Exchange Pressure for Passion
I want to take a moment and help us uncover our motives when it comes to money at church. I have been in the generosity space for 2 decades. I have listened to a lot of pastors as they seek to address whatever resource challenges or opportunities they may face, and I have seen a ton of advertisements from stewardship companies over nearly two decades of ministry. Here is my summary of what church leaders want and what stewardship companies are often selling.
- Pastors want more money for ministry.
- Stewardship companies promise if you will just use their resources you will get more money.
So it seems simple enough, just buy their solution and solve your problem. However, we know it doesn’t work like that, so financial pressure can be an ongoing experience without a long term pleasurable solution.
Here is the question of the day, should more money really be the driving motivator in the church or in Christian businesses? Now, I understand the need for resources and the passion to fulfill a big vision. However, I also know the pressure that the need for more money creates on both the pastor and the giver.
Here is an example, in recent years there has been a lot of focused attention of Offering Sermons right before the Offering. (Which I am a fan of by the way and have written an ebook on 12 offering talks worth giving.) When I hear the language around these, often times the goal is to increase giving. Pastor, if you are constantly feeling the pressure to raise more resources or increase your offering to keep up with growth, that pressure will always be communicated regardless of the words we use to dress it up.
Generosity is the fruit of love or passion, not pressure. Pressure is not an enjoyable experience either for the leader or the giver. I am all for offering talks, growing generous people, and overfunding your vision. However, motives cannot be hidden no matter the words we chose. So I want to encourage you to investigate your motives. If you are feeling pressure step back and exchange it for passion and look for a promise. Leading with the privilege of getting to do something as highly preferred over the got to pressure we often feel.