Chris Yaw Interviews Mark Allan Powell: Stewardship Advice That Makes Sense

Taken with permission from


Isn't Church just like any other charity?

Why shouldn't I give more to the Red Cross, opera house, or some place that's actually 'doing' something?

When most Americans give less than 1% annually to charity, and  1 in 5 Christians give no money to charity, why should I?

Mark Allan Powell's book, Giving to God, is the best stewardardship book I've every read - and in this interview Dr. Powell takes on the biggest objections to giving to church.

This seminary professor also shares with us 'what he would do' were he in charge of the annual stewardship campaign at his church.  Enjoy the wit, wisdom, and seasoned advice of this very well informed thinker.


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A seasoned church member, dedicated Christian, and prolific theologian, Mark Allan Powell brings his years of wisdom to the common issue of stewardship. Here are my notes from the interview:

The Church Isn't Just Another 'Good Cause'

As Christians we are called to be a part of God's movement in the world. That movement includes community - what we call the church. Our commitment to God, and that movement, therefore, means supporting God's work through the church. Period.

How Much Do I Give? My Fair Share?

St. Paul talks about this in 2 Corinthians 8-9 - that everyone needs to give their 'fair share.' When we don't, we make others give more. Is that really fair?

Ask, Thank, Tell

It's the most effective stewardship approach Dr. Powell has seen. Church leaders need to ask (much) more, thank prolifically, and tell it from the mountains - about the generosity of its members.

About Mark Allan Powell

Mark Allan Powell is Professor of New Testament at Trinity Lutheran Seminary and an internationally known biblical scholar. He is editor of the HarperCollins Bible Dictionary and author of more than 30 books on the Bible and religion, including the widely used textbook, Introducing the New Testament (Baker Academic). He has also written in the areas of spiritual formation (Loving Jesus), stewardship (Giving To God), and homiletics (What Do They Hear?: Bridging the Gap between Pulpit and Pew). Powell's DVDs How Lutherans Understand the Bible have received widespread use throughout the ELCA and were excerpted for inclusion in the Lutheran Study Bible (Augsburg Fortress). An ecumenical, global scholar, Powell has for served for many years on the Executive Committee of the Catholic Biblical Association, and he has taught at seminaries in Estonia, Russia, and Tanzania.

Books Mark Allan Powell Recommends

Ask, Thank, Tell - Charles Lane

Passing the Plate - Christian Smith, Mark Emerson, Patricia Snell

Jesus and Money - Ben Witherington