Stewardship Corner

“Stewardship is the responsive practice of Christians making proper use of the gifts God has given them for the sake of God’s work in the world.” This is a key theme of a paper approved by the 213th General Assembly entitled “Stewardship Theology 2001”. The paper, in its entirety, is available at the Presbyterian Church USA website.

The following is a summary of some ideas of what it means to be a good steward, as discussed in this paper. These ideas arise from the Bible and the work of well respected theologians.

First of all, a steward recognizes that “the earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it.” (Psalm 24:1-2). A steward must realize that he/she also belongs to the Lord. Although stewards are given much freedom, they are not self-ruling. God, the owner, will review their work.

Further, stewards are not merely caretakers. They are expected to make improvements. Stewards do not give because they happen to have enough to give. “Stewards have received what they have for the very purpose of giving it away.”

The work of the steward should reflect the character and purposes of the owner. Therefore, “our stewardship should bear witness to the love, mercy and grace of the triune God.” In our work as stewards, spiritual practice, including praying, reading the Scriptures, participating in worship and the sacraments, is required to stay attune with God’s goals.

As you can see, being a good steward is not a simple task! Fortunately, we have God as our guide. Let us remember to seek His guidance continually.