“Money talks.” In America’s capitalist society, this word of advice makes sense.
But what happens in Christ-centered spaces? How should Christians talk about money?
From fig leaves to money that does not grow on trees, we attempt to cover up what is only natural. Bartering, commerce, buying and selling, it is how we make a living. Our sweat and the wind of the Holy Spirit against our backs, it is what keeps Christ’s ministry going.
A touchy subject in many churches, finding the balance between giving and greed has been a problem from the beginning for Christians. Remember Ananias and Sapphira?
Unfortunately, not much has changed since then. Fighting to not be possessed by what possesses us, we are encouraged to remember the hands of Christ, who gave freely.
As Christian believers, we are encouraged to give in ways that empower others while enabling us to die to the selves, the tightfisted soul that will not give an inch or a cent—no matter the cause.
“Generosity begets generosity. This is especially so when generosity is rooted in the rich soil of relatedness,” Sister Sue Mosteller, a writer and teacher, reminds us. In short, we give to what we know, to people, places and causes that we are familiar with.
It is easiest to share with those we have things in common and with whom we have had a reciprocal relationship. Not to be confused with my back scratching yours, see it as simply returning the favor.
“From the perspective of the gospel, fundraising is not a response to a crisis. Fundraising is, first and foremost, a form of ministry,” Henri Nouwen wrote in A Spirituality of Fundraising. “It is a way of announcing our vision and inviting other people into our mission.”
But, so often, we only hear of the importance of giving when there’s trouble. Our feelings around money then become anxious, panicky, even frustrated. Consequently, we give not because we are excited about the vision but worried about what we don’t see.
But that’s not true in this case. Good Faith Media supports those who have visions and dreams of a new way of being and belonging. For me, that is the witness of the raceless gospel and the work of