If talking about money is a fight waiting to happen for some couples, we can’t imagine how tough it might be to broach that same subject with your congregation. That’s because you’re not dealing with one individual—you’re facing tons of unique personalities and backgrounds. Talking about money is bound to excite all kinds of emotions.
It’s no wonder many pastors shy away from it altogether—an unfortunate conclusion.
You see, money has the potential to be our greatest blessing or our greatest curse. The church is looking to you for guidance. Just like talking to teens about sex or a loved one about a dangerous habit, your willingness to tackle the topic of money ultimately results in huge benefits for your congregation.
Of course, that doesn’t make it any easier. We’ve provided a few tips below to help you get started.
Acknowledge discomfort right away.
Have you ever sat through a meeting or family dinner where tensions are high but everyone acts like everything’s normal? Those are some uncomfortable moments! Often times, simply stating the obvious puts others at ease. The next time you’re bringing a message on money—whether it is through a sermon or during the offering—go ahead and say what’s on the minds of people in your congregation.
This might sound something like, “Guys, I know money is a touchy subject. We all come at it from different backgrounds and viewpoints. The great thing is God has a lot to say about how we handle money. If we focus on what He says—instead of what our world thinks—we might be able to learn something new and grow in the process.”
Talk about yourself.
One of the reasons people hate hearing about money is because it’s so personal. As a pastor, your vulnerability in other areas of life no doubt encourages your church to open up their minds and hearts to what you teach. Money is no different.
So be brave. It might feel awkward at first, but push yourself to share your own story when it comes to money. Don’t worry, we’re not talking specifics. There’s no need for anyone to know how much your car cost or what you put in the offering plate last week. But you can be honest about your own struggles or successes with tithing and giving. Talk about the fact that your money is really God’s to begin with—that He owns it all. Hearing this perspective from you will help your church depersonalize the subject of money.
Remember that money is only one part of a generous lifestyle.
Matthew 25:35–36 says, “For I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.”
When Jesus talks about what we can do for the least among us, He doesn’t just mention money. Isn’t that awesome? We are able to make a difference with what we have—time, treasure and talents. Encourage your congregation to pay their tithes, yes, and to give above the tithe once they are out of debt. But also remind them that generous giving doesn’t start and end with money. We give out of what we have.
As Dave teaches in Financial Peace University (FPU), it doesn’t matter if we sit in a corner office or clean a corner office—we’re called to manage our resources for God’s glory. Take a bold step today toward making the topic of money a welcome point of discussion in your church.