What words come to mind when you hear the term “Stewardship”? How about these:
JOY – SERVICE – SACRIFICE
Harper’s Bible Dictionary defines a “steward” as follows: “From the Greek oekonomos, the manager of a large household or estate, who might be a slave. The name also designated a municipal officer (Romans 16:23). The steward had management of the children of the owner (Galatians 4:2). Jesus proposes the faithful steward as the example of the responsible Christian (Luke 12:42). The apostles are managers of the mysteries of God (I Cor. 4:1-2; Titus 1:7). The Christian is a steward of the grace of God (I Peter 4:10).”
Stewardship is our response to God, how we manage what God has entrusted to our care. We believe and we respond with our whole lives. As children of God, we share in the purpose and work of God. Stewardship is a conscious effort to show what is important to us. It’s setting our priorities. Stewards are witnesses, sometimes silently, for showing what is important in life, including home, family, work, school, friends – not just what you do in your congregation. Stewardship is a way of life, a total response to God for all God’s blessings.
Our God blesses us abundantly! Everything we have – families, friends, homes, food, clothing, meaningful work – all are from God’s gracious hand. How we choose to care for and use those blessings is what stewardship is all about. God has entrusted to our care the many things of this world. We don’t own them; they are God’s, to be used for God’s purpose and work. We respond to God’s blessings in two ways: 1) First, as individuals: how we deal with people in our everyday lives, nurturing them with kindness and respect, or hurting them with anger and harsh words. We as individuals set up priorities by which we live and thus we become silent witnesses to where Christ belongs in our lives. 2) Secondly, we respond to God as partners with other Christians, sharing His word and will throughout our Church, our community, and the world.