Leader to Leader, Ministry Services

Just Preach the Gospel!

March 13, 2014 | Posted by John Kieschnick

If I’ve heard it once I’ve heard it a thousand times, “All you have to do to get people to give is to preach the Gospel.” May I suggest that if this were the case churches would never have to worry about money or budget problems? Sad to say, this simply isn’t true.

While it is true that grace is the greatest motivation for giving, I believe that Scripture suggests that there are many others as well. I believe Paul gave the greatest motivation for giving when he wrote these words in 2 Corinthians 8:9, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.” However, that’s not all Paul had to say about giving.

I continue to be stunned by the fact that Paul quoted Jesus in his farewell address to the elders of Ephesus at the beach of Miletus when he said, “In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’” (Acts 20:35). Apparently this saying of Jesus was so common in the early Christian Church that the Gospel writers didn’t bother to record His words in their books.

Paul concluded his first letter to the Christians in Corinth, a church rocked if not wrecked by scandals and major conflicts, with these words, “Now concerning the collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of Galatia, so you also are to do. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collection when I come.” Granted, these words may not be essentially motivational, but if he hadn’t written them, what kind of offering do you believe would have been gathered for the poor Christians in Jerusalem if Paul had “just preached the Gospel?”

Of course, preach the Gospel, and also teach people how to give – just as Paul and Jesus did!

John Kieschnick
Born in Walburg, Texas, the second youngest of nine children, John Kieschnick received a B.S. in Education from Concordia Teachers’ College, River Forest, Ill. Throughout his ministry, John has served on a variety of synodical boards and committees, both national and district (Texas). He has authored numerous stewardship Bible studies and programs.