“Stewardship is the umbrella idea that promises the means of achieving fundamental change in the way we govern our institutions. Stewardship is to hold something in trust for another. Historically, stewardship was a means to protect a kingdom while those rightfully in charge were away, or more often, to govern for the sake of an underage king. The underage king for us is the next generation. We choose service over self-interest most powerfully when we build the capacity of the next generation to govern themselves.” ( Peter Block, Stewardship: Choosing Service over Self-Interest, xxiv.)
I can’t think of one “Stewardship Campaign” that included the insights of Peter Block’s statements. We generally think of stewardship as having to do with time, talents and money. These are all components, to be sure, but the weightiness of “holding something in trust for another” is lost when we are reductionist in thinking about stewardship only in these terms. Leadership, in New Testament terms, has to do with the work Jesus left us: to steward His mission. J. R. Woodward adds his thinking: “[The Israelites, in spite of being warned] insisted on a king, and so God allowed it. Sure enough, as we read through the Scriptures, we discover that there weren’t many good kings. They were never meant to wear ‘the ring.’ Only a holy God can handle that kind of power. We aren’t designed to sit on God’s throne; we were designed to be God’s vice-regents, acting together as his stewards, and reflecting this in our approach to leadership.” (Creating a Missional Culture, p 81).
Perhaps simply reflecting on the thoughts of the two authors above is a good way to assess our leadership style, goals, and strengths. We are to invest ourselves for this generation and in the generation to come. Prayerfully consider the ways in which God is continuing to call you in your leadership sphere to steward His mission in 2014.
Stewardship is the theme of January’s MissionMover. As you engage this important topic, consider doing your own study on this theme. Perhaps you will journal insights and ideas that will become the forward thrust for your leadership this year. As always, we encourage you to leave your comments on our website. What articles, Bible resources, leadership resources, or general helps have your found here that will increase your effectiveness as a steward of God’s mission.
Happy New Year to you and every blessing be yours in abundance from God, our Father!