We had just begun to pass the food around the table at Thanksgiving dinner last year when a friend of the family said, ‘The reason our church’s giving is good is because our pastor never preaches about money.’ I responded as casually as I could, ‘So you’re saying that your church’s giving is good because your pastor never preaches any of the countless biblical passages about money?’
She didn’t answer me and I let the conversation flow in other directions. But I was struck with the absurdity of her statement. Assuming that a church’s giving is good because the pastor neglects to preach any of the 2,350 Bible verses on money is like saying, ‘The reason our people are honest is because our pastor never preaches what God’s word says about honesty.’ Or, ‘The reason our young people are sexually pure is because our pastor never preaches what the Bible says about sexual purity.’ Or, ‘The reason our church is committed to evangelism is because our pastor never preaches any of the biblical passages that command us to share the gospel.’
If we were to follow this twisted reasoning to it’s logical end, we would have to conclude that the secret of making godly disciples is for the pastor to never preach anything from the Bible!
Apparently, this woman–who has attended church for over five decades–assumes that preaching on money and giving is bad. Therefore, since her pastor is ‘godly’ enough to avoid the subject, God is rewarding her church with adequate financial resources.
When Paul commanded Timothy to ‘Preach the word…in season and out of season’ (2 Tim. 4:1, 2), he didn’t include a clause excluding the topic of money. Instead, he made a point to urge Timothy to preach the word when it was convenient and popular and when it was not–‘in season and out of season.’ No matter how unpopular we imagine our preaching on financial stewardship will be (usually people actually appreciate it), we have not been given the freedom to edit out this part of God’s word.
Based on the Apostle Paul’s example, God has not given preachers the option of shrinking from teaching what His word says about giving. Twice in one speech Paul made the following claims:
“I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable…” (Acts 20:20)
“For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole purpose of God.” (Acts 20:27)
If we fail to teach biblical principles of giving, we rob our people of the profit they could receive from knowing and practicing the truth. Don’t shirk your responsibility to declare the whole purpose of God.
And don’t be paralyzed by the dumb things some people say about preaching on stewardship. Just be faithful to teach the whole purpose of God (Acts 20:20, 27). When you do, God will bless your church with more financial and spiritual growth than you have ever imagined.
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