An Evangelical Free Church in Cary, NC

We are all Stewards

This month we begin a series of messages on stewardship. 

Some of you may read the word stewardship and automatically think the following: money, tithing, church buildings, financial campaigns, etc.  However, we are not going to begin with messages specifically on finances.  Stewardship involves many aspects of our lives, of which finances is only one.

Stewardship is “the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.” 

Miriam Webster Dictionary

The Greek word in the New Testament used for steward (oikonomia) essentially means “household manager”.  Since God is the creator, he is the rightful owner of all that exists.  We, who bear God’s image, are the stewards, or managers, of what God has entrusted to us for a short time.  Consider the following:

–God appointed Adam and Eve as the stewards of the garden (Genesis 1:28).  When we cultivate and care for God’s creation, we are acting as stewards over what God has provided.

–God gives people children, who are to be under their parent’s care and instruction until they are adults. (Psalm 127, Ephesians 6:1-4) When our parents are older, God still calls us to honor them and care for them.  If we do not have an immediate family, God has still placed us in relationships and friendships with other people.  We are to steward our relationships with honesty, compassion, humor, and service.

–Every Christian is given spiritual gifts, which they are to use for the purpose of building up the church.  We are called to be good stewards of “God’s varied grace.” (1 Peter 4:10)

–God is the giver and taker of life.  He is the maker of time itself.  Therefore, he commands us to live wisely and be good stewards of the time we have been given. Scripture has plenty to say about how we set priorities and when we are to work, rest, and worship. (Psalm 90:12, Ephesians 5:15-17)

–God graciously provides work for people to do.  How we do our work is an offering to God. We may have a specific boss or organization that we report to on earth, but we are to honor God above all.  He gives us abilities, education, and skills with which to contribute to society. (Colossians 3:22-25)  

–God has entrusted to all of us financial resources, no matter how much or how little.  God calls us to honor him first with our finances, to give generously, to care for the poor, and to store up “treasures in heaven”. Jesus says plainly, “You cannot serve God and money.” (Luke 16:13)

All of us, as stewards, will be held accountable to God.  Jesus told several parables about servants who were faithful to their master, compared to servants who acted sinfully (Matthew 25).  But if we know Christ as our Savior and our Lord (our master), we do not need to fear being accountable to Him.  As we seek to serve Christ, the Spirit will prompt us and strengthen us to use everything we have for his glory.

We Give Thee but Thine Own by William Walsham How (1858)

We give thee but thine own, whate’er the gift may be;
all that we have is thine alone, a trust, O Lord, from thee.

May we thy bounties thus as stewards true receive
and gladly, as thou blessest us, to thee our first fruits give.

William Walsham How studied at Wadham College, Oxford, and Durham University and was ordained in the Church of England in 1847. He served various congregations and became Suffragan Bishop in east London in 1879 and Bishop of Wakefield in 1888. Called both the “poor man’s bishop” and “the children’s bishop,” How was known for his work among the destitute in the London slums and among the factory workers in west Yorkshire. (from


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