There is much confusion in the Christian community about the relationship between pastors and financial leaders. This is because for many years pastors used financial leaders. Then, in a classic over-correction, pastors then began ignoring financial leaders. The best approach is in the middle – pastors must disciple financial leaders.
For a beautiful picture of how this is done, let’s look at how Jesus interacted with a financial leader. Luke 19:1-10 tells the story of an interaction between Jesus and someone described as “rich”. He was a chief tax collector named Zacchaeus.
As you read this account, the following are 11 Lessons From Jesus On The Relationship Between Pastors And Financial Leaders:
- Your Church Has Financial Leaders – v.2 – “And behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus. He was a chief tax collector and was rich.” Every church in the world, regardless of your socio-economic status, has wealthy people or a Top 10% of givers.
- Pastors Should Know The Spiritual Condition Of Their Church’s Financial Leaders – v. 3 – “he was seeking to see who Jesus was”. Zacchaeus was searching. Similarly, many financial leaders in your church have experienced much of what this world has to offer. Yet, they have come to realize it simply does not satisfy their soul. Many have come to understand that a life without Jesus is an empty life, no matter how much money you have.
- Churches Often Put Things In Place Which Can Make It Difficult For Financial Leaders To Come To Jesus – v. 3 – “but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature.” Are you placing unnecessary barriers between you and your financial leaders? Are these barriers making it more difficult for them to come to Jesus? These barriers could be financial reporting which excludes the pastor from the process or a flawed theological approach to your top givers. This leads to my next point.
- Know Who Your Financial Leaders Are – v. 5 – “when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus'” Jesus knew Zacchaeus’s name. Do you know the names of your financial leaders? It is not necessary to know how much they give but do you know who they are?
- Do Not Ask Financial Leaders To Come To Your Office. Go To Their Office. – v. 5 – “I must stay at your house today.” Go to their office, farm or plant. Walk around with them and listen to their story. Meet their employees. See what they produce. Do life together.
- Honor Your Financial Leaders – v. 6 – “So he hurried and came down and received him joyfully.” Financial leaders deeply desire authentic relationships, especially with their pastor.
- People Will Misinterpret Your Intentions – v. 7 – “When they saw it, they all grumbled” Ignore them. Pastors can effectively disciple many people in large group environments during weekend messages. However, because of the type of questions they ask, financial leaders are best discipled in small group or one-on-one environments.
- Financial Leaders Are Often Lonely – v. 7 – “‘He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.”’ Because they are afflicted with affluence and everyone wants something from them, financial leaders oftentimes do not know who they can trust.
- Financial Leaders Are A Force For Good – v. 8 – “Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, ‘Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor.'” Financial leaders are uniquely gifted by God to flood the Kingdom with resources. Properly discipling your church’s financial leaders can have an incredibly positive impact on the poor and under-resourced in your church and community.
- Jesus Changes Financial Leaders From Being Greedy People To Generous People – v. 8 – “And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” You can tell Jesus is working in a financial leader’s life when they begin demonstrating signs of radical generosity.
- Focus On Transformation Rather Than Transaction – “Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house” Be their pastor and find out if they are saved? Has their life been changed by your ministry. Generosity is what we want for financial leaders, not what we want from them.
What is one thing from this list you can begin doing today to better disciple your financial leaders?
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