3 Reasons the Church Must Teach About Money


I recently told our church family, “The fact is, you are currently being discipled. The important questions are: "Do you know that you are being discipled, and by whom or what are you being discipled?"

God’s design is that we grow as disciples, by the power of His Holy Spirit, according to the truth of God’s Word. Jesus prayed to His Father for that in John 17:17 – “Sanctify them by your truth. Your Word is truth.” We are to grow as disciples ourselves, and we are, according to Jesus’ Great Commission, to go and make disciples of others, “teaching them to observe all that [He has] commanded.” (Matt. 28:19) The word “observe” doesn’t simply mean “to look at” or to “understand” but to “keep” or to “do.” So, as disciples of Jesus, we are to know and obey ALL that Jesus taught and commanded and to lead others to do the same.

As I said in a previous article, of all that Jesus taught about, money stands out as an area of major emphasis, often as a warning. According to the truth of God’s Word, the church must teach about money because if we don’t, the only guidance Christians will get about money will come from the sinful world around us. And we know with certainty the world’s counsel and example will run contrary to what God has told us in His Word.

Here are three reasons why the church must teach about money.

1. The world will disciple us to love money.

How do we know the world will seek to disciple us this way? Because of the number of biblical warnings against it.  Jesus said we can only love and serve one master – God or material things. (Luke 16:13-15) Paul warns that the love of money is a gateway to many other sins. (1 Timothy 6:9-11) Jesus also told of the wealthy young man who asked what it would take to inherit eternal life. When Jesus pointed the young man to God’s commands about relating to others, he quickly replied that he had kept those commands since he was young. However, when Jesus told him to sell what he had, give it to the poor, and follow Him, the Bible says the young man went away sad because he had much wealth. He loved his riches too much to give them up to follow Jesus.

The church must call people to love God wholeheartedly and not fall into the trap of loving money. John specifically warned in 1 John 2:15 – “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”

2. The world will disciple us to trust in money.

We only need to look back to the tanking of the stock market in 2008 and the resulting panic and chaos that ensued to see that, for many in the world, their trust is in money. And yet, the Scripture gives clear warnings about the foolishness of trusting in money and material things. Proverbs 11:28 says, “He who trusts in His riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like the green leaf.” The apostle Paul admonished the young pastor Timothy to challenge the church in Ephesus in this regard – “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.” (1 Timothy 6:17) Money will let us down. Our faithful God will not.

3. The world will disciple us to hoard money.

Because the world disciples us to love and trust in money, it also disciples us to hoard money. For that reason, Jesus exhorted, “Don’t store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves don’t break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21) This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have a retirement account. It does mean, however, that we don’t simply store up and hoard God’s resources for temporal purposes, rather than stewarding the resources God entrusts to us for His glory.

If we allow the world to disciple our people, they will love, trust in, and hoard God’s resources for themselves. If we teach what God says about money, we will disciple them to love Him with all their hearts, to trust in Him as provider, and to steward and be generous with His resources for His glory and the advancement of His kingdom.

About the author: Randy Mann is the Lead Pastor at Wake Cross Roads Baptist Church in Wake Forest, North Carolina.