"Our pastor doesn't like to talk about money, and we don't like him to talk about money." One lay leader said this to me after a recent presentation on churches and money. I'd spent the day saying it was critical for church leaders to talk about money - at least I prompted his thinking.
Whether or not you like to talk about it, and whether or not they want you to, your church needs you to talk about money, probably more often than you do now. Here are seven things they need to hear you say:
- I intend to be involved in church financial matters. Some lay leaders say, in essence, "You stick to preaching, pastor, and we'll handle the finances." Even if they don't want you there, you need to be part of money matters, and to make clear that this is part of your spiritual responsibility.
2. We share the responsibility for this church's financial life. Being involved in church finances does not mean you carry the burden alone.
3. Your money life is part of your spiritual life. Don't talk about money only when you are asking people to give. People desperately need a spiritual perspective on the money they handle every day of their lives.
4. God loves you no matter your financial circumstances. People experience fear, shame and guilt about the financial choices they have made. Help them extend their understanding of God's grace to their finances.
5. Please give to our ministry (and tell them why). Don't hesitate to clearly ask people to give. Tell them the value of the church's ministry and why they should support it.
6. The laborer is worthy of his (or her) hire. Don't apologize for your salary place in the budget, or about expecting (at least) cost of living increases.
7. Here's why I give. Give your own testimony when you are asking them to give.
It's not easy to say some of these things, especially if money matters make you anxious. Try one you haven't said before, as an experiment.
What would you add to this list?
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