Rich or Poor?

I heard a preacher friend of mine say some years ago that the two groups of people that the Church is least able to reach are the rich and the poor. I’m inclined to think he’s right. Both rich and poor make those who don’t share their situation in life uncomfortable. Here’s my question: why are we so uncomfortable with either group? While we all know that God loves all people, it seems that we struggle with ministry to the wealthy even more than we do to the poor. Do you agree? If so, why? If not, why not?

Dr. Tim Spivey is Lead Planter of New Vintage Church in San Diego, California. He is the author of numerous articles and one book, "Jesus: The Powerful Servant." A sought after speaker for events, Tim also serves as Adjunct Professor of Religion at Pepperdine University. Tim serves as a church consultant, and his writings are featured on, Church Executive magazine, Faith Village, Sermon Central, and Giving Rocket.

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3 thoughts on “Rich or Poor?

  1. Willimon made some comments a while back about working at affluent Duke. He noted that Jesus didn’t have many rich followers. Willimon felt he needed to start worrying if he started having rich people joining his ministries, because he thought rich people would not have been attracted to Jesus’ ministry (and that maybe he wasn’t preaching the gospel if they stuck around). I don’t know if I totally agree with him. But, it does bring forth the question, what did Jesus have to say to the rich people? What did he have to say to the poor? I will say, that one of the few times his teachings indicated someone getting a quick ticket to hell had to do with hoarding wealth. Seems to me like if that’s the case the rich are the ones the most in need of the message of Jesus and a rehab center called the church.

  2. Both rich and poor feel judged by a lot of folks. The rich feel the judgment and the envy oozing out of folks who see them as elite and snobbish (whether they are or not).
    The poor feel the judgment of people wondering what they are angling for, what they are trying to work the system for, what they are trying to get out of a relationship, or a church for that matter.
    A lot of ministry can be done among those who are sliding into a sub-category some call “The Working Poor”–they are struggling with lower-pay scale and high gas prices and the bills keep piling up.