How Can Church Leaders Talk About Money in a Healthy Way?

Many pastors find it difficult to talk about money in the church. Why is this? Probably because it has been so abused. No one wants to be the guy who resorts to guilt or cheap gimmicks to motivate people to give more. As a result, some leaders find it an easy subject to avoid.

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But the Bible says more about money than almost any other subject. Obviously, there is a direct correlation between our faithfulness to God and how we handle our money.

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Jamie Munson is the Executive Pastor of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington. He has just written a new book on this topic called, Money: God or Gift. I read it in one sitting last week. It covers everything from spending, to savings, to giving. And it does it all in a positive, balanced way. Amazingly, it’s only $5.00 on Amazon.

I was able to interview Jamie via Skype. You can watch the embedded video above. Specifically, we talked about:

  • What prompted him to write the book
  • Why so few Christians give to their church—or any other cause
  • Some unhelpful ways Christians and churches talk about money
  • How the people in his own congregation have responded to the message of the book
  • How the book reflects his journey from being a non-Christian to a pastor of one of the country’s largest, most influential churches.

If you are looking for a good, solid book on money—one that provides a biblical overview and practical application—this is it. By the way, you can connect to Pastor Jamie on Twitter, too.

I gave away 100 copies of Pastor Jamie’s new book. To qualify, my readers had to comment below. You can find the list of winners here.
Question: Why do you want a copy of this book? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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  • http://charlesjaymeyer.blogspot.com/ Charles Meyer

    This would be a great book for me to read and than get some friends to do a small group on this. This is an important topic for many Christians, especially in the early stages of adult. I think it would be a great read for my friends, mostly 2o somethings, and what the role of money is in church and their lives.

    Money is one of the topics that needs to be address but is considered to taboo

  • Clay Burgess

    I would like a copy of this book because I am planning a sermon series on finances in late January.

  • Sean Richards

    Why I would love a copy of this book?

    Where do I begin…. I am a young Man who has a calling to make disciple who make disciples who make… also an inspiring Church Planter on a Mission to help rebuild genuine Disciples through real relationship and the areas of society that are in need of help in my location. MONEY seems to be one of the most foundational things we must learn to conquer in the West and any resource that will change my life thus change any lives that I disciple. I need more Jesus so that I can give more Jesus away in my own walk as an Elder, church planter and Kingdom Culture Maker. Thank you for the opportunity.

    Blessings,
    Sean Richards

  • matt pugh

    I would love to have this book so that I can (1) better teach high school age students more about how to glorify the Lord with their money. Students today understand less and less about finances, and it seems they care less and less about giving as a result. AND (2) better teach my kids about what the Bible says about money. My oldest (3 years old) is just starting to take an interest in money, and I am engaging in the process of discipling him about it. The book looks like it would be a great aid for that.

  • Kelly Turney

    Hey I would love this book to help me in my mentoring of some Christian college3 kids here in Omaha, NE. Money seems to always be hard for new ministers to figure out and deal with so any tools we can use to help out upcoming messengers ofthe gospel would be awesome.
    -thanks
    Kelly

  • Kelly Turney

    Hey I would love this book to help me in my mentoring of some Christian college3 kids here in Omaha, NE. Money seems to always be hard for new ministers to figure out and deal with so any tools we can use to help out upcoming messengers ofthe gospel would be awesome.
    -thanks
    Kelly

  • Kelly Turney

    Hey I would love this book to help me in my mentoring of some Christian college3 kids here in Omaha, NE. Money seems to always be hard for new ministers to figure out and deal with so any tools we can use to help out upcoming messengers ofthe gospel would be awesome.
    -thanks
    Kelly

  • Eric

    I would love to read this book, only problem is I’m a college kid who can’t afford to buy it. Which I find ironic, I can’t afford a book that will help me save money and spend it better. Recently started trying to grow up and get a handle on my finances (pay back interest on student loans, save money for a house/family, budget my money so that I can give generously), and would really like to gain some insight on how to do so better.

  • Quinton Gessner

    I am not a pastor leading a congregation, or a father providing for a family, but a student who started his first year of college this fall. As a young man growing in faith and desiring to worship God with every part of my life, I want to worship God with how I use money- not be a slave to money in how I live my life. I want to have wisdom in how I can do this, so I try to take every opportunity I can to receive teaching and direction to live with wise stewardship of what God places in my life. I come from a family that places a higher importance of being prosperous than I believe they ought to, and I believe that this has hindered me in understanding how I ought to deal with money faithfully. I recognize that the book that you have written is dealing with using money faithfully and I believe that teaching on the subject of money would be beneficial for me and cause me to consider how I can worship God more with every part of my life and faithfully consider how to use the things he gives me in this life.

  • http://stephenmcalpin.blospot.com Stephen Mcalpin

    As a seminary student preparing to be a pastor, I’d like to have the book so that I can (1) have a better understanding of how to manage my own finances and (2) teach others how to best manage their finances. Getting it free would be a huge help, considering that I’m trying to pay off loans for school!

  • http://twitter.com/peter__hamilton Peter Hamilton

    I am 23, a husband to a beautiful wife, father to 6 month old boy, full-time student(Business), and the sole bread winner for my family. I would love to read your book and get a better grasp on money, how it can/should be used for the glory of God. Even if I don’t win this book, I have it listed in my Amazon wish-list and hope to purchase it soon!

  • Esther Feng

    As a Field Leader for MOPS International, a part of my volunteer position is to take an offering for MOPS each time I hold an event. I have often struggled with the feeling like a used car salesman when taking the offering. Like Jaime said, I don’t want to guilt or gimmick anyone into giving, but I DO want to make it a worshipful experience. I’d love to read Jaime’s perspective on this topic of money and giving.

  • Jnavarro

    I don´t know if I´ll be in those 100 that obtain a copy of your book. I´m a Director of Hispanic Ministries for an Evangelical Free Church located in Bear DE. Working with people who work all day, 6 sometimes 7 days a week, I have to know how to be able to go about the issue of giving without it seeming that the church just wants money. This is my first year in this position, this is the first year the church is working with Hispanic people. I need all the help I can get. Thank you for your time.

  • Brian Williams

    I think greed is the hardest issue pin down on in our hearts (and from the pulpit). I know in my own life it is something I have struggled with, but in the NT it seems like the standard is hard to pin down…sure I might give 10% of my money, but did I do it for the right motivations?…and then Jesus says things like “throw a banquet for the poor” (Luke 14) or just straight out sell my posessions…and how do you deal with greed from the pulpit? no one believes they are greedy (it’s so easy to rationalize it away). I think these are questions that the Church needs to sort out, and they will have a huge impact on how we are seen by the world

  • John Costa

    I believe this book can add to my life in two focuses: in my personal life, expanding my understanding of dealing with money as something that is not mine, but a gift; in my church, as a tool for exercise the generosity of the community. In Brazil, the prosperity theology has spreading as a deadly virus, and we need Bible-centered resources to equip the saints. I’m planting a church in my city, and sometimes get embarrassed in teaching about finances. This week I talked with the director Acts29 here in Brazil on exactly that subject. And I think this book could be part of the answers to my prayers in this regard.

  • HIS Hearts Cry

    My wife and I are missionaries to El Salvador, and recently God has been challenging us to become better stewards. Not that we are in a mess financially, but rather feeling that in order for us be able to walk fully in that which He has planned for our lives, we will need to become even better at managing finances. We can see where we think God is taken us and the ministry, but we are realizing that for that to happen, we need to become godlier with our talents…

    - Scott

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  • Luke

    I am a young guy trying to plan out my life. I think this book would be incredibly helpful!

  • chajulian

    My pastor is using this book as a “practical resource” for a sermon series that we’re doing this month called “A Theology of Generosity”. I like the content and I would like a copy (please?)

    • chajulian

      let me add: I like the content a LOT. :)

  • Luke Middleton

    I’d like a copy of the book because, thanks to the miracle of MP3s, a couple of years ago I benefited greatly from one of Jaime’s sermons on the topic of work and finances. The content of the teaching challenged me and I’d look forward to following it up by reading this book.

  • Hisidea

    Why I want the book? I just have too many answers running on my mind right now and so I thought I would just share of the ‘journey’ I went through today, December 10–the day I stumbled upon this blog and was challenged to post a comment to get the chance of being picked to win a book. Not bad. I still have almost an entire day to arrange my thoughts before Mr Michael announces the winner.
    *on Dec 10 (time in HKT)
    12:45 AM I just got off the phone with a client and as I have always done during my off peak hours at work, I searched through the list of blog posts my friend shared with me. Then, I came across Michael Hyatt’s link to this article. I got so fired up and excited to go home so I could start arranging my thoughts and be able to write a creative comment that would win me the book.
    5:50 AM I got home from work. And yet with all the things I still needed to do, my mind is just focused on one thing—the book. Or maybe on Mr Mike’s blog itself. It just occupied my thoughts that I found myself keying these words in my mobile’s notepad. But then I could not think further so I thought I will give myself a good (night) sleep first.
    11:58AM As I rise from bed, the image of the book and all that I could possibly learn from it has not departed me at all. But as I continue to write this, I am arguing whether this is really creative enough to catch Mike’s attention. Oh, that no longer matters. I feel that I still I have to post this even if it appears like a diary more than a comment. :) Because for one, I want to tell Mr Michael that I was held captive by this whole thing that I was just so willing to let go of a few hours of sleep to make it to the deadline ;)
    Why I want this book? Now I am certain – I desire to restore that lifestyle I once had of taking joy on every single penny that I bring back to Him. I want to tell God that I trust Him through my giving.
    And even if I don’t get handpicked to win this, I am still determined to get a coy of this book and share it with my friends, my family. :)
    Big thanks for sharing this. :)

  • http://www.pennybugmom.com Kindra

    Thank you, thank you. My husband and I have two boys under two and are living off of his student stipend.

    I have a website about saving money to help show others how it is possible for us to stay out of debt and for me to stay at home while managing our finances through pinching pennies in some areas. I would love to learn from this book and share on my site the things I learn! http://www.pennybugmom.com

    Thanks again.

  • Jase

    i would love a copy of the book, as i am currently praying through how my family can give more, and i would also like to see what it has to say about Biblical advice on savings.

  • Tim Davis

    I will read the book if i win one and i would say the reason i would like it is to just find more effective ways to communicate to people on this very important topic.

  • http://twitter.com/obihaive Joseph Sanchez

    I may be a little late on this post but I just wanted to say speaking about money in the church is always difficult -particularly in our culture. Television is saturated with tv evangelists that promise prosperity through financial giving and it gives the gospel a bad image at times. If this book can help me change that image I’d love a copy.

  • http://nathanharbottle.blogspot.com Nathan H

    I am excited about winning the book. Thank you so much for the opportunity to win this great gift. I look forward to reading it. Thank you again.

  • ND

    Has anyone considered that most New Testament scholars believe that under the New Covenant we aren’t bound by giving in percentages (ie: tithing)? Very interesting study….

    • http://michaelhyatt.com Michael Hyatt

      Very interesting. In order to claim that “most New Testament scholars believe … we aren’t bound by giving percentages,” we’d have to do some research. First, we’d have to know how many bona fide NT scholars there are, which would create another conversation around what qualifications must one have in order to be considered a NT scholar. Then we’d have to survey them or research their writings. Then we’d have to determine if this indeed constitutes a majority.

      I don’t know the answer to this question, so I don’t have any way of evaluating your statement. I certainly know some NT scholars that believe this. However, I know others that are emphatic that whatever is not abrogated in the OT is still binding under the New Covenant.

      Thanks for your comment.

      • Anonymous

        Actually, “most New Testament scholars” is both irrelevant (since we can look for ourselves at what the New Testament says) and a logical fallacy (Appeal to Authority).

        Jesus himself commended the tithe and the practice of tithing is mentioned in the Bible long before the Law came into being.

        Of course, that’s just my reading. I would encourage everyone to read for themselves what the Bible says, since we’re all individually accountable to God for our responses to his revelation. (Appeal to Authority probably doesn’t work well when God takes us to the woodshed.)

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  • http://www.christopherscottblog.typepad.com/ Christopher Scott

    Hi Michael and Jamie,

    I know the book give away has already passed, but I’m glad you are sharing this.

    Our church really struggles in the money department. Even though we have an average weekly attendance of 300 people, our annual budget is $120,000. Very small. This means we barely afford two full-time staffers.

    I’m glad you’ve shared this and are encouraging pastors to study the subject.

    Thanks,
    Christopher S.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_2IQBAW6SBNNOLSUA6PFGUNWJFI Kalu

    Being a relatively new christian I have found it intriguing speaking about money in church was touchy. In my opinion talking about money openly and honestly creates great value in and out of church.

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  • http://twitter.com/humanrestore humanrestore

    Being a relatively new christian I have found it intriguing speaking about money in church was touchy. In my opinion talking about money openly and honestly creates great value in and out of church.

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