Every faculty you have, your power of thinking or of moving your limbs from moment to moment, is given you by God. If you devoted every moment of your whole life exclusively to God’s service, you could not give God anything that was not in a sense God’s own already.
– C. S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
For us as Christians, all that we have and all that we are belongs to God. So then what does stewardship look like in our lives today? How do we define stewardship?
Too often Stewardship means the Annual Stewardship Campaign. It means filling out a pledge card to make our commitment to the Annual Budget of the church where we are a member. In some cases, the definition has been broadened to include a commitment of our time and talents so that we don’t put all our focus on money.
To broaden our understanding a bit further, I would share these four principles of stewardship for your consideration and understanding:
Stewardship is the commitment of one’s self and possessions to God’s service.
“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it…” (Psalm 24)
As God’s stewards we are responsible to care for all that God has graciously entrusted to us.
“Who then is the faithful and wise steward…?” (Luke 12:42)
One day each one of us will be called to give an account for how we have managed what God has given us.
“Well done, good and faithful servant…” (Matthew 25:21)
In the parables, we are told as faithful stewards we can expect to be rewarded not in this life but fully in the next.
“…know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward.” (Colossians 3:23-24)
(adapted from an essay entitled Leadership is Stewardship by Bill Peel, The Center for Faith and Work)
Stewardship goes beyond the church budget or a building project and connects everything we do with what God is doing in the world. We are called to be faithful stewards in all that God is calling us to do. It is being open to the opportunities and challenges that God places in our lives and serving with faith and joy.
Stewardship is a spiritual practice that allows us to live out the belief that all we have and all that we are belongs to God. Stewardship is our gifts of time, relationship, worship, thanksgiving, prayer, service, and material possessions. It is a way of living that includes giving.
Blessings and Peace,
Deborah Rexrode, Associate for Stewardship
Presbytery of the James