"I hate stewardship, in terms of being the up front guy," one pastor said, "but I like the results."
All the pastors around the table nodded.
The admission came early in our conversation, but it was important to get it out. Most pastors don't like talking about money. We don't like preaching about money, most of us aren't good at handling it, and many people—even Christians—think that's all we're interested in: their money.
Yet, money is what makes our ministries possible.
The pastors we met at this roundtable discussion in Minneapolis have had success because of it, and in spite of it, and they still feel the tension between God and money.
At the table:
Rich Doebler, a former Leadership editor who five years ago returned to the pastorate at Cloquet Gospel Tabernacle in Cloquet, Minnesota.
Michael Foss, pastor of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church in Burnsville, Minnesota, for almost ten years.
Knute Larson, for 19 years the pastor of The Chapel in Akron, Ohio, which recently pledged $26.5 million to purchase land and plant a second campus.
Keith Meyer, executive pastor of Church of the Open Door, which is relocating to a new facility on 50 acres in the Twin Cities suburb of Maple Grove.
And from Leadership, Marshall Shelley and Eric Reed, who have also helped lead their churches in budgeting, stewardship, and capital campaigns.
It was Knute Larson who first confessed he hates being the face on money issues, but when Knute talked about how he has grown in his leadership and preaching on stewardship, everyone at the table agreed.
Keith Meyer: For years talking about money in our church was taboo. We joke at Church of the Open Door that we can actually talk about the other m-word, masturbation, more easily than this m-word. We have challenged ...