Here’s the truth many clergy have shared with me: they are afraid to preach about issues of public concern. They know their sermons should in some way address things like racism, homophobia, climate change, sexism, economic issues, or hatred of foreigners, for example. But fear holds them back, keeps them quiet, and muzzles their prophetic voice. How can you preach when you are afraid?
The “M” word consistently makes preachers squirm, perhaps because it’s so wrapped up in our livelihood and the sustainability of the church. But money impacts so much more than our salaries and budgets. It’s a critical influence in nearly every aspect of a parishioner’s life. So our silence on matters of finance may be hurting the very ones we wish not to discomfort.
If your experience is like mine, you’ve never preached in a political and cultural climate as volatile and unpredictable as the one we face in the U.S. right now. How do we preach the unifying love of Christ when many are divided? How do we preach peace in the face of vitriol? How do we preach dignity when displays of disrespect are paraded as badges of honor?