What is true Stewardship? Even the word sounds kind of “old fashioned”. It sounds a bit legalistic and stodgy to some.
The reality is, that stewardship is a vital part of PURPOSE.
We are all responsible to steward all that is given to us. And, as a leader, we steward the impartation of stewardship to those we lead. As stewards of all that God has entrusted to us, it’s our responsibility to watch over, utilize, keep safe and grow all that has been entrusted to us.
Another misnomer is that stewardship is really only concerning wealth. That we are to steward the finances that God has given us responsibly; which is true. But it’s ALL the resources that God has given us. The people in particular.
In stewarding people think of mentoring, training, building up, caring for, nurturing, providing mission and vision, direction, empowerment, love and care, community and more.
So, can one leader do all this? No! That’s why we raise up other leaders to help carry the load, and steward the abundant blessings that God has given us.
Look at this example that I have given previously from the book of Exodus in chapter 18.
13 The next day Moses took his seat to serve as judge for the people, and they stood around him from morning till evening. 14 When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, “What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?”
15 Moses answered him, “Because the people come to me to seek God’s will. 16 Whenever they have a dispute, it is brought to me, and I decide between the parties and inform them of God’s decrees and instructions.”
17 Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. 18 You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. 19 Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him. 20 Teach them his decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave. 21 But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. 22 Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you. 23 If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.”
As leaders, one of the main facets of stewardship, is the teaching and training of the people in our care to further steward all that has been entrusted to them. And that word is important… ENTRUSTED. Stewarding indicates caring for something someone else has entrusted to you… that means… it’s not yours. God gives us resources, even in the form of people, to watch over and be sure that the resources are cared for, used wisely, distributed properly, given joyfully and responsibly and so on.
So you see, stewardship is a way of life, not just something you do.