Money stands right alongside political strife and racial tension as one of the most challenging and complex realities I address from the pulpit as a local church pastor. This is true for many if not most church leaders. We often experience an intrinsic anxiety when it comes to the intersection of formation into Christlikeness and people’s finances.
We find it difficult or uncomfortable to ask people to give to the church for a number of reasons: fear of failure or rejection; fear of being that pastor or that church that’s always talking about money (particularly to those who are newer to our communities); and sometimes just simple, naive idealism, believing that money isn’t an issue for our people or our church. This evasion mirrors the culture at large, where people would rather talk about religion, politics, and even death than money, and over 40 percent of married Americans don’t know their spouse’s income—even though financial discord is one of the ...1