In an article for ChurchLeaders.com, Richard Chancy points out six realities about the people in the pews that may be overlooked by too many preachers. Among them:

We’re In Debt.
More than 40 percent of U.S. families spend more than they earn. Americans carry, on average, $8,400 in credit card debt.

The solution to this problem isn’t talking less about money…it’s talking more about how freedom feels when you treat your money the way God instructed us. If you teach on this with our best interest in mind, you can’t lose.

We Hate Our Jobs.
Employee surveys show that more than 65 percent of workers are not satisfied with their job.

These numbers are consistent over a wide variety of professions, and the studies were performed with massive amounts of people to validate the results. Most people don’t ever get the opportunity to know their work changed eternity for someone.

We Have Tension.
Whether we’re a school teacher or a CEO, we come to work day in day out with an objective in mind we have to accomplish or our job is at risk. The tension is always there, and we’ve learned to live with it, maybe even forget it’s there from time to time.

However, make no mistake, we are all in performance-based jobs. Fail to perform at the minimum required level, and someone else is waiting to fill our spot. That’s what many of us do, perform at the minimum acceptable level to keep from losing our jobs. There is no passion!

We Pay Taxes.
Between state and federal income tax, as well as property taxes, the effective tax rate for middle America is somewhere between 11.5 percent and 15 percent.

The reason I mention this is, with the deductions clergy receive for mortgage interest expense, along with being able to receive a significant portion of your salary in the form of a housing expense, a pastor’s income of $85,000 looks a lot different from that same salary for one of your members. I think that’s an important distinction to make when you compare your giving as a pastor to their giving as members.

Most of us don’t give many people permission to speak into our lives, but we’ve given it to you.

You have a unique opportunity to be used by God to inspire us to have:
• Better marriages
• Be more generous (and pay less taxes)—”Generosity is the cure for materialism.”
• Make our work about reaching people, which will skyrocket our job satisfaction
• Treat our bodies as God’s temple

If we’re showing up to your church, we’re giving you permission to influence change in our lives. What will you do with it?

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