Pastor Johnson was emphatic—almost boasting—as he talked about money issues with his neighboring pastors: “I don’t know what anybody gives in my church. I’ve never once looked at the giving records. My job is to minister to these people. I care about them and show them love no matter what they give.”
Is Pastor Johnson a good pastor? Yes, in his commitment to care about and love his members. But does he really, totally, care and love his members? Not really! He is derelict in his duty and has some mixed up theology. First, it is Greek theology that separates the sacred from the secular. In the Bible, everything is sacred, even money. Second, if you really care about the discipleship growth of your members that includes their financial giving. Third, there are more verses in the New Testament about money than prayer. Why? Because money reflects our spiritual state. It was Jesus who said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21, NIV). Fourth, if your church considers it important for spiritually growing members to attend church, read the Bible, or pray, then a lifestyle of giving goes with it. Growth in that giving is part of growing as a Christian.
Focus on these issues:
Martin Luther said that every person goes through three conversions: (1) the head; (2) the heart; (3) the purse. Think about that!
If the Bible puts so much emphasis on giving, shouldn’t the church?
If giving generously is blessed by God, why would church leadership rob people of the blessing?
If people are taught to be strong financial givers, what is the result for the church? Does a church that is broke all the time honor God more, accomplish more mission, reach more people, encourage members, excite ministry, or draw more members to the financially “sinking ship?”
If we are involved in spiritual warfare, how important is the war chest? (The money to purchase ministry to bring the Kingdom to lost people.)
If the pastor never preaches about money and the church never teaches and trains people to give—is that a church that does those people a favor…or not?
Think about this: the day is coming, and is already here, when offering envelopes will include a place for credit card numbers and debit cards…whether you like it or not!
At the end of the day, the Kingdom is not about counting nickels and noses. But it is about people being reconciled to God, being discipled in every part of their lives. That you can count on!
Kent Hunter, founder of Church Doctor Ministries, is known as the Church Doctor. His most recent e-books are The Future Is Now and The J-Dog Journey, available at no cost. Contact him at (800) 626-8515, by email, Twitter, Facebook, or visit www.churchdoctor.org.
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