Hi Five Oakers,
Another great weekend last weekend, the second in our campaign series. I received this email after the sermon:
I just wanted to thank you for your message this weekend. It always seems “touchy” to talk about what God wants us to do with the money that He has provided for us.
It is touchy for several reasons. Really, two primary reasons:
- Some people have had a really bad experience with a church when it comes to money. I’ve heard some horror stories. I truly hate the fact that any words about money that come out of my mouth automatically pass through that filter in many people’s minds. Many pastors avoid the subject altogether for that very reason.
- Everyone has made an idol out of money. Everyone! And woe to the pastor who challenges an idol!
But I’m willing to talk about money for several reasons:
- God’s Word addresses the topic and I’m a committed Bible teacher.
- We need to confront our idols.
- If I didn’t talk about money, I’d be committing pastoral malpractice. It would be like a doctor not talking about heart disease because some people get angry.
- People will leave a church based on whether or not you talk about money. If you talk about it, some people leave and they are always people who don’t give and don’t want to give. If you don’t talk about what the Bible says about money and giving, the givers are discouraged because you are not affirming their obedience on this issue. They feel alone. Some of those people leave. So, if you love God and his Word and the mission of his church, which group would you prefer leave? It’s a choice. I choose to affirm givers and teach the Word on giving.
- Lois and I are one of the lead giving families in this church. And we've been committed to giving and tithing all of our married life, even when we had two small kids and very, very little income. I’m not asking anyone to do something I don’t practice myself.
All that said, I don’t like it when people leave. I want them to grow. And I want what’s best for them. So I weigh every single word carefully and ask for feedback regularly. In fact, I have read and will read every sermon in this series to a group of four or more other people for feedback before I preach. It’s made my sermons better. But no matter what I do or how careful I am, people have filters or hold tightly to their idols even to their own detriment. And some will leave.
So I’ll keep preaching it, and I’ll leave the results to God.
Blessings, Pastor Henry