This coming Sunday we will start our annual INVEST series - 4 weeks preaching on the topic of money and giving. We sat down with Rich to ask him some questions about this series --
Why do we preach on money and giving, and why every year?
We preach on money and giving because the Bible has a LOT to say about money and giving and there is a direct correlation between how one spends their money and how one's heart is connected to the Kingdom of God. Giving is a good litmus test for how closely you are following God. Many people don't understand this. We also preach on this topic every year because we forget. And it's a big deal because we live in the wealthiest, most luxurious culture that has ever existed. In the US, the aim of most Americans is to just want to accumulate more and "tip" God. But in Scripture we find that giving is presented differently. Jesus actually talks about he topic of giving and money more than Heaven and Hell combined!
What passages of scripture are you going to be using during this series?
The first week in the series (10/1) will be about "How a Disciple Views Money" out of Deuteronomy 8:17-18.
The following week (10/8) will be "Why a Disciple Gives Money?" out of 2 Corinthians 8:8-9.
Week three (10/22) we will ask the question "How a Disciple Gives Money" from 2 Corinthians 9:7.
And we will finish up on 10/29 with "What a Disciple's Money Does" from Philippians 4:14-20.
Should anyone be nervous about hearing preaching on this topic?
No! I think everyone should be open to hearing what God would have to say about this topic. But I do think there will be room for conviction. I know there is for me! Every year when I preach on it, I'm convicted about how I think about what's mine, what's the Lord's, how I spend my money and how I should be generous.
Why do you think money is such a sensitive topic?
Because people go through a lot to earn it - they work hard and they aren't just going to give it away without good reason. And because money gives a sense of security. If you have money, it can be easy to buy into the illusion that you have everything you need. If you're belly's full, there's a roof over your head and you have a car to get around, etc. It's wrong thinking, but you think you are secure.
What are you hoping and praying God will do as a result of this series?
I hope that we would all spend our money with eternity in view. Whatever that looks like - it's going to be different for every person. For some it will be to start giving, for some it will be to give more. For people who have given for years, maybe it will be less autopilot and to think and pray more about it. In heaven, no one is going to say "I wish I had given less" or "I wish you had preached on money less."
Will there be another INVEST fund this year,and will we be asking the church
to pray about giving toward it at the end of the series?
Yes. And we will be sharing more details about what that fund will be used for, where the money will go, how we believe God is calling us to steward the church's generosity, etc.
Are there any additional resources you would recommend if people want to study this topic more?
The book Money, Possessions and Eternity by Randy Alcorn is great. You can go back and listen to previous INVEST series messages (2016, 2015, 2014 and 2013). There are also some specific passages of scripture that would be excellent to study as well - 2 Corinthians chapters 8 & 9, Matthew chapter 6, and Revelation chapters 21 & 22.