Stewardship is More Than Tithing
Stewardship is more than tithing and giving. These activities are only part of a much bigger picture.
We are in partnership with God, and God is the senior partner. Stewardship is a divine-human partnership. God gives, and we take care of all God's property, including ourselves.
Stewardship is the Jesus way of living. It is the answer to the question: "What Would Jesus Do?"
God gives, and we take care of His gifts.
Definition of Stewardship
The United Stewardship Council gives a very good definition of stewardship: “Christian stewardship is the practice of systematic and proportionate giving of time, abilities, and material possessions based on the conviction that these are a trust from God to be used in His service for the benefit of all."
What Is Stewardship Anyway?
The Greek word for steward is oikonomos, from which we get our word economy. Stewardship is the act of managing the economy of a household. A good biblical example of this is that Joseph found favor in Potiphar's eyes and became his steward. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned (Genesis 39:4).
A steward is a trustee entrusted with something to take care of. God has entrusted us and made us trustees over His world which includes everything in it including ourselves. What we do with our life and what we allow others to do to us is part of stewardship.
Stewardship involves all of everyday life. God is the ultimate owner of everything (Psalm 24:1; 50:10) and has entrusted us to care for everything He has given us. God owns everything, but He wants us to use what He has given us for His intended purpose.
Stewardship is an Investment
God wants a return on His investment. Stewardship is the way God gets that return. Stewardship is more than simply giving things away or keeping them safely in trust. God wants an investment. God notices what people do with what He has entrusted unto them.
If you let one day go back without investing into the Kingdom of God, then you are not a good steward.
Read the story of about the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30. Stewards are accountable and responsible to the owner. God's servants are held accountable for the way they manage God’s affairs as stewards.
The earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof; the world, and all they that dwell in it. (Psalm 24:1)
Stewardship began when God put Adam in charge of the garden.
Stewardship puts the kingdom of God first.
A final account must be given to God.
Stewardship involves everything; not just time and money.
All we are and all we have belong to God.
1 Corinthians 4:7; James 1:17
Stewardship Survey - General
Survey: Please check each item that applies to you.
___ 1. I don’t bless my food in public.
___ 2. I take extra straws/napkins from restaurants.
___ 3. I eat food before I pay for it in the grocery store.
___ 4. I have bought items with deliberate intention of returning after using them
___ 5. I have switched sizes in matching suits.
___ 6. I have changed price tags on clothes.
___ 7. I accept a lesser bill from my cashier friends.
___ 8. I “get over” on people.
___ 9. I allow people to “get over” on me.
___10. I control people.
___11. I allow people to control me.
___12. I don’t take quiet time to be with God.
___13. I believe what people tell me without researching myself.
___14. I believe what people tell me about the Bible without reading it for myself.
___15. I tell others what I’m told in confidence.
___16. I have illegal cable.
___17. I pit my friends against other friends.
___18. I copy software or accept copied software.
___19. I harbor unforgiveness.
___20. I monopolize conversations because “I am always right.”
___21. I procrastinate.
___22. I plagiarize.
___23. I lie about my weight.
___24. I lie about my age.
___25. I don’t arrive on time. I keep people waiting.
___26. I don’t utilize resources available to me.
___27. I give useless things to others.
___28. I vow a vow and don’t keep it.
___29. I do not read instructions before operating a car, computer or other appliances.
___30. I do not read instructions to assemble things.
___31. I do not register computer equipment or appliances.
___32. I take items as souvenirs from hotels and other places.
___33. I do not eat healthy foods.
___34. I do not exercise on a regular basis.
___35. I give unwise advice.
___36. I do not respond to RSVPs.
___37. I do not open my mail.
Stewardship - Work
___ 1. I have taken home office supplies.
___ 2. I don’t give a full day’s work.
___ 3. I have called in sick when I wasn’t.
___ 4. I have spent excessive time on personal telephone calls.
___ 5. I used a lot of personal time on the computer.
___ 6. I print personal things from the internet.
___ 7. I used office paper and copier for personal and church use.
___ 8. I do church bulletins or church-related work at my office.
___ 9. I read my Bible at work when I should be working.
___10. I take long lunches.
___11. I use the company’s postage meter.
___12. I gossip.
___13. I laugh at and often tell dirty jokes.
___14. I am constantly late rationalizing that they don’t pay me enough anyway.
If you checked at least one item, you have failed on your stewardship at work.
Stewardship - Church
___ 1. I am usually late for church.
___ 2. I don’t pay tithes.
___ 3. I don’t pray for my pastor.
___ 4. I don’t pray for my church.
___ 5. I don’t use my gifts in church.
___ 6. I give money won from the lottery.
___ 7. I deface church hymns, or other properly.
___ 8. I throw thrash in the church.
___ 9. I chew gum while ushering, singing in choir, etc.
___10. I talk while preacher is preaching.
___11. I leave church before the benediction.
___12. I am not dedicated and loyal to my church.
___13. I rejoice at the failure of other Christians.
___14. I don’t observe the Lord’s Day fully.
If you checked at least one item, you have failed on your stewardship in the church.
Stewardship Survey - Spending
___ 1. I overspend.
___ 2. I waste money because I don’t budget.
___ 3. I do not help the poor.
___ 4. I put more than enough postage on mail.
___ 5. I am late paying my bills.
___ 6. I don’t reconcile my bank statement.
___ 7. I bounce checks.
___ 8. I make it a habit of shopping on Sundays.
___ 9. I buy items that I know are “hot” (stolen).
___10. I cheat people to gain more money.
___11. I gamble (lottery tickets, slot machines).
___12. I have clothes or other items I never used.
___13. I don’t report receiving bad service.
___14. I don't pay my bills on time.
___15. I put more postage than is required on envelopes.
___16. I re-use stamps the post office failed to cancel.
___17. I often have to pay late fees on overdue bills.
___18. I often have to pay fees on overdue library books and videos.
___19. I lie on my income tax forms.
___20. I have changed price tags on clothes.
___21. When at the cash register, I accept a lesser bill from friends.
___22. I often shop until I drop.
___23. I buy things I cannot afford.
___23. I don't keep a record of my expenses.
___25. I don't organize my legal documents.
If you checked at least one item, you have failed on your stewardship when it comes to spending.
Stewardship Survey - Vehicle/Driving
___ 1. I drive above the speed limit.
___ 2. I cause and participate in road rage.
___ 3. I make illegal U-turns.
___ 4. I often run out of gas.
___ 5. I get locked out of my car on a regular basis.
___ 6. I do not keep up the maintenance on my car.
___ 7. My car is usually cluttered.
___ 8. I do not respect other drivers.
___ 9. I do not get decals, tags, and license on time.
___10. I drive without car insurance.
___11. I drive without putting on signal lights.
___12. I don't wash my car.
___13. I go through the toll booth without paying toll.
If you checked at least one item, you have failed on your stewardship at work.
You who created the heavens and the earth;
You who created me in your own image;
You who gave me gifts to be used for your kingdom;
May I always be a good steward of your possessions.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.