Preach About Money Matters

Money Matters

In the last post I introduced this subject of how to preach about money matters in our sermon schedules.   I began the subject by looking at why our congregations don’t want us to preach about money, and we saw how people view their use of money as an extremely personal thing.  We also discussed the possibility that people feel inundated with money requests.  There are other  reasons people don’t like us to preach about money matters in our sermons.

Preaching about money makes people connect us with the “televangelists”

Many Christians watch religious television.  Many of the programs there are led by people who are earnest in their desire to tell people about Jesus, but many others are known for their repeated requests for money.  The news came today in my inbox that

Paula White at the White House

Paula White

Paula White has been appointed to a position in the White House.  She is one of the leading proponents of the “Prosperity Gospel”, the teaching that God wants us rich.  She regularly tells her listeners that if they send in a designated amount of money (usually over $100), God will heal their physical problems, change their financial difficulties, and heal emotional illnesses, too.

This approach to money matters turns many Christians off.  They don’t want to come to church and hear you ask for money, too.

People feel that money is “filthy lucre”

In other words, money is just not an appropriate subject.  Haddon Robinson, in his book, Making a Difference in Preaching,  reports that one layman boasted to him that in the ten years that his pastor had been there, he had never preached  about money (p. 136).  This church member was proud of this fact.  His view was that money shouldn’t be talked about in church.  Money is part of what people do outside the church.  It was not a topic for a church sermon.  (In spite of the fact, as we saw in the last post, that Jesus spoke about money more than he spoke about heaven, hell and prayer combined)

Why don’t preachers want to preach about Money Matters?

So many people don’t like to hear sermons about money.  What’s not surprising, then, is that most pastors don’t like to preach about money, either.  Why not?

We want to avoid the stereotype

A Madison Avenue advertising firm surveyed a group of unchurched people some years ago.  They asked non-church goers their impressions of church.  One of the major responses was this: “The problem with church is that the people are always sad, or they talk about death, or they ask for money.”  (Haddon Robinson, Making a Difference in Preaching, p. 136) I know that I hesitated to preach about money matters for just this reason.  I didn’t want to be associated with the prosperity gospel.  Others preachers that I know expressed the same feelings to me–they don’t want to offend someone who possibly has just come into their church.

It feels self-serving to preach about money matters

In most churches, the pastor is the only one who actually gets a check from the church.  It seems, therefore, that if we preach about money, we are somehow benefitting personally.  That feels wrong, so we hesitate to do it, especially if someone points out this fact to us.

A response to money problems

The attitude of many preachers is this: If the money is coming in, then I won’t have to preach about money matters during the year.  In many churches, the pattern is to only preach about money at the time of approving the church budget, or worse, at the end of the fiscal year when money is in short supply.

In the next post, we’ll reflect on some mistakes to avoid when preaching about money, but for your reflection now, here’s another person’s view.

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