7 Ways to Have “The Talk” Sooner, Rather Than Later

RegisterAskNot talking about money with your church is like not talking about sex with your kids. Just like a middle-school locker-room, truth will be distorted and God-honoring meaning will be lost if we surrender the conversation. If you stop and listen, everyone else is talking about money, without regard to stepping on toes or alienating people.

On a recent flight, every employee of my airline-of-choice, was decked out in matching t-shirts, making announcements about cans collecting change at every gate. After landing, I stopped by a major discount-retailer to pick up a few supplies, and was asked to donate 1, 2 or 5 dollars at the checkout. Then, at dinner my server pitched a donation to a charity by means of a contest they were having.

Three “asks” in less than 3 hours.

A culture of asking people to give has grown up around the church, while the culture of teaching people about generosity in the church has stalled. I wonder if we are becoming  both desensitized to donations and shut-mouthed about stewardship.

Here are 7 practical go-ahead actions to talk about money with your church:

Tell the story… Celebrate the reality of how a family’s life changed as they have become Biblical stewards.

Share the vision… Illustrate how tithes and offerings are used in your church. Describe how giving fuels vision initiatives that result in redemptive movement.

Picture the impact… Many churches have created year-end reports that show graphically and numerically exactly where giving goes. A picture is worth a thousand words, and potentially a few thousand dollars.

Ask hard questions… Challenge people to see their resources as fuel for Gospel movement not just a way pay bills and attain the good life.

Lead the way… You do not have to reveal how much you are giving, it is probably already sensed. Giving generously, or not giving much at all, naturally influences how you talk about it.

Campaign regularly… Even if you’re not trying to raise funds for a major building initiative, seasons of campaigning whether short-term or long-term are Biblical and help bring focus to ministry initiatives.

Create on-ramps… Initiatives such as a 90-day giving challenge, offering a money-back guarantee, or creating generosity roadmaps are key to reaching new people and helping everyone understand stewardship a bit better.

So, go ahead and talk about money with your church. Look at it this way… in the end it will always be easier than talking about sex with your kids.