This is an excerpt from the final chapter of the book upon which I have been working titled, “Hurdling the Barriers – Overcoming the 12 largest barriers to church health and growth.” I am currently working on the second draft and should be working on publishing soon thereafter.
“lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:20–21, ESV)
One of my greatest peeves in the church is this idea of hoarding money for a rainy day. Here, I am not speaking of showing some fiscal responsibility, but of churches that hoard up massive amounts of money in the event that God does not bless them. These churches would never say it this way. They always use more palatable words like this. Well, we need to keep all that money in savings in case we need it.
Many years ago, I worked with a church in an interim role while they transitioned to a new pastor. As I sat with the governing board of the church one evening, we discussed the long-range mission of the church in the community. There were a lot of kids in that area and it seemed like a natural to try to reach out to them. However, the church did not have acceptable facilities for an outreach to the community. I proposed putting up a low-cost gym on the property, as they had ample property and more than enough funds in the bank for such a project. They thought the idea for ministering to the younger folks was a good idea, but complained that they could not risk taking the money out of the bank for such a venture. Their rationale was, there might come a time when giving will go down and we will need that money. Well, shortly thereafter my interim work there ceased and within a couple years, the church closed its doors with all that money in the bank. You ask, what happened to the money in the bank? Along with the proceeds of the sale of their property, it went to another church.
From this story, you might think that this chapter will have all to do with money. And a large portion will. However, stewardship involves more than just money. . . . In this chapter, I will cover what the Bible teaches about stewardship as it relates to the health of the church. The church’s responsibility and some pitfalls which hinder the local church in hurdling the barrier of poor stewardship.