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Stewardship is More Than Tithing

Updated on February 21, 2017
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Rev. Margaret Minnicks: Ordained Minister of Christian Education, BA English; MA Christian Education; M.Div. Divinity, Writer, 2011.

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 Scriptures

Stewardship
Scripture
Stewardship began when God put Adam in charge of the garden.
Genesis 1:26-29
Stewardship puts the kingdom of God first.
Matthew 6:33
A final account must be given to God.
Romans 14:12
Stewardship involves everything; not just time and money.
Romans 14:8
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.

Stewardship Prayer

Dear God,

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.

Which area did you have the most checks for bad stewardship?

See results

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    • IARazorback profile image

      Steve Brown 5 months ago from Farmington, Arkansas

      This is a very good article! Great thoughts on stewardship.

    • revmjm profile image
      Author

      Article Written By Margaret Minnicks 5 months ago from Richmond, VA

      IARazorback, thanks a lot for reading and commenting. I am following you so I can read some of your hubs.

    • IARazorback profile image

      Steve Brown 5 months ago from Farmington, Arkansas

      Thanks!

    • AF Mind profile image

      AF Mind 5 months ago

      People misunderstand tithing. What Is a Tithe?

      A majority of people would argue that it is when you give 10% of your money and give it to the church as an offering.

      "Many pastors are on the church's payroll and are paid a regular salary. The payroll of the church is the culmination of several financial factors, including tithes and offerings as well as miscellaneous business endeavors of the church. This might include fees for renting out the church for weddings and other events or other services the church offers at a cost. According to the Barna Group, a California research firm focused on the intersection of faith and culture, pastors with seminary degrees receive an annual average salary of $42,083." - "How Do Pastors Get Paid?" By Lynda Moultry Belcher.

      This is one of the many unbiblical teachings that a majority of the churches teach. Out of all the laws they want to follow in the Old Testament, ignoring ceremonial or dietary laws, they pick this one. Why is that? Better yet, are they even following it properly?

      What Is Tithing According to Scripture?

      Malachi 3: 10. Notice that it says, "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse". A storehouse is for storing goods. Treasuries hold money. So why isn't He telling them to bring it to the treasury?

      Leviticus 27: 30

      "And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or of the fruit of the tree, is Yah's: it is holy unto Yah."

      This verse says it is the seed of the land or the fruit of the tree. So we are talking about food here, not cash.

      Could Money Be Used for Tithing?

      Deuteronomy 14: 22-26 shows what you were to do if you were unable to bring your tithe. You would buy the supplies with your money instead when you got to the place you were told to go to.

      What, And Who Was The Tithe For?

      Deuteronomy 26: 12 So now we can see that the money was for the Levites, the stranger in the land, the fatherless, and the widows. It was to go to everyone of those categories, not just one particular person or group of priests. This means that not only is the pastor using tithes to get money when the scriptures say that is wrong, but they aren't even giving it to the ones it was supposed to go to.

      What About Giving Money to the Ministry?

      That is not wrong. That is actually very good of you to do if they need it, such as helping to run the place or if they are using it for charity or preaching. But that is not a tithe. Here's an example. Let's say your payday is coming. $400 a week. Outside of work you ask your boss to loan you some money and they give you $20. Is that $20 your paycheck? No. Your paycheck and money on the side are two different things. How would you feel if they tried giving you the $20 for your work instead of what they owe you?

      Let's make another scenario. Same salary, $400 a week. Now subtract the ten percent for your "tithe.". If you went to church every Sunday, that's $40 a week and $2000 a year. Whether or not that is a lot to you, it adds up very quickly. The fact that you are not the only one giving the money must also be taken into consideration. How much do you think your pastor is getting from everyone in your church each week?

      What About Reaping What You Sow?

      That is not exclusively about money. It means if you are being righteous, then the Most High will be for you and get you through anything. Being charitable, kind, patient, things like that and the rest of the laws. That's what it means. It's not about some charismatic prosperity preacher saying "Bring your tithe up here and you will receive ten times what you gave, hallelujaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah." It's about getting what you deserve. You do right, it will come back on you eventually. Do wrong, and it will come back on you.

      What Now?

      So what now?

      Ecclesiastes 12: 13

      "let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter. Fear YHWH and keep His commandments."

      Malachi 3: 6

      "For I am Elohim, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed."

      He does not change, so tithing has not changed.

    • ExpectGreatThings profile image

      ExpectGreatThings 5 months ago from Illinois

      This was an interesting read. Good food for thought. Maybe your next hub could be on legalism because if we were perfect on all your lists we would definitely be tempted to trust in these rules for our salvation :). One thing I have been convicted about lately is giving the best of my thoughts and the best of my time to the Lord (as part of my tithe). And each conviction just makes me more grateful to God for His grace through Jesus.

    • revmjm profile image
      Author

      Article Written By Margaret Minnicks 5 months ago from Richmond, VA

      Thanks so much, ExpectGreatThings, for your thoughtful comments. I am going to check out some of your hubs.

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