What is stewardship?
Christian Stewardship is the free and joyous activity of the child of God, and God's family, the church, in managing all of life and life's resources for God's purposes.
Every man, woman, and child should know that they are God’s stewards by His grace, live as His disciples, and manage the gifts He entrusts to them with joy and generosity—all so that God’s purposes would be accomplished and His mission enhanced.
Stewardship is managing 100% of what God has given you
But handling money and thinking about money in a godly way is much more than a tithe check. The Bible teaches us that we're stewards of God's resources. By definition, a steward is not an owner, but a manager, someone who takes care of the possessions of someone else.
Stewardship is about more than money. But it is about money. Your use of money and other possessions is an important part of your discipleship as followers of Jesus. The word “steward” comes from the Anglo-Saxon term “sty warden,” the person who took care of the pig sty. The term has evolved to describe anyone who is the keeper of another person’s possessions. Steward describes your relationship with God the creator. It helps you see that God has “created me and all that exists” (Luther’s Small Catechism, Apostles’ Creed, explanation of the First Article). And all that we are and all that we have come from God as blessing. It is your responsibility to take care of and use these blessings wisely. They include your time, attention, physical health, energy, talents, possessions, attitudes, relationships, and money. That includes the sharing of your financial resources to support the ministry of the church.
Who will you trust?
When you recognize God’s abundant love, grace, and blessings you realize that God has provided you with everything you need. Jesus calls you to put your trust in Him, to grow in faith through living as His disciples. That helps you put your possessions back into proper perspective—to possess them and not be possessed by them. Jesus invites you to put your trust in God’s abundance, not in your possessions. When you see the motto on your money—“In God We Trust”—it can be a reminder that your trust is in God!
“I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:11b-13
How do we live in relationship with our creator?
God is creator—we are God’s creatures. Martin Luther reminds us in his explanation of the First Article of the Apostles’ Creed, “I believe that God has made me and all creatures; that He has given me my body and soul, eyes, ears, and all my limbs, my reason, and all my senses, and still preserves them; in addition thereto, clothing and shoes, meat and drink, house and homestead, wife and children, fields, cattle, and all my goods; that He provides me richly and daily with all that I need to support this body and life, protects me from all danger, and guards me and preserves me from all evil; and all this out of pure, fatherly, divine goodness and mercy, without any merit or worthiness in me; for all which I owe it to Him to thank, praise, serve, and obey Him.” It is in this relationship that we recognize that God has abundantly provided us with all that we need. Living in that abundance we give of the blessings we have received.