What Ministers Should Teach
Most Christians in America receive the majority of their spiritual teaching from their pastors and spiritual leaders in their churches. Although some ministers don’t consider teaching on stewardship necessary for spiritual development, the Bible says otherwise. Since the subject of money, possessions, and management is addressed in the Bible more than any other subject except the subject of love, it seems quite obvious that God felt that financial stewardship training is very much an integral part of a well-rounded spiritual education.
God Owns All
When we recognize that God owns everything and all blessings come from Him, our role as managers, or stewards, becomes evident. We also see the multitude of blessings for which we can be thankful.
Therefore, money is not our possession; it is God’s possession. We are merely stewards, or managers. He allots different amounts to us, based on His plan and purpose for our lives, and we will be held accountable for the way we manage allotments distributed to us.
When ministers view themselves as managers and not owners, they’ll look at every other aspect of their lives the same way and will be able to more effectively project that truth to those whom God has placed under their spiritual care.
After emphasizing the fact that God owns it all and that we are merely stewards of His possessions, the next most important biblical principle regarding financial stewardship that ministers should present is the principle of the blessings of tithing.
Tithing should come from our hearts. In the Old Testament, the Jews were giving as much as 23 percent of their income in tithes and offerings. How much more should we who have the knowledge of Christ give in obedience and submission to Him?
The principle of tithing is centered on the fact that God is looking for the right attitude in a person’s giving. If there is not willingness to give back to the Lord a portion of what He has entrusted, then giving tithes upon tithes would not make a difference.
Tithing is not meant to be done with a spirit of fear. God is not waiting for His children to make mistakes so He can punish them. Tithing is for our benefit. God wants to show Himself mighty in the lives of His children, give them the ability to become debt-free, have their needs met in the most unexpected ways, and receive things that are exceeding abundantly beyond all [they could] ask or think. That’s the purpose for tithing!
Once ministers have taught the principles of the blessings of tithing, they need to continue. So often ministers stop with teaching on tithing and go no further. However, God owns the remaining 90 percent of His children’s income, just like He owns the initial 10 percent, which we identify as the tithe. So, because He also owns the remaining 90 percent, God’s people must be taught every aspect of stewardship.
This teaching would include praying about each financial decision, consulting a spouse or other trusted family member or friend, giving to missions and other offerings, giving to charitable organizations, special offerings such as youth trips or building programs, faith promises versus pledges, bookkeeping and accounting, budgeting, getting out of debt, staying out of debt, borrowing, lending, mortgages, usury, cosigning, school loans, income taxes, retirement, investing, collecting past due debts, charging interest, and other subjects addressed in God’s Word regarding financial stewardship.
Along with financial stewardship pastors also may want to include in their teachings being good stewards of time, talents and gifts, and prayer and Bible study.
Even though Christians in America receive a more diversified array of spiritual teachings than the rest of the Christian world combined, teachings in the area of financial stewardship is probably more lacking than any other subject now being taught in the church. Yet, if ministers are to submit to the fulfillment of the Great Commission as commanded by Jesus, they must teach all that Jesus taught and emphasize that He lived as our perfect example.
Originally Posted February 9, 2011