Last week’s episode was on investing and planned giving in churches, and today the discussion is surrounding a healthy perspective on money in the church. Also dicussing if a Pastor should or shouldn’t look at individuals giving.
The Missouri Baptist Foundation works with Money Management for Ministries on the institutional side and Possibility Planning for People on the individual side.
Uncomfortable Money Talks
It seems that churches struggle with money conversations, our host points out. Does it come from the root of all evil is money verse? Or seeing examples of lucritive business people? Or maybe pastors feel that they already talk about money too much already.
While a church is not a business, they do need to have money coming in. A non-profit that makes no money is called closed, according to our guest.
Neil advises that one way to avoid uncomfortable conversations is to teach what the bible says. The bible talks about money, so don’t avoid the topic or constrew the message that Jesus taught.
Pastor or Financial Person
Should a pastor check what donors are giving? Ultimately, we think no. But, instead, use this as an opportunity to talk about the generosity journey. Not everyone is on the same path or in the same place. “Money is a way to see the heart of the individual,” Neil says. First fruits and trust in God is where tithing and discipleship stemmed from.
People will quit attending before the stop coming. So, someone should be noticing the number of giving units or giving families. Probably not the Pastor, probably someone with financial background. Then when there is an end to the giving, or a start to the giving, it may be worth a visit to check in to see what is occurring in their family, health, or spiritual life.
Who do we look for for that role? Someone with a financial background with spiritual discernment and a passion for these sort of issues. It shouldn’t be all tied to the bottom line, but also to individuals heart. While we can’t see the heart, we can see the money, so maybe that is something we can use to better serve our congregation.
Also, it’s not just about cash giving, but about asset giving. Homes, retirement account, collections we’ve acquired; can all be utilized after we’ve passed on. Our guest says we are actually robbing people of the joy of giving by not allowing people to give what they want to. He also cautions us to check our heart to see why we want to talk about giving. Is if for our own benefit, and considered manipulation, or is it leadership and talking about giving as a part of your role in discipleship.
Jesus taught about money 163 times in the bible. Using his examples, we have an opportunity to help others learn to handle money well. Join us next week as we continue this series with Neil and healthy relationship with money.
Special thanks to our guest, Neil Franks, and our masters of all things Podcasting, Chris and Lauren Miller, for this second episode in our Financial Planning series.