Never trust a preacher who talks about money!”
That’s what a lot of people think, and I understand. Once you’ve heard that guilt-laden, high-pressure sermon to dig a little deeper and ante up a little more when the church coffers are running a little short, you never are too sure about the motive behind the “thus saith the Lord.”
All of us have seen one too many preachers on television, pleading for a donation to keep their program on the air. So they can use their time on the air to plead for more donations to keep the program on the air, and on and on they go. And most have mastered the art of manipulating Scripture to convince you to send your money to them.
Some will even tell you that God will give back tenfold if you give to their ministry; that if you give $100, God will give back $1,000. I’ve always wanted to give them a call and tell them to send me the $100 and let God give them $1,000. I have a feeling their theology would not match their practice.
In these days of economic downturn and financial uncertainty, all of us feel the money pressure more than ever. As the old saying goes, “Money talks”– and usually what it says is, “Goodbye.”
Still, I believe that the reason most people are strapped financially is not so much because of the economy as much as it is because their security is wrapped up in the wrong things. They haven’t learned the secret of releasing their finances back to God and trusting Him with their money. And giving back to Him–however uncomfortable it may be to hear a preacher talk about it–is still the way God helps us truly release it. Christian giving is always seen in Scripture as a blessing, not a burden.
With that in mind, I come before you with news of a great opportunity to get blessed. If you’ve been keeping up, you know that our finances at Shelby Crossings have experienced their own economic downturn over the past few years. The truth is, we need your faithful tithes and offerings to sustain this ministry, and even more so, to move forward into other areas of ministry where we’re currently limited. We are seeking to be good stewards of the resources God provides, and will continue to do so, but we also ask that you prayerfully consider this need and give obediently as God leads.
I’m not promising any exponential returns just yet–at least not on this side of heaven–though I do believe the Scripture promises God’s blessings on those who are obedient with their money. But more than anything, it is an opportunity to lay up for yourself treasures in heaven, and make an investment that will last an eternity.
I also hope you’ll continue to pray for God’s provision for our ministry needs, and let’s watch and see how He works in and through the life of our church. I’m praying for you, and I look forward to seeing you this Sunday.