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Are you saying these 7 important things about money to your church?

| by Margaret Marcuson

Many pastors are uncomfortable talking about money. I know I was for years. I learned over time it was one of the most important tasks of pastoral leadership.

I recommend you regularly say these 7 things to your people:

  1. I intend to be involved in church financial matters. Some lay leaders say, in essence, “You stick to preaching, pastor, and we’ll handle the finances.” Even if they don’t want you there, you need to be part of money matters, and to make clear that this is part of your spiritual responsibility.
  2. We share the responsibility for this church’s financial life. Being involved in church finances does not mean you carry the burden alone.
  3. Your money life is part of your spiritual life. Don’t talk about money only when you are asking people to give. People desperately need a spiritual perspective on the money they handle every day of their lives.
  4. God loves you no matter your financial circumstances. People experience fear, shame and guilt about the financial choices they have made. Help them extend their understanding of God’s grace to their finances.
  5. Please give to our ministry (and tell them why). Don’t hesitate to clearly ask people to give. Tell them the value of the church’s ministry and why they should support it.
  6. The laborer is worthy of his (or her) hire. Don’t apologize for your salary place in the budget, or about expecting (at least) cost of living increases.
  7. Here’s why I give. Give your own testimony when you are asking them to give.

If you aren’t comfortable talking about money, pick the easiest and try saying it, as an experiment. Over time, include all seven in your repertoire. Your congregation and your people need you to be both candid, challenging and loving as you talk about money.

Margaret Marcuson

Rev. Margaret Marcuson helps ministers do their work without wearing out or burning out, through ministry coaching, presentations and online resources. Margaret is the author of Leaders Who Last: Sustaining Yourself and Your Ministry and MoneyandYour Ministry: Balance the Books While Keeping Your Balance. She served as a pastor for 15 years.

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