129: Church Planting Mistakes: “People Don’t Want to Talk About Money” (with Tim & Matt Simmonds)

Tim and Matt Simmonds are church planting brothers who are pioneering churches in Manchester and Amsterdam. In this series of podcast episodes they discuss mistakes they have made along the way. Today they talk about the idea that people don;t want to talk about money.


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  • This is a mistake that most church planters can make.
  • We can get defensive about the idea of talking to people about money thinking that they won't want to have the conversation.
  • Often we don't hone in on the subject quickly enough.
  • When you are a planter you are quite exposed - the money thing is much more personal (the money is more likely to either be spent on you or it be you spending the money).
  • There is a also a missional reason to not talk about it - the idea that church always talks about money is a defeater belief for many people.
  • Often younger church planters gather other young people and young family - often people who don't have loads of money.
  • The reality can be that your employment can hang on it - and this can force you to ask the bigger questions about vision for money and what you believe about it.
  • The conversation often starts with a pastoral angle. Money is an idol for many people.
  • Often the church plants that get established are the ones that have money invested in them - money is an issue of church growth as well as an issue of discipleship.
  • Often we get given bad advice. Some church leaders don't want to know the finances and who gives what, but how can you disciple people in this area if you don't know.
  • Sometimes it can shape the way we interact with newcomers in a bad way if we think they have money.
  • The best thing is not to focus too much on the amount but on helping people to be faithful with what they have. 
  • People will be good with lots of money if they have first learned to be good with little. It is important to teach people early.
  • It is much harder to have the conversation with people later in life who haven't developed habits of generosity.
  • It can be difficult to rationally explain how we budget/spend in the early days. Talk more in terms of adventure in growth. It is different in terms of an established church and a plant (shooting for a 5% budget increase or a 50% increase are very different mentalities).
  • Transparency is good - be willing to answer whatever questions people have.
  • Things tend to grow more through individual conversations than through sermons. 
  • On money like any subject, people want to be taught and are keen to understand what Jesus meant when he talked about it.
  • There is a financially sacrificial aspect to church planting for a leader - which affects how you talk about it.