I didn’t really grow up in church but I have spent a lot of time in a lot of churches over the last 20 years. A large part of my time in church was in pursuit of Susan, my high school sweetheart who is now my wife (and still my sweetheart!). Looking back, I have observed that money is the most common sore spot that churches have.
This is incredibly threatening to the health of the church because Jesus teaches us that money and materialism is, and will be, the #1 competitor for our hearts! How can we ignore it? How can we allow this sore to continue to fester without admitting it and addressing it? In one word…FEAR! We are afraid of offending…afraid of having our hearts misconstrued…afraid of people leaving…afraid of getting nasty emails! The list could go on and on!
I believe because the topic has been avoided so much, the Church commonly makes a few mistakes when talking about money. See which one resonates with you.
- The church talks about money apologetically. For some reason teaching what the Bible says about money is often viewed as a necessary evil rather than the truth of God’s Word that is able to bring life! Not only does scripture teach us the danger of the love of money taking His place in our hearts but our own experience even testifies to the fact that the #1 thing that pulls us away from God is a love for money and materialism.
Jesus taught on money more than Heaven, Hell, or prayer! Why? He knew it was the greatest indicator of where our heart is! How can we apologize for teaching on that?
2. The church talks about it with a man-centered focus that is driven by what we will get, not a God-centered view of what we’ve been given! In a way this ties into the first point. Often times we are tempted to slant God’s teaching on money toward what we will receive if we give faithfully because we want to make God’s truth more palatable! It’s basically a way to get people to do what you want them to do by shading God’s Word a certain way; it wreaks of manipulation and is absolutely unbiblical!
God does promise that if we give faithfully through our tithe (10% of our gross income) by bringing it to God’s house (The church) He will meet all of our needs (Check out Malachi 3:6-12). However, God never promises to meet all of our greeds! As the church we have to step up and preach the Word of God from a God-centered viewpoint as it is written and intended to be taught. This includes teaching about money.
3. It’s been taught selfishly and biblically unbalanced! Most often teaching on giving centers on what percentage the people are supposed to give the church. It seldom teaches why we should give and almost never teaches how to live your life according to scripture so that you can actually give. Why? I believe at its heart, the church is more worried about making budget than it is concerned that people get out of their financial prisons by having their hearts set free from materialism.
Based off of the way the subject of money is typically approached, reality is that we are often guilty of only caring about the 10% we feel people owe us. Ignoring the fact that 100% belongs to God and has been entrusted to us to steward.
With the reality of these three errors running rampant in the church is it any wonder that money is such a sore spot? We, the church, have to get back to biblical teaching on money that centers on God and His Kingdom.
One of my convictions is that we never ask you to do something you have not been equipped to do. With that goal in mind, we are offering a free Financial Seminar during the month of July. It will be a two-hour seminar to answer 4 basic questions about money.
- What does God say about money?
- How do I practically steward 100% of what God has given me?
- Why should I give to the church?
- Where do I go from here?
Please hear me on this. There is no shame in admitting you need financial help! Trust me! We can all use help when it comes to our finances and stewardship. Please don’t let this opportunity slip by without taking advantage of the biblical and life lessons that will be taught during this two-hour seminar.
The seminar will be held at 6:30 on July 9th and 16th at the White House next to the downtown Sonic. (You only need to attend one). You can sign up at a Next Steps table in the atrium on Sunday morning or click here to sign-up online.
I can’t wait to hear how God moves in the hearts and lives of those who attend!
Heart and Soul!