In his new book, “How to Be Rich”, pastor Andy Stanley has a message for American Christians: “You’re wealthy. Now starting acting like it.”
Don’t be fooled by the title; this is not another book purporting that God wants to bless all his followers with a diamond-studded Rolex, fully-loaded Benz, and their best life now. Stanley, bestselling author and pastor of one of the largest churches in America, begins with the premise that most Americans are richer than they realize and offers advice on how to be more generous. “How to Be Rich” is typical Stanley, which is to say, it is chock full of sticky one-liners and helpful practical tips. It’s a fresh take on how to leverage one’s wealth for the good of others, and is well worth reading.
Here, I talk to Stanley about poverty, wealth, the prosperity gospel, and how to make 2014 your best year ever.
RNS: I imagine when many people hear that a Christian pastor has written a book called “How to Be Rich,” they might associate it with the so-called “prosperity gospel.” But that’s not what you’re trying to do here. How is your message different?
AS: It’s actually the opposite of the prosperity gospel. The prosperity message is “Give and it will be given unto you.” This message is, “It has already been given unto us. Now it is our turn to give.” I don’t need to give one to get 10. I live in the United State of America, so I already have my 10. So this book is written to Americans primarily to rethink what they have, to rethink their wealth in the context of our global economy. We are so incredibly well off, but we are so fascinated and consumed with what we don’t have. And because most Americans don’t actually have any margin, most Americans don’t feel as rich as they actually are. So I hope to shake up some thinking a little bit and get people to step back and begin thinking and acting like rich people, because in fact, most of us are.