Posts tagged money

11
Jan

3 Reasons It’s Tough For A Preacher To Talk About Money

3 Reasons It’s Tough For A Preacher To Talk About Money

It’s an issue we all deal with.  It’s an issue that causes stress in marriage.  It’s an issue that worries university students.  Yet, most pastors I know find it difficult to talk about money with their congregation.  There are many reasons why this feels like a herculean task but let me give you just 3.

3 Reasons A Preacher Should Talk About Money(1)

 

 

 

TV Preachers

I am not like some preacher friends I know, who would love to see all television preachers removed with “extreme prejudice” from the airwaves. However, I understand their feelings.  I recently, saw a video of a preacher defending his income tax return, including the $30,000 in clothes for his Television Ministry, the $50,000 they spent to turn his Mercedes-Benz into a limo and his over 2 million house which he called a “ministry resort centre”.

And then there’s this…

 

Church  Horror Stories

A friend told me about being in a very large church and how the offering time offended her greatly.  The church was a family business and they had everyone come down the aisle and if you gave over $100 you put your offering in the Senior Pastor’s bucket and if it was under $100 you put it in his son’s bucket.  I wonder how many people broke the 9th Commandment – Thou shalt not lie, that Sunday morning?

Then there was the contractor who was doing work in a church and in the foyer they had a list of family names and what each family gave each Sunday!!! (I’m not making this up and oh how I wish I was.)

 

 

Money Is A Sensitive Issue

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The Bible is full of topics that cut to the heart and cause people to be uncomfortable but money has to be at the top of the list.  That’s probably why Jesus talked about money and possessions so much.  People will trust God with their eternal salvation but not with their money.  Funny isn’t it?

What other reason would you add as to why it’s difficult for a preacher to speak about money?  No matter how hard it may be as ministers we have a responsibility to speak on money.  More on that next week.

Related Post:

3 reasons not enough for you?  Here are 14 more from unseminary

“I Don’t Like To Talk About Money But I Did Anyway”

Photo credit: Philip Taylor PT via Foter.com / CC BY

11
Jan

Should A Pastor Know How Much People Give?

Should A Pastor Know How Much People Give_

 

Last Sunday we had our third Membership Meeting as we prepare for our Annual General Meeting. We covered many topics including have a personal relationship with Jesus, how to deal with conflict, how to leave a church and finances. On the topics of giving one gentleman raised a question that many people wonder about but never ask, “Does the Pastoral Staff know how much each person gives?” Continue reading…

11
Jan

3 Reasons A Pastor Should Talk About Money

3 Reasons A Preacher Should Talk About Money

“I know I’m not alone when I say money is quite a complex subject. It can stir up a lot of intense emotions, especially among our nearest and dearest” (Dr. Robi Ludwig)

Money in general can “stir up a lot of intense emotions” and when you bring the subject into Church Life it can go to a whole new level.  Last time we talked about 3 Reasons It’s Tough For A Preacher To Talk About Money today I would like to suggest 3 reasons a Preacher should talk about money

 

3 Reasons A Preacher Should Talk About Money

 

1) Jesus Talked About Money

If we go with the understanding that we talk about things that are important to us then money was important to Jesus.  He talked about money more than He did about heaven and hell combined.  Consider this:

  •  The Prodigal Son squandering his inheritance (Lk 15:11-32)
  • Lazarus and the rich man (Lk 16:19-31)
  • The day laborers in the vineyard (Mt 20:1-16).
  • The widow’s two coins (Mk 12:41-44)
  • Caesar’s taxes (Mt 22:15-22)
  • The rich young man (Mt 19:16-24)
  • Zaccheus the tax collector (Lk 191-10).
  • “Where your treasure is, there also your heart will be” (Mt 6:21)
  • “You cannot serve both God and Mammon.” (Lk 16 and Mt 6:24). 1

2) Money Is Part Of  The Whole Counsel of God

There is a very touching passage where the scene is on a beach and Paul is saying goodbye to the Ephesian believers.  In Acts 20:20 he says “I never shrank back from telling you what you needed to hear, either publicly or in your homes.”  The point he was making was that he didn’t just preach to tickle their ears, he taught what needed to be heard.  Preaching on giving/finances/generosity should be part of your Annual Preaching Calendar.

3) Money Is A Spiritual Issue

My suspicion is that often the average church person does not make a great connection between discipleship and money.   Part of the reason is that as churches we shy away from talking about finances because we don’t want to be seen as “Those people who are always asking for your money!!”  As mentioned above, Jesus talked about money a lot and I think it’s because He knew money would be an issue that would trip us up in our discipleship journey.

“A checkbook is a theological document, it will tell you what and what you worship.” (Billy Graham)

 

With your congregation do you find talking about money, finances and generosity easy or hard?

What other reasons would you give as to why it’s important for a preacher to talk about money?

 

Related Posts:

The Problem & Solution of Owning A Lot of Stuff

 

 

 

 

11
Jan

The Problem & Solution of Owning A Lot of Stuff

The Problem & Solution fo Owning A Lot of Stuff(1)

You Might Be A Lover Of Money If…

  • You spend more time thinking about how to get more money than thinking about how to do a good job at your workplace.
  • No matter how much money you make it’s never enough.
  • You flaunt your money and what it provides.
  • You resent giving it away.
  • You will sin, cheat, lie or steal to get more money. (John MacArthur)

The Problem

“The worst thing about owning a lot of stuff is that with the pursuit of wealth comes the real chase: the good life.  But the chase soon reverses itself.  The life of treasure we seek all too soon seeks us.  The having of treasure becomes the pursuer.  Then materialism owns everything, and materialism is so much a this-world focus that the globe shrinks to the very small world of singular appetites and involvements.  Hence we fall asleep as a Christian in a wide bed, and we wake up a Narcissus”. (Calvin Miller – The Vanishing Evangelical)

The Solution

“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.  Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.  In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” (1 Timothy 6:17-19)

I have read this passage over more times than I can remember but this time around two things stood out to me.  The first is the idea of “command“.  I have a friend whose teenage son attends a Sports High School.  They have 3 hour classes so the kids can finish early and have most of the afternoon for practice.  One day the coach came into his class and made him drop and give him 20. (I have no idea what he did to deserve this)  Now when the coach gave the command I’m sure this teenage didn’t think, “Well, I have a choice here so let me think for a moment as to what I would like to do?”  That never happened, he dropped and gave him 20!! There is no option in Paul’s command either.  As a Christian we are commanded to put our hope in God and not in money.  The demonstration of this command is another command to be rich in good deeds, generous and be willing share.

The second idea that stood out to me is “living for another world“.  Shouldn’t everyone whether you are a Christian of not be generous?  Of course, if there is a need that we can fill we should do our best to help.  For the Christian the reason for generosity goes beyond making the world a better place, our generosity points people to God.

In this passage Paul gives the benefit to the believer for being generous, they will “lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age.”  But this is secondary to a much more important reason for generosity that Jesus gives in his “Sermon on the Mount”. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” (Matthew 5:16)  Therefore, our generosity is an opportunity of evangelism and sharing Jesus in a practical way.

When it comes to your time, talent (ability) and treasure (money).  How are you doing in the generosity department? Are you following the command to be generous or are you taking more as a suggestion?  Are you living more for this world or the world to come? Is your hand closed or open when it comes to these 3 areas?  If your hand is closed what are you going to do about it? When we really start taking this command seriously and start living for the world to come.  This world will be a better place and we will be better people and better ambassadors for Jesus in it.

11
Jan

Offerings Were Down So This Is What We Did

Offering Were Down So This Is What We Did

As a leadership team we are on a 12 month journey to increase financial awareness and help our people with their personal finances.  Over the past couple of years our offerings have been in decline.  There are a number of reasons for this, a change in the economy, giving people and finances away to help plant a new church and stabilize  another congregation.  We also had a number of families move out of town.  As we looked at 2016 we realized that this statement was true of our financial situation.

Our 12-Month Church Financial Journey

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you always get what you’ve always got.”

We needed to switch things up and come up with a plan to increase our income and at the same time help our people financially.  There are many resources that can help in this endeavour and we decided to use Giving Rocket to guide us. (I have no affiliation this with group.)  Their material has been very helpful in getting us moving in the right direction.  In order to create “buy in” and get everyone on the same page we invited everyone in our church that had a title to attend 2 meetings.  Both of which included pizza and pop:) In our first meeting we explained our 12 month journey and asked 3 questions.

  • What is the vision of our church?
  • What should our 3 top financial objectives be in 2016?
  • Who is responsible for increasing giving in our church?

We had a very good discussion and I was very proud because to the person, reaching those who need Jesus and caring for the less fortunate was the vision they saw for our church.

We followed up a couple of weeks later with our second meeting which had 2 questions on the agenda.

  • What factors encouraged you to become a generous giver?
  • Where can we as a church improve when it comes to encouraging giving?

It was awesome to hear stories of how people moved from no giving or limited giving to joyful generous giving.  The number one message we received that day was the need for CONSTANT AND CLEAR COMMUNICATION from the church with regards to giving.

  • Who are we supporting?
  • What are the funds being used for?
  • When are we helping?
  • Where is our giving going?
  • Why are we giving to this particular group?
  • How does giving work in this church?

Their point was very well taken.  When you consider the 1000’s of messages we all receive each day if the church is not consistent and clear about the importance of giving the message will be easily lost.  To become more clear and consistent this is what we have done.

  • We have a giving talk/generosity video/missions profile each Sunday.  We were doing this but not on a consistent basis.
  • We have a DVD on loop on our Welcome Desk highlighting missionaries and groups we support.  For instance we helped purchase an orphanage in Mexico called Possibilities House and we show  pictures of each of the kids.
  • We will send out a quarterly report sharing what a has happened in the life of our church.  Volunteers added, ministry stories, missionary updates and our income for the quarter.  We will also give each people their year to date giving.

Our goal is to more than just raise our church income.  We want to encourage and educate people when it comes to their own personal finances.  With that in mind we are offering to our congregation one to one budget counselling by a certified Financial Coach.  These sessions are free and the coach is not a financial advisor so no financial products will ever be offered or sold.

So that is our journey so far in 2016.  What about you?  Take a moment and review your last 10 Sundays.  When it comes to your offering time what have you been communicating?  Is there any communication at all?  Do they know how you are doing financially as a church?  Do you people know who you give to and what the finances are being used for?

If you’re haphazard in your approach the best time to change things is right now.  Talk with your leadership and put some plans in place to begin to encourage, educate and inform your people.  If what you are doing right now if not working then what do you have to lose?

If things are going well financially for your church please share with us what you have learned, “Iron sharpens iron”.

einstein-insanity-quote

 

Related Posts:

3 Reasons A Pastor Should Talk About Money

3 Reasons It’s Tough For A Preacher To Talk About Money

Should A Pastor Know How Much People Give?

 

11
Jan

I Don’t Like To Talk About Money But I Did Anyway

I Don’t Like Talking About Money But I Did Anyway

At our recent Ministry Report and Annual Business Meeting I took the opportunity to talk about factors that affect the giving in church life.   I wanted to encourage those who give on a regular basis and challenge those who call our church home but are not participating financially.  For many people talking about money gets their back up right away which is why I started with the disclaimer you will see in a moment.   After the service I sent out this talk to our email list as you can see from the following greeting. (I have left out items specific to our church.)

I Don't Like To Talk About Money But I Did Anyway.

Hi Everyone,

For those of you who missed our service on Sunday I wanted to send you my talk on finances. I gave it just before we looked at our giving from last year and the budget for this year. In some ways this is a risk because without being there the following can come across as stale and maybe judgmental which is not the purpose of the talk or the way it was presented. However, I thought it was important to give the people on Sunday and you also the opportunity to see some the behind the scenes factors of church financial life. That way we can all be on the same page in understanding the importance of our giving. So here you go:

Disclaimer

1574112409_d579ee7dc9_b   Speaking about money is challenging for a preacher so let me say from the beginning that I am not mad. Repeat this after me, “He’s not mad.” If you have been around TCC for any length of time then you know that we do not do “guilt” here because “guilt” is a very lousy motivator. However, conviction is a different thing all together, I don’t like when the Holy Spirit convicts me of something but still it’s good for me. So you may find this morning that you feel like you are getting your toes stepped but that’s not a bad thing and remember the motivation is not to make you feel guilty.

The excesses of Televangelists make it difficult to speak about money. When a preacher is looking for 65 million dollars to buy a jet that puts people off from the topic of giving.   However, it is my responsibility to teach about money because I am charged with bringing you the Whole Counsel of God, which includes finances. In fact, 1 in every 11 verses in the Gospels is about money, possessions, etc., and there are around 2500 verses on the topic in all of Scripture.   With that in mind let’s consider our situation at TCC.

Factors Affecting Finances

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People Changes

In any year 10% of a congregation may leave, move or pass away.   A few good givers or tithers leaving for whatever reason can greatly affect the finances of a local church.  Of course, new people coming who are strong givers can bring things even.  However, if a church is doing a good job of reaching new people just because the place is filling up does not mean there is a direct correlation to increased finances.

Employment Changes

Within any year church family members will face job loss, job changes and those on commission may have a year of plenty or a year of famine. Just as family finances are affected by such changes the financial situation of a church is also affected. In difficult times people often stop giving to the church first before they would consider cutting back in other areas.

Attendance

In years past when there were fewer distractions on a Sunday, church was a destination now Sunday service is a drive thru. A generation ago you only missed church when you were sick or on vacation and even then you made up your giving when you were in church the next Sunday.   Our world is different and now people who attend maybe 2-3 times a month would say they feel deeply connected to their church. The challenge of today is that some people only give when they are in the building.

Let’s say you give $50 a week:

A generation ago

$50 x 52= $2600

Today at 3 times a month

$50 x 36 = $1800

Today at 2 times a month

$50 x 26 = $1300

As you can see the change in attendance patterns has the opportunity to greatly affect the overall church giving.

Tithe

Tithing is more of a challenge today than it has ever been.

The average giving of a church attender is 2-3%. On $50,000, 3% is $1500, which is a large amount of hard earned cash. However to put things into perspective in 2003 the average Canadian spent $1,473 on fast food. So 3 percent is really like McDonald’s money for the church. A higher salary giving the same percentage would be like Swiss Chalet (Canadian Chicken Chain) money.

So those are some of the factors affecting TCC and every church when it comes to finances.

 

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Here is a 3-fold Approach To Encourage More Giving At TCC

1) Education

At times churches are guilty of not helping congregation members understand the factors affecting finances and this talk aims to correct that error.

We will be sending out a quarterly giving report in the near future which will give you a year-to-date for  2015 and our total giving for the first quarter compared to our budget.

We will also continue to offer courses like Dave Ramsay’s “Life, Money and Legacy” like we did for 5 weeks at the Community Centre.

2) Encouragement

On Sundays, we will continue to encourage you with Scripture and stories. We will also give instructions on how to give through e-transfer. Many of our congregation now give online. In fact, one member checks his bank account on payday and sends his transfer before he gets out of bed:)  We even have a couple of people who do not attend TCC but give to support what God is doing here. Which is amazing.

We will encourage you to tithe. I grew up with the idea of tithing so for me there has never been a mental jump to take. When I was going to school in Thunder Bay, I worked in a Roller Rink every Saturday night and got paid $20. Even though we went out to eat after 4 hours of skating I still had my $2 for the offering on Sunday morning. It was never a question because it was what I always did.

I understand that the idea of giving 10% can be challenge indeed, in fact you may say, “You will never get me to tithe.” That’s fine but let me ask you, “Are you satisfied with your giving right now?” If not, here is a consideration for you. Say you are giving 2% and you say really that’s McDonald’s money and we can do better than that but how? Next month move from 2% to 3% with a few adjustments you will hardly notice the difference. A few less meals at a drive thru and away you go. The next month move up 1% more and see what happens. You may hit level where it gets very tough at that point stay consistent at the percentage until the financial adjustments work their way through and continue to give a little more.

3) Extras

We are planning a couple of special offerings this year. Like the extra offering coming up on Mother’s Day to raise the $1000 it costs to rent the Community Centre for our Community Seminars. We will also be planning a couple of fundraisers throughout the year.

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7051574059_821d9f47a5_kLet me close with this thought. We have a sponsor child through Plan and many of you do too through Plan, Compassion, World Vision or Save The Children.  When we sign on we take our responsibility seriously. We would not think, “I’ll only give when I see their picture on the fridge.” or “I’m gone for half the summer so I’ll just give in July but not in August.”  We would think that is certainly not proper but yet for many people that thought pattern does not transfer over to the local church.

Think about this, every Sunday you have the opportunity to participate in worship that brings you into the Presence of God,hopefully you  hear decent Bible teaching:)  and your kids are educated Biblically. We will pray and visit you when you’re sick, marry you, dedicate your children, provide opportunity for you to be involved in ministry such as feeding 2500 people like we did last year, finally we will bury you all for whatever you choose to give. Not too many places offer a deal like that.  Of course, receiving ministry should never have a dollar sign attached but my point is; considering what is given to you investing so more people can receive seems like a reasonable request.

On Sunday. one of the people I interviewed talked about the Dave Ramsay course and said that he was reminded again that all we have belongs to God and that was a turning point in his giving. Often times we don’t see money as a spiritual issue but it truly is.

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.
The world and all its people belong to him. (Psalm 24:1)

But who am I, and who are my people, that we could give anything to you? Everything we have has come from you, and we give you only what you first gave us! (1 Chronicles 29:14)

“Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.  Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. (Matthew 6:19-21)

Since all we have belongs to God in the first place I think we all need to take some time and reflect on our giving. Does our giving show the attitude of an owner or a steward? Are we giving McDonald’s money, Swiss Chalet money or truly investing in the Kingdom?

 “A steward manages assets for the owner’s benefit.  The steward carries no sense of entitlement to the assets he manages.  It’s his job to find out what the owner wants done with his assets, then carry out his will.” (Randy Alcorn)

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I hope this has been helpful to you.  Maybe you can use it as a framework for you own talk on finances.

Blessings,

Peter

 

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