Summary: Why do People get so angry when you talkk about Money?
My Money & God’s Church
Hot Potatoes that make People HOT!! - Part 3
People have a lot of questions that are rarely addressed in most churches, including this one; questions that fall into two broad categories.
The first category has to do with our personal practices of giving. "Do I really have to give (and if I do have to, doesn’t that mean that the church just wants my money)? Does the time I spend volunteering count towards what I should be giving? What about this 10% deal? Is that how much I need to give to be a good Christian? If I give to the United Way at work or to other ministries, does that count towards what I should be giving? What if I’m in a season of financial crisis? Should I give anyway? What if I want to give, but my spouse doesn’t?"
The second category of questions has to do with church finances. "Just how much money does the church collect? Where does the money go? Are we doing OK financially? Is there any accountability?"
And then, of course, there’s the question everyone wonders about but doesn’t ask. It goes something like this: "You know, I notice our pastor is driving an Isuzu Amigo these days. Are we maybe paying that guy too much? I mean, he only works on Sundays."
So, this morning, I’m going to address questions like these under the headings of "the practice of giving" and "church finance 101." But to do that well we need to go back and review a couple of things we’ve covered so far this series. We need to do that because the issue of "money and the church" only makes sense in the context of what the Bible teaches concerning money as a whole.
This is where a lot of people get tripped up on the issue. They don’t have the context, so for them it’s
easy to conclude that, in fact, all the church really wants from people is their money.
“It is you I want, not your money.” 2 Corinthians 12:14
In their minds, the passing of the plate (or not passing the plate) has no significance beyond the mere transaction of funds ("the church needs money; I have some; they pass the plate and I give it to them"), with maybe a slight feeling of goodwill and obligation ("well, they do provide a service to me and to my family, so I ought to pitch in.")
If that’s where your heart is on this giving issue, I want to say this to you: don’t give. Don’t give. Actually,
I’m not the one saying that. The Bible says it:
Don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves the person who gives cheerfully ...
... not the person who grudgingly pays for services rendered.
Argument: “It is my money…”
Notice that first verse:
Once there was a man who was about to leave home on a trip; he called his servants and put them in charge of his property. After a long time their master returned from his trip and called them to give an account of how they had used his money.
Matthew 25:14, 19
God is the Master. We are the stewards. We manage someone else’s property. Because God has all the rights, the reality is that all of us possess much but own nothing. God owns it all.
Deuteronomy 18 talks about this:
“You may say to yourself, ‘My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.’ But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth.”
Your abilities, strength, and power to produce money comes from God, too. We are managing His affairs. We are custodians to His estate. You own nothing. The proof is that you have never seen a hearse pulling a U-Haul. You came into this world crying with nothing, and you will leave this world with nothing and other people crying.
You can’t take it with you. You are just managing his estate for a period of time.
To be a steward is to be a manager of someone else’s property.
Argument: Giving Money Isn’t All That Important…
Answer: Giving to God shows how much faith you have in God
You should each give, And God will generously provide all you need. 2 Corinthians 9:7-8
If you’re not giving, you don’t believe this verse. You’re not putting your faith in God. Do you know why? Because for the longest time, I struggled with this. My wife and I were not consistent in tithing. “You mean the pastor struggles with this?” You better believe it. We’re just like you—many times we have too much month at the end of our paycheck! All through seminary, all through my previous 2 churches I served in, both my wife and I were never consistent in obedience to God in this area of money.