As a pastor of Zion Lutheran Church, I have been told not to talk about it. And believe me, I don’t want to. But when Jesus mentions it in 15% of His parables (11 out of 39), it seems foolish to skip it entirely. He may have talked about it more than anything else. Some even say the Scriptures refer to it more than 2,300 times, but I haven’t personally counted them. What could it be? And why would I be warned to steer clear of it?
It’s not the 6th commandment, though the Bible says a lot about that which we don’t want to hear.
It’s not about going to Church on Sunday, though we have much to learn about that as well.
The topic is money. Wealth. Possessions. I’ve heard it said that if you show me what you spend your money on, I’ll show you your God. But don’t take my word for it, check out Matthew 6:19-24.
Jesus spoke about money, not because he was obsessed with money, or that he wanted us to have lots of it, but because he knew that money was a heart issue and that it is one of the most likely reasons for someone to not follow Him or to give up on Him.
You probably don’t have to think too hard to think for examples of how much sway money has over our lives. How many lives have been devastated by the love of money? How many marriages, how many families?
In Matthew 6:24, Jesus says, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
This comparison is not hard for us to understand. Jesus puts the choice before us: whom will we serve? God? Or money?
The Bible talks about money because God loves you and He doesn’t want it to harm you, rather He wants you to use it as a tool to bless your family, others and to fund the proclamation of His Word here in this place.
I am writing before the October voters meeting, but I expect that we approved our budget for 2019, and we also talked about our upcoming building project. As I think about budget issues at Zion, and as I continue to work among the saints here in this congregation, I am always so humbled. Some of us are amazingly generous supporters of Zion in time, energy and money. Some of us are amazingly generous supporters of other charities. But by and large, our overall support of Zion’s budget is pretty meager.
Think about this: if every family attending at Zion gave an additional 1% of their income to the church, I estimate our budget would increase by more 33%!! That’s a huge blessing for not much expense.
What do you think? Is it the responsibilities of the pastors to talk about financial stewardship? Or should the pastors never speak of money? Send us an email, or even anonymously fill out the contact form on the website and let us know!