The Importance of Preaching on Stewardship

The Importance of Preaching on Stewardship

A study was done in the mid-’90s where only 32% of American church members reported that they had heard a sermon on the relationship between faith and personal finances in the previous year. If it was 32% in the ’90s, what do you think that percentage is today? That study summed up the findings by saying, “clergy often tiptoe around the topic of money as if they were taking a walk through a minefield.”1. In many ways, I believe that the decline in giving is attributable to the lack of preaching on stewardship.

I’m continuing my series on the various lanes of stewardship we need to build to create a culture of generosity. After an overview last week, I introduced the Pastoral Lane. This week, I want to continue by focusing on one of the key areas of stewardship within the Pastoral Lane: preaching. This Coach is entitled The Importance of Preaching on Stewardship.

The Forgotten Sermon – How to Preach Effectively on Giving was the title of an online book of stewardship sermons that I put out a few years ago. I chose the title deliberately because that is what sermons on stewardship are today, forgotten. This lack of preaching is directly attributed to the decline in giving we are seeing, especially in younger generations.

It’s called causation. I fear (I’m trying to be nice) that we care more about attracting a crowd than we have been in making disciples. Thus, we have pushed what we feel is a difficult subject to the back burner of our attention and interest: stewardship. Each year’s fractional decline or plateau in giving isn’t drastic enough to get our attention. So, why preach something that no one wants to hear?

We are raising the next generation without teaching them a key component of discipleship: being good stewards of what God entrusts us with. This lack of biblical teaching will affect both them and the church they attend.

Let’s be honest. Preaching on giving, for 90% of pastors, is not something they love. The other 10%? They are probably doing it wrong. Doing the right thing the wrong way is the typical path of how pastors approach stewardship. If they ever preach on it at all. When was the last time you preached a sermon on stewardship or heard one preached?

My entire stewardship strategy runs on two tracks: a leadership track and a discipleship track. A Senior Pastor must have their eye on both. Leaders primarily fuel your present and, hopefully, your future. I’ll flesh out the strategy for leaders in a few weeks. Making disciples assures you have leaders in the future to continue the process. One is about harvest. The other is focused on sowing. We must raise up the next generation of donors. Let’s start from the platform and use preaching to help lead the conversation.

In 2018, I wrote the following about discipleship being the key to building financial stability.

Here are some key things you should be doing right now:

  • Teach the stewardship of life. I know stewardship is not the cool, in buzzword. Yet, it encompasses what we in the Church MUST teach. Stewardship of life pertains to more than just giving. It’s why I like it better than the new buzzword, generosity.

    Stewardship of life pertains to every area of your life being dedicated to the cause of Christ. When you have a Stewardship of Life concept, you escape the money and possession trap. Thus, you are positioned to be able to afford to be generous. Let’s teach that from the womb to the tomb. To sum it up, it’s called discipleship.
  • Get them out of debt! From Baby Boomers to Millennials and Gen Z, debt is strangling the life out of our members, keeping them from living a generous life. I believe that every church, yearly, needs to offer some type of program like Financial Peace or others to help its members escape the bondage of debt. You’ll do them a favor, and in return, it will help your church as well.

Discipleship is your long game. In baseball terms, it’s your minor-league prospects. You’re grooming them for the future. So, here is my great novel plan for how to offset the decline in giving.

Put stewardship sermons on the top of your sermon planning list! How often should you do a series on stewardship? First, if you have to look up when your last one was, I think we have your answer ASAP! My preference is at least every twelve to twenty-four months.

Let me end with an encouraging quote.

A recent Barna study discovered that “Gen Z, Millennial, and Gen X Christians are more likely than their elder peers to strongly agree that Christian churches and pastors have a responsibility to teach congregants how to be generous.”2.

Your members are ready to hear you teach them biblical principles of stewardship. Start your sermon planning now!

Mark Brooks – The Stewardship Coach, the leading online giving processor in America, sponsors my writing. OG is owned and operated by committed Christians active in their local church. Find out more about their services at You can also read the blog post I wrote for them at

  1. Smith, Christian, and Michael Emerson. Passing the Plate. New York, NY: Oxford University Press. 2008. 83.
  2. Investing in the Future:  A Vision for Generosity Across Generations, page 31, 2023 by Barna Group

Share this post