By Pastor Raygan
I have long believed that the things we don’t, can’t, or are scared to talk about shape and steer our conversations as much as (or more than) what we do say. I think this matters with social justice issues, where there may be
consequences for speaking boldly, proudly, and progressively when the dignity and rights of marginalized communities are threatened. But I think it’s also important with other topics that could be uncomfortable, or that we have been told are not for polite conversation; like money. It robs us of something to not be able to talk about it (pun intended again).
It’s not just that the church needs money in order to live into our calling (though we do), it’s also that money is an important reality in our lives, whether we like or not, and whether we have it, or not. Money matters. Jesus’ stories, parables, and teachings dealt more with money than any other single topic. In fact, in the Gospels, about one out of every ten verses deals directly with money. Money is a powerful force in our lives and culture that gives shape to the ways we engage each other and participate in the world.
I’m not here to tell you that money is a bad thing, or that the only way to justify having it is to give it away, especially to the church. If money is bad, we don’t want it. However, how we earn and use our money does help define us, our values, and the kind of world we want to live in. So, we need to be intentional in how we talk about, and embrace our roles as stewards of our money, and all our resources. How we earn, spend, save, and give our money ties our careers and life’s work into issues of vocation, justice, the economy, and the ongoing work of God in the world.
If you haven’t picked up on it yet, I don’t have any problem talking about money, or asking for it for the church, because I’m excited about what we can do with it. As we look forward to ending 2018 strong (and catching up on our current pledges), and for casting a bold, proud, and progressive budget and set of ministry goals for 2019, let’s reject the fear of talking about money, and every other gift that we bring to this important work.