Mistakes to Avoid When Preaching About Money

Mistakes to Avoid When Preaching About Money

In the last couple of posts I introduced the subject of preaching about money.  We’ve seen that people in your congregation probably have some reasons why they don’t like to hear about money from the pulpit.  We have also seen that pastors have reasons that they don’t like to preach about money.  In this post I will explore some mistakes to avoid when preaching about money to your congregation.

Preaching About Money is Important

Before we get to the mistakes to avoid, however, we should note that it is important to preach about money.  Jesus talked about money, as I said in the earlier posts, more than about heaven, hell and prayer combined.  He knew that stewardship is an important subject for people, because the way we spend our money is an indication of a deeper reality.  It reflects our relationship with Him as our Lord.

Avoid Guilt When Preaching About Money

The first mistake to avoid is to try to use guilt as a motivator for people to give more.  The motivators that the Bible uses are ones like these:

A grateful response to the goodness of God (Luke 21:1-4)

To meet needs among fellow believers (Luke 12:33)

cartoon about money sermons


To emulate the generosity of God (I Timothy 6:17)

To experience a greater degree of blessing from God (Luke 6:38)

These are great motivators as we teach people about God’s desire that we give.  However, there is a great temptation to pound guilt into people, telling them that they aren’t giving enough.  Or, we can guilt them by talking about their wealthy lifestyle, and contrast it with the poverty in the world.

This is one of the mistake to avoid when preaching about money and it’s a huge one.

Don’t Make the Promises of God Into An Investment Plan

One of the poor motivations for giving to God is to try to get “rich”.  I was flipping through channels the other day, and came across someone telling his listeners to send in $1000, and God will respond by giving you $10,000 or more.  This is the way, he said, to overcome your financial problems.

One man in a church I served was obsessed with this idea of getting rich.  He came to me once and asked me to give him $100.  I knew he was financially limited, and would gladly consider giving him the money.  It was his plan for spending that bothered me.  He said, “You give me $100.  I’ll go out and buy 100 lottery tickets.  You pray that God uses that to give the blessing of winning the lottery.  Then I’ll tithe on my winnings, and the church will win, too.”

Do you see how he perverted the picture that God has given of our relationship with him?  Surely, God promises us blessings.  But let’s not twist this into a “get rich” plan.  This, too, is one of the mistakes to avoid when preaching about money to your church.

Don’t Preach About Money Only When The Church Needs Money

Another of the mistakes to avoid when preaching about money is to do so only when you need money.  John Maxwell thought that the issue of stewardship was so important that he preached a series on the subject every January.  Here’s a link to the first of one of his series.  It was regularly expected, and believed to be important, and so the church he pastored responded favorably.

sermons on giving cartoon


Contrast that expectation of regular teaching from the pastor with the expectation of many congregations who only hear about money when the budget is not being met.  Those members will interpret the preaching not as teaching, but as a haranguing about their lack of giving enough.  So they will come to the conclusion that it’s not really about the tremendous truths about stewardship, but that the real subject is the need of the church at the moment.

In the next post, we will begin to explore some positive things to keep in mind as you preach about this important subject.  For now, here’s a brief video by John Maxwell on the subject of Money.



0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *