I get to work with a lot of different churches, in different settings, all being led by different types of leaders. In almost every situation, four things are true when a leader talks about money:
1. The leader will be forced to examine their own habits and disciplines. I believe one of the main reasons more church leaders don’t talk about giving is because they, themselves, don’t have a habit or discipline of giving. A generous pastor has little hesitation challenging others to follow his lead.
2. People will leave. Every time Jesus increased the expectations of those who wanted to follow him, the Bible says some turned away and went home. Money is a measurable reality of our inward commitment which is why Jesus spoke more about money than he did heaven and hell combined. The people who leave as a result of the conversation about money, giving, and/or generosity in your church often have little to no impact on overall contributions because this group isn’t currently giving.
3. The resolve of core givers will be strengthened. Churches who preach and teach on giving and generosity often see consistent growth in overall average gift size and number of giving units. We accelerate what we celebrate. Affirming the discipline of giving solidifies your current givers.
4. Spiritual transformation will take place. Again, giving is an outward, measurable sign of an inward commitment. The evidence of a habit of giving is evidence that spiritual transformation is taking place. Challenging people to incrementally increase their habit of giving invites people to move to a deeper level of engagement with their faith that involves their time, talent, and treasure.