Preaching on the topic of money in a healthy way can be one of the most challenging topics pastors ever address. The sermon topics can range from either pressuring people to give more (because the church has a need) to fighting workaholism (because the pursuit of money is wrong). In between these two extremes is typically a vacuum of silence. The Bible actually comes out of the gate strong on the topic of money in Genesis.
Here are some easy topics you can consider for a future money teaching series to disciple your people toward the generous life.
1. Giving is a timeless practice that can connect us deeper to God. Cain and Abel is one of my favorite generosity stories in Scripture. The act of giving as a part of our relationship with God is a really old practice. We do not always get it right, but we can always grow to do it better. There is a lot of grace in giving.
Have you ever taught about the grace that is offered toward imperfect givers?
2. Financial success is not bad or wrong. It can actually lead to a unique calling. Abraham is just one of many marketplace leaders God engages in His mission. He was a businessman that God blessed with great financial success. This financial success did not enable him to do less for the kingdom because he was so busy, but it actually opened the door for him to do what no priest or preacher could.
How are you engaging the successful to live big lives?
3. Money doesn’t create a life of ease. Abraham could have sat back and lived in ease. Instead he had to deal with a drought that caused him to relocate his business, fear of death by powerful political leaders, and a divided family with Lot. This pattern of experiencing challenge after challenge is retold through Isaac, Jacob, Esau, and Joseph. Just because people have the appearance of success doesn’t mean they do not struggle with the same emotions as everyone else.
How are addressing the life troubles associated with money?
4. Generosity is an all or nothing pursuit. Here are some of the ways Abraham was generous: He repeatedly set up altars to give God worship, allowed Lot to pick the most promising portion of land, generously prayed for Sodom, and kindly rescued Lot from his life of poor choices. He also was willing to give up his son and he was unwilling to accept any gifts from the king. He strove to depend only on God.
How many ways are you leading your people to be generous?
5. Tithing has been around for a while. Jacob clearly tithes in Genesis 28:22. Abraham also offered a tithe in Genesis 14:20. It seems to me to be a silly debate over whether the tithe is still a biblical teaching for the modern day. Tithing should be a non-issue for a mature believer. Generous people give way beyond the tithe.
Are you limiting your people’s concept of giving by focusing on tithing?
6. God is a God of prosperity. Don’t let the term “prosperity” weird you out. God definitely multiplied the resources of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Esau, and Joseph. Their abundance was a sign of a God’s hand that opened doors of influence for the kingdom.
What ways does God cause our lives to prosper when we are generous?
7. God is our only provider. Okay, Joseph rings the bell on this. His role as a servant or prisoner did not limit his life work. He was just as faithful with little as he was with much. You don’t have to wait until things change for the better in your life to be generous. Start living generously today.
How are you holding your church back from the generous life?
Giving is a powerful topic. Many people in church are bound by life issues related to money both at home and work. When the church is silent or focused on fundraising, the true biblical message of generosity is absent. Financial freedom is not experienced after the next raise or when someone is debt free, rather, it begins today by leaning into God’s principles and promises for our resources.