Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Mega Money Ministry Myths

           When it comes to money and church we tend to get a little nervous.  We know we need to talk about money, but most of us don’t look forward to it. Some of us avoid the “M word” altogether. Sometimes we’d rather avoid talking about money, even if it means we hurt the church in the long run.
            I suspect part of the discomfort with talking about money is we’ve bought into some myths about money that simply aren’t true. How do I know this? I’ve bought into these myths myself over the years.
            I don’t have any scientific proof these are myths. I’ve never conducted any sociological studies proving them wrong. But in my heart, I know these myths are just that, myths. They aren’t true. And they keep us from talking about the very thing that holds so many hearts captive.
            Let’s bust a few mega money myths:
  1. People don’t want to hear about money in church.  In reality, many people are desperate to find help with money and finances. Financial problems create amazing stress in marriages, families, and communities. If we can’t offer hope and help to people with their money problems, we aren’t adequately connecting the Good News to a major life issue.
  2. Preaching a yearly series on giving adequately addresses the money issue. You’ve heard it before, “Jesus talked more about money than heaven and hell combined.” Guess what? It’s true! Because our hearts and our money are so closely connected, Jesus spoke often about the good, bad, and ugly of wealth.  A three-week series on stewardship in November won’t get the job done.
  3. Increasing attendance will solve your church’s money problems. If this were true, big churches would not have financial problems. (I can hear some large church pastors laughing right now.) More people will not automatically solve your church’s income problems for at least two reasons.  First, new people are slow to become generous and consistent givers.  It takes time for new people to build trust in a ministry. Secondly, more people means increased ministry expenses.  It’s not unusual for a growing church to be unprepared for the very real gap between increased expenses and increased giving.
  4. Money follows vision. I’ve heard this one for so long, I’ve believed it and repeated it over and over. But it’s not true. Money doesn’t follow vision. It follows changed lives. Do you want to increase giving?  Tell stories of changed lives!

For those of you who preach and teach, I encourage you to be comfortable with talking about money.  It’s vital to your people’s spiritual vitality. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” --- Jesus

Have you run across any other money myths in ministry? Share them, leave a comment.

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