In my previous post I layed out how I think the bad behavior of some preachers have made it hard to talk about something Jesus talked about, Money. I laid out my three part pledge”
- I will not use emotion to manipulate our church into giving.
- I will not lead where I will not go.
- I will not rob you of God’s best for your life by not talking about money.
Here I am going to expand further on the first one:
I will not use emotion to manipulate our church to give.
If you have been around me much you have most likely heard me say that the ends justify the means almost all the time. So some would say that if you have an important cause that needs funding you should use all means necessary to get that money. I actually don’t disagree with that, if it worked.
If we as preachers train our people to give based on emotion, guilt, or peer pressure, rather than out of obedience it robs them of the maturity that comes with giving even when we are not crying for a starving child. I don’t give because someone needs my money. I give because God wants me to.
Think about that for a minute, it is profoundly different reasons for giving. I don’t give because the need, I give because God owns me, completely.
Jesus said 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. Matt 6:21
When I look at my time, energy, and money God does not just own part of it, He owns all of it. I believe that scripture teaches that 10% is the starting point for what we should give. That does not mean that is all he owns. He owns all of me.
If we have to push and manipulate people to give with powerful emotion to get them to give to the ministry, Jesus does not own their heart yet, and we have a far larger problem than our ministry being underfunded.
Here are things that happen when giving happens out of emotion.
- People give to a cause rather than out of obedience to God. If the cause does not move them they will not give.
- Because the giving is toward a cause rather than out of obedience it stunts their spiritual growth.
- Like the tortoise and the hare overall their giving can become sporadic depending on all kinds of reasons.
I was at a youth conference and they were taking offerings for missions. The speakers got the kids to give all the money they had with them, including any money they had to eat on the way home. I later heard them talking and thinking it was so funny that youth pastors would have to pay for all of their meals. I did not think it was funny as I had a bunch of kids to pay for. They did not teach those kids how to give. They taught them how to be impulsive.
When I lost my job at a Church we continued to tithe there even though I was hurt and passionately disagreed with the decisions they were making.(ie firing me) If I was dependant on my emotion to make me want to give I would have missed out on some of the most important lessons and character building experiences of my life.
I want you to aspire to give in a mature way that is not dependent on your emotions. When we all do that the kingdom of God will go forward in a more powerful way than if we simply did it when “convinced”.
So, I will not manipulate you to get you to give.
May the Lord richly bless you and I hope to see you at the Rock on Sunday.