pastors don’t look forward to teaching on, it’s probably money. Thankfully for us, this wasn’t the case with Jesus. A tremendous sum of Jesus’ instruction in the Gospels pertained to the resource entrusted to His listeners (more on that in a second).
This should have some clear implications in our own teaching ministries as well.
At myXP, we spend a good portion of time in the weeds of church finance. We see it as a high responsibility to have a hand in stewarding every penny God has entrusted to His people. Through this we see three common mistakes many pastors make when it comes to teaching on financial stewardship.
1. Many don’t talk about money enough.
We should not only shepherd surrounding issues we ind comfortable, but also the ones that push us beyond our own comfort as well. This includes the issue of generosity. If the Bible speaks to an issue, so must we.
Howard Dayton Jr. does the math and reports that “Sixteen of the thirty-eight parables were concerned with how to handle money and possessions. In the Gospels, an amazing one out of ten verses (288 in all) deal directly with the subject of money. The Bible offers 500 verses on prayer, less than 500 verses on faith, but more than 2,000 verses on money and possessions.” (source)
Clearly money matters to God, so we have to talk about it.
2. Many talk about money too much.
Yes, Jesus talked a lot about money. But you’re not Him, so you may want to meter the amount of time you spend teaching on “giving” in particular. Just like you can talk about it too little, you can also talk about it too much. If every sermon comes around to you pounding a pulpit and pushing people to tithe, you’ve missed God’s heart on the issue and your church will as well.
You have to prayerfully determine the most fruitful frequency for your context, but somewhere in the realm of a couple times a year has been effective in our own ministries.
3. Many only preach on money when there’s a problem.
One of the factors that helps shape your tone when teaching on money is trying to do so when finances aren’t abnormally tight. Now, if you’re a church plant, or in a difficult season, that time may seem less likely than finding a unicorn at the local zoo. We know first hand that finances are regularly tight in many churches. That’s not what we’re talking about necessarily.
We’re talking about pastors only teaching on giving in a reactionary manner. Waiting until you may not make payroll to teach on money results in an often unintended panic in the pulpit. If people feel that you’re teaching on the topic for personal gain, it will further damage the already complicated relationship people have with money and the local church.
So, we have to teach on stewardship, we should be careful to pace our frequency well, and we have to ensure we teach on it with the right tone and in the right way.
This is an area in which we at myXP have an immense amount of experience and we’d be proud to partner with you. We’d love to help you cultivate a generous culture in your church, as well as help you adopt some best practices as you seek to manage what God has given you faithfully. Schedule a connect today and we can get to work!