What is stewardship?
Christian stewardship begins with the premise that everything in the world belongs to God. The resources we have and even our own selves belong to God. God has entrusted us with many gifts, and the appropriate response from us is to manage those gifts the best we can. Stewardship is about lifestyle - making choices in all aspects of our lives that enable us to live with a spirit of thanksgiving and gratitude for Godís love and generosity.
Stewardship doesnít mean that all Christians will make the same choices about how to spend their time and money, about jobs and vocations, or about sharing their gifts and talents. Rather stewardship means that we all do our best with what weíre given, and God will make good use of a diversity of gifts from all kinds of people. Stewardship is a way for us to participate in the work of Christ and experience the joy of sharing ourselves, our talents, and our resources with others.
What is the key to faithful stewardship?
Ultimately stewardship is about relationships - relationship with God, relationship with each other, and relationship with Godís creation. As Christians we are people who have been called into relationship with God through Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit. This relationship transforms our understanding of ourselves and in turn is at the core of all our relationships. Our call to be stewards is understood within the context of these relationships. When the choices we make nurture and respect these relationships, then we know we are acting as faithful stewards of all that God has given us.
Who are we as stewards?
- We are stewards of the time God has given us on this earth, striving to find healthful balance in work, rest, play, worship and service.
- We are stewards of the wealth that is on loan to us from Godís abundance, tending to our own needs yet also trusting enough in God to return a portion of our wealth to support the work of the Church both near and far.
- We are stewards of our gifts and talents, identifying them and realistically assessing how we can best put them to work for our own growth as Christ's disciples and to share Godís love with others.
- We are stewards of our spiritual life, deepening our relationship with God through worship, prayer, meditation, reading and studying scripture.
- We are stewards of our minds and bodies, understanding that Godís love for us requires us to take care of ourselves and see the beauty that God has placed in us.
- We are stewards of one another, freely accepting the responsibility to relate to those around us in loving, open and compassionate ways, including our enemies.
- We are stewards of the Church, the community in which God placed us to grow together in faith and understanding, and to serve in ministry and mission.
- We are stewards of the earth, its natural resources and all living things. God placed us in relationship with all creation and entrusted us with its care and management.
- We are stewards of truth, embracing and living out the principles of the Kingdom as lifted up by Jesus Christ and standing always for justice, righteousness, peace and fidelity.
- We are stewards of the Peace of Christ, letting it rule our hearts and offering it to others in love and humility
"Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gifts each of you has received.Ē
1 Peter 4:10