Few subjects cause the preacher as much anxiety as money. Last year, Leadership's audiotape series, Preaching Today, featured a stewardship sermon by Bob Russell that handled this controversial topic with authority, humor, and sensitivity. We asked Bob how he learned to address an uncomfortable issue with comfort and grace.
Money is controversial because you can never know how people will react to a message about it. I know guests don't want to hear about money the first time they attend our church. Yet it never fails: the Sundays I preach on money, someone tells me, "I've been working on a friend for a long time, and he finally came this morning when you preached on money. I'm not sure I'm going to be able to get him back, and it's your fault."
Another reason money is difficult to preach about is that it can strike at the heart of influential people in our congregations. Most of us are insecure in our position, and we like to please people, so we rationalize not speaking about giving.