Over the years I have discovered that no other subject brings more disagreement and heated conversations than when I preach about money. People get mad…they get defensive…they become defiant…and some even leave the church. I’ve also discovered over the years why this happens…and have taken the time to make a list of 12 reasons why some people don’t like sermons about money. By the way…if you think I’m writing this about you…or to you…you are correct.
1. You don’t give. – 90% of the people that get upset about sermons on money do so because they don’t give. The sermon hits too close to home, makes them feel guilty…and makes them have to confront their sin.
2. You think it’s your money. – You think because you work hard to earn it and invest it well…it’s your money. You can only work a job or make an investment because God let you live another day. Also, Matthew 6:31-32 and Philippians 4:19 makes it pretty clear that nothing is yours…everything…including money…is God’s. The Father is just letting you use His money for His glory while you’re on this Earth.
3. It’s none of the pastor’s business. – As the shepherd of Impact! Church it is my job to teach God’s Word, set an example by following God’s Word and to hold folks accountable to the Truths of God’s Word. There is no Scripture to support the idea that anything…including finances and tithing…is outside of that accountability. It’s not a judgment call…it’s a discernment call. By the way…I have Elders from within Impact! and godly pastors from outside of Impact! that hold me to the same accountability.
4. You always preach about money. – I once had a lady get irate after a sermon and tell me, “Every time I’m here you preach about tithing”. When I pointed out that there hasn’t been a sermon about tithing at Impact! Church in months she walked off…never to return. If she had actually attended more than once a quarter she might have heard another sermon topic. By the way…we only preach about tithing twice a year…but we talk about following God’s Word every Sunday. Since Jesus talked more about money than any other subject…you’ll hear finances mentioned in sermons quite regularly.
5. You haven’t followed God’s Word. – God’s Word is pretty clear about tithing, first fruits, money management and the pitfalls that money can bring. Money is one of the most talked about subjects in the Bible. At Impact! Church we preach the Word of God…the whole Word of God. For that reason you will hear that tithing is 10%, that you should give according to gross not net, that debt and credit cards are normally not good and that financial giving is a pretty good indicator where you heart is. If that bothers you…then follow God’s Word and you won’t have any issues with what is being preached.
6. You don’t plan for it. – I love the mountains and love spending time in the them. When I go to the mountains I go prepared. I take water, a jacket, hiking boots, a camera, etc. I love God and love spending time in His presence. When I go to church I bring my Bible, my notebook, an open heart…and my tithes and offerings. Malachi 3:10 says that you should be prepared and bring the tithe with you to church to present it to God as a form of worship. The excuse “I forgot” actually means…”I don’t really place a priority on the financial blessing God gives me or properly worshiping Him…so I’ll just grab the checkbook or some cash on my way out the door…if I remember.”
7. You give in “other ways”. – While volunteering, time and talents are appreciated…and a form of giving back to God…they do not replace financial giving. If you want to donate cookies to the children’s ministry…that is cool…but it doesn’t replace your tithe. If you want to help set up the staging on Sunday…we’ll appreciate the help…but it doesn’t replace financial giving. If you want to come hand out bottles of water to the homeless…God will love that…but not if you think it replaces your worship of Him with your finances.
8. You are a thief. – By not giving financially you are a thief…you are ripping off God. Sorry to be that blunt…but I’m only speaking Truth from God’s Word. If you dont believe me go read Malachi 3:8-9.
9. You’ve never tithed so you’ve never experienced God’s blessing. – In Malachi 3:10-11 it tells you to tithe and He will bless you. In fact it says to test Him on this…the only place in God’s Word that tells you to “try it before you buy it”. You don’t like sermons about money because you’ve never actually tithed 10% of your gross and watched as God blessed you financially. I’m not talking about new cars, a new house or a lavish vacation. I’m talking about God being faithful to meet your financial needs because you have been consistently faithful in your tithing. You will never see His blessing on you until He sees your faithfulness to Him.
10. You’ve been “burned” by another church. – I am truly sorry for the other pastor in your life that stole money from the church. I am truly sorry for the church you attended that didn’t mange money according to Scripture. I am truly sorry that you got taken advantage of by “prosperity doctrine”. I am truly sorry that you are letting your fear, personal scars and emotional baggage drive your decisions instead of God’s Word. However, I am not that other pastor…and Impact! is not that other church. We manage money according to Scripture, our books are always open when asked and we have multiple accountability steps of checks and balances set up to make sure we know how every dime is spent. Get over your issues…it’s causing you to sin.
11. You don’t love God. – Let’s face it…you couldn’t give a rip about missions, people in need, the vision of the church, what God wants, seeing people come to Christ, the Kingdom of God or what the Scriptures demand. You only care about what you want and how much money you can spend on yourself. Your financial needs come before anything…or anyone…else. You are not going to give financially to God if it means you have to give up something you want. According Matthew 6:21-24 this kind of thinking and behavior means you simply don’t love God.
12. You are hobbled by debt. – You would love to give to God…you have a heart that longs to give to God…but you have so much debt and money issues that you can’t give to God. Of the 12 reasons listed here…this is the easiest one to overcome. At Impact! Church we have sermon series, Bible studies, pastoral counseling opportunities, training seminars and free resources that will teach you how to get out debt…and mange your money according to Scripture. If you will commit to doing this for the “long haul” you will be able to tithe first thing off the bat…and will have the means to be financially faithful for the rest of your life.