Question 2. Why is change in the stewardship culture necessary?

In many congregations stewardship is equated solely or primarily with financial issues. This is a tragic mistake. It is a mistake because it narrows the focus of stewardship, leaving out the important fact that all of life is given as a trust by God to manage for His purposes. “Tragic too,” writes Mark Vincent in A Manifest for Stewardship, “is our listing of what it is we steward, always referring to material and temporary assets – our life, our time, our talents, etc. It is important, then, to rediscover the endowments God gives us, and the priorities they hold for us…One three-fold way to categorize our endowments is as follows: the gospel, our response to the gospel, and others.”

Christian stewardship is vital to the life of every congregation and every individual member. As such it needs to be enlarged (seen as an all of life issue rather than a financial issue) and elevated (seen as a spiritual issue rather than just an institutional issue).

This change is ultimately necessary so the child of God can live in the freedom God intends: free to live forgiven in Christ, free to live as His disciple, free to manage everything with joy and generosity—all so His purposes are accomplished and His mission enhanced.