There are all sorts of reasons why, as a pastor of a church in urban Britain I feel uncomfortable talking about money and particularly about giving. These include
- It’s just not the done thing in polite circles! To an English man, talking about money is like talking about politics and religion. I can’t avoid one of those in my role so if I can I’ll duck the other two!
- A lot of people in our church family and community are not well off. In fact, the opposite -we have people who are genuinely destitute. Talking about money -and especially about giving might seem incredibly insensitive to them.
- As we saw above, the Bible does not talk about money anywhere near as much as some people think.
So, given all of those points, why should we talk about money? I want to suggest two good reasons
- Because whilst the Bible doesn’t talk about it anywhere near as much as the prosperity peddlers claim, it does talk about it. The bible addresses the whole of life. So if I’m going to talk about work, relationships, sex, marriage adultery, divorce, worship, study, sickness, suffering, death etc. Then I’m also going to need to talk about money from time to time too.
- Because if we don’t (i.e. loving preachers and teachers who care about God’s name, God’s Word and God’s people) then we are leaving it for others to talk about these things. Where are people going to hear about money? The answer is that they will hear it from the World including get rich schemes, pay day loans companies and loan sharks and they’ll hear it from false teachers -we’ll give the floor to the very prosperity teachers we want to protect the flock from.
That’s why we should deal with money, giving and stewardship as part of our teaching. This may happen in the occasional topical sermon but I still think that the best way to give it its correct place is as it arises in the context of expository Bible teaching.