5 Ways Pastors Can Overcome Fear of Teaching on Money
Of all the negative things people say about pastors, one of the most common is, “All they want is your money.” Now, to be sure, there are some pastors out there who are after people's money. They continually call for people to sow “seeds of faith” by giving money to their ministries while living in luxurious houses, driving fancy cars, and flying in private airplanes. In reaction to those flawed examples, many pastors run in the opposite direction and never preach on money for fear of being wrongly identified.
Such a reaction, however, is as bad as a new teenage driver who feels their car going off the near shoulder of the road, only to overcorrect and shoot their car across the road into the opposite ditch. As pastors, we must not abrogate our responsibility to teach the whole counsel of God to God’s people – which includes teaching on money.
We know teaching about money is important, not only because the Scripture speaks to it, but also because Jesus modeled the importance of doing so. Jesus taught more about money than He did about heaven or hell. He taught about how we should view money, how we should steward money, and how we should leverage our earthly money in a way that serves God’s eternal kingdom.
We almost all recognize that we should teach about money. However, the fear of being misunderstood or wrongly labeled “money-hungry” silences many pastors regarding this important topic. How can we, as pastors, overcome this fear? I want to offer five suggestions that have helped me over the past 20 years:
1. Pray for God to help you fear Him, not man.
The writer of Proverbs says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.” If we, as pastors, truly fear God, we will care far more about what God says than what man thinks. And, when we truly fear God, we will be committed to proclaiming God’s Word, which He has entrusted to us to proclaim.
2. Preach expositionally through books of the Bible.
There are many reasons we should be committed to preaching expositional sermons through books of the Bible. One reason is that it will help us, over time, to proclaim the whole counsel of God to God’s people. As we work our way through the books of the Bible, we are sure to come across passages that deal with money. When we do, no one can accuse us of cherry-picking the topic of money. We are simply preaching the next verses in that particular Bible book.
3. Periodically use live stewardship/giving testimonies during corporate worship.
There are a couple of reasons I would encourage you to adopt this practice. First, using live testimonies allows the people of God to hear another voice besides yours that is saying the same thing. Also, using live testimonies allows people to see and hear from people “like them” sharing about the blessing of using the material possessions God has given for His glory and the work of His kingdom – laying up treasures in heaven rather than on earth.
4. Don’t use Sunday mornings only.
Pastors should not shy away from preaching about money to the gathered congregation during Sunday morning worship. One of the main reasons for doing so is that it the one time during the week that you have the most people in one place to hear the teaching of God’s Word. I also believe, however, that only preaching on money during the Sunday morning preaching time fails to take advantage of other opportunities. If you have Sunday night or Wednesday night services, you could teach a topical series like “What does the Bible say about money?” You could also use the Sunday school hour and either have all the classes study through a series on money, or put together a short-term class for people who need that training and discipleship.
5. Just do it!
As pastors, we know how easy it is to fall into a fear of man. At the same time, we also know what the joy of obeying God feels like. So, while preaching on money might be challenging and sometimes scary, we know that God has commanded us to feed His sheep with all of His Word and will bless our efforts when we are faithful to Him.
So, brother pastors, in the power of God’s Spirit, let’s be faithful to preach God’s whole Word, including what it says about money, and trust God to make His people look more like His Son, all for His glory, and for the advance of His kingdom.
About the author: Randy Mann is the Lead Pastor at Wake Cross Roads Baptist Church in Wake Forest, North Carolina.