Contagious Generosity: Telling people what they don’t want to hear

Jantzi-BerylBeryl Jantzi is the director of Stewardship Education for Everence. This is the fourth in a  series of posts based on the book Contagious Generosity by Chris Willard and Jim Sheppard.


“Part of leadership is telling people what they don’t want to hear. So many of you are afraid to talk about money. You are going to have to get over your insecurity about this issue of preaching on money.”

Rick Warren

“Generosity is always about what God wants for people, not from them.”

Andy Stanley

There are a lot of things that can make ministry uncomfortable. If what we do and don’t do is based on feelings, not much good would get accomplished. It’s okay to feel uncomfortable about discussing money, but this is no excuse to avoid the issue. How we view and manage money has a spiritual impact on members of our churches, which is probably why there are so many biblical references to the subject.

Only the Kingdom of God is talked about more in the Bible than money and possessions.

Pastor and writer John Piper also addresses the importance of pastors addressing this issue especially as it relates to supporting the mission of the church regarding our financial giving. There are three categories of people according to Piper.

  • those who go to serve,
  • those who stay behind and support them,
  • those who are disobedient and neither go or support those who do.

Piper talks to his church about the need for members to cut back on their spending and “rationing their desires,” so they have more to give for the support of the ministry and mission of the church.

Chris Willard and Jim Sheppard in their book “Contagious Generosity,” encourage pastors to take the lead in telling people what they don’t want to hear.

“There are several reasons why we encourage pastors to take the lead in this area. First, there are certain things that only the pastor can say and do. Some people believe that only the pastor has the credibility to speak into their lives on such a sensitive subject. But the primary reason that pastors need to lead in this area is because Jesus led in this area, and the position of the pastor is representative of Christ’s own leadership in the church. Because Jesus regularly revisited the conversation about the relationship between our faith and our money, pastors should do so as well.”

For more help on preaching and teaching on money check out some new sermon starter material entitled: The Gospel of Luke: The relationship between salvation, discipleship and wealth, .