Ever stood in front of a closet full of clothes, trying to find something to wear?
Ever traded in a perfectly good car for . . . another car?
Ever killed some time talking on your cell phone while standing in line to get a newer version of the same phone?
Ever gone shopping just to relax?
If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, you might be rich. No, you probably don’t feel rich. Rich is the other guy. Rich is having more than you currently have. But you can be rich and not feel it. And that’s the problem. Andy is convinced that most of us are richer than we think. We just aren’t very good at it.
It’s one thing to BE rich. Andy wants to help us all be GOOD at it!
- It is about how to live as rich, not how to become rich
As full disclosure, I am a member of Buckhead Church, one of the Northpoint Community Church campuses where Andy Stanley is the senior pastor.
I have read and reviewed a number of books by Andy. Where Andy shines as a writer is when he is focused on leadership, vision or talking about our churches. How to be Rich is one of the later type of books.
How To Be Rich is based on the teachings found in an annual sermon series that Andy has preached since 2007. These sermons focus on 1 Timothy 6:8, “Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.”
The point of the series is not how to GET rich but how to BE rich. The book starts by trying to convince the reader that they are rich. If you have a household income of $37,000 a year, you are among the top 4% of earners in the world. Andy later talks about the top 1% as a way for those of us that are not that rich to understand wealth. But then continually comes back to the concept that whether we are top 1% of top 4% we are still rich in the eyes of most of the rest of the world (and God.)
As the book says, the problem with riches is not the money, it is the way that money controls us.The cure for being controlled by riches is to rely on God, not our wealth for our security. And the best way to do that is to be generous with those riches assuming that we are merely stewards of all that we have been giving.
This is not a book on tithing, this is a book about allowing God to be glorified through radical generosity. Andy preaches on money frequently. And this is not his first book about giving. The basic principles of the book are not radical or really even original. But they are important and because we really are a culture of rich people that likes to pretend that we are not rich, we need to be reminded.
This book also has a study guide and DVD curriculum for small group study. I did not review those, but the book is well designed for a small group discussion. It is short (I read it yesterday evening), it has a good mix of stories and teaching and as always Andy mixes a good amount of humor into the book. Because I have seen how the Be Rich campaign has worked in our church over the past several years I know that churches that focus on blessing their community also receive blessings from their generosity.