The problem with the typical stewardship sermon approach is it puts the cart before the horse. In this case the “cart” is the outcome: the amount of time, talent, and treasure people give on which the parish budget and programs depend. This cart contains idols of scarcity and desperation to achieve that which is beyond our control. Rather than be concerned about what people place in their metaphorical stewardship carts, we can be concerned about the “horse.” That is, the spiritual needs of our people and the dreams God has for them.
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.