As a new pastor, I had one very good reason to preach about finances—the church had no money!
But I had an even more compelling reason not to preach about finances: I didn’t want to offend our few members!
Pastors probably know the jokes and one-liners about preachers who only preach about money and churches who are always wanting more money better than anybody. No pastor in his right mind is eager to stir the discomfort of the church family and risk hard feelings.
So, in my early years of ministry, I was hesitant to preach about tithing and giving. I preached passionately about seeking the Lord, being filled with the Spirit, growing in the Christian life, witnessing for Christ…but I hated to preach about giving.
I’m long past that fear.
Now, I consider it a sin of omission to not preach about giving.
Why? The longer I pastor, the more fully I see the connection between spiritual growth and cheerful giving.
God has ordained for His work to be carried out by Christians’ giving, and He increases our faith in Him when we give. In other words, we need to give—not only for the work of the Lord—but for our own growth in faith.
Preaching on biblical stewardship and taking special offerings such as the one our church will take this Sunday, gives our church family an opportunity to invest in eternity, to ascribe worship to God, and to tie our hearts to the work of God. “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21).
For me to neglect to teach and preach on giving is not only to stunt the ministry opportunities I believe God will open for our church through expanded facilities, but it would also deny my church family one of the most exciting aspects of Christian growth. In truth, we are the beneficiaries of our giving.
Preaching on giving is inviting God’s people to invest in eternity. It is involving a church family in God’s work. It is engaging individual Christians in growing their faith.
I don’t preach on giving every Sunday of the year, but we have had a special stewardship emphasis this month at Lancaster Baptist Church. Many in our church family have expressed to me that God has strengthened their faith and helped them grow in grace through these messages and their obedience to the Word of God and the Spirit of God.
This Sunday, we take a special offering to expand our outreach space by building a needed building. We’re calling this Sunday “Renew Our Faith,” and I look forward to bringing my offering and seeing God’s people respond in faith to the promises of God.