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Stewardship Ministry
Liaison to Consistory: Beth Ann Ripple

Stewardship Ministry

The Scriptures teach us that we are to love God with everything we have, e.g., with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. In this way we glorify God in who we are and in everything we do.

Our faithfulness to this task can be summarized with the word "stewardship." The dictionary defines stewardship as "the responsibility of managing some assets or affairs or property of someone else." Stewardship is managing something that isn't your own. And stewardship is the key to understanding the Christian life.

There are two basic principles to stewardship. The first is found in Genesis 1:1, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." God created everything, He owns it. So, the first principle of stewardship is: God owns everything. But God also sustains creation. The book of Colossians tells us that God holds everything together.

In Genesis 2:15 it says, "The Lord took man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it." From the very beginning, even before the Fall, it has been the place of human beings to manage what God has created. The second principle of stewardship is: You and I were made to manage what God owns.

One of our basic problems as people is our tendency to acknowledge the ownership of God of His gifts to us and then we quietly assume personal ownership. We start to use words like my and I and mine. We must always remember that the ultimate control in any business always resides with the owner, not the manager. We must remember that everything is on loan from God.
In reality, stewardship is partnership with God. I Corinthians 3:9 says, "We are laborers together with God." We work, we partner with God. Stewardship is foundational; it is a basic principle of life with God.
What are we to be stewards of then? Absolutely everything God has entrusted to us. This includes everything from this present day to your wealth, from your talents and abilities to your authority, from your family to your home, from your friendships to your responsibilities. Everything is given to us by God - either directly or through the use of the gifts, tools and intelligence He gives us.
When it comes right down to it, stewardship is a matter of the heart. Jesus said, "Where your treasure is there your heart will be also." What do you treasure most: your relationship with God or the "stuff” of life? Remember: 1) God owns everything 2) You are a manager (not an owner) of what God gives to you.