Whole-Life, Life-Long Stewardship

In some church circles, stewardship is narrowly defined as reduced to “that thing for the church budget.” Little wonder that “that [usually Fall] thing for the church budget” has too many times been called a congregation’s “Stewardship Campaign.”

Biblically speaking, though, while stewardship may include our money and our relationship to the material, it is much more. From the Greek, “oikonomia,” stewardship means management, oversight, or administration… often being used in relation to management of someone else’s proper-ty. For the Christian, then, “stewardship” blankets the entirety of all those “properties” God has entrusted to us. It’s an understanding reflected by each of the following voices:

“Stewardship is everything you do after you say ‘yes’ to Jesus Christ.” (Clarence Stoughton)

 Stewardship is “a worldview that encompasses all of life… including what we feel (e.g., arts, aesthetics, relationships, worship), what we think (e.g., philosophy, theology, history, science), and what we do (e.g., technology, work, finances, social action, spiritual disciplines).”  (Keith & Ruth Miller, Staying on the Road Less Traveled: Fulfilling a Vocation)

“…fully living a Christian worldview involves a Christian Steward-ship of everything in life, including time, opportunities, relation-ships, knowledge, money, abilities, resources, environment,…”  (American Scientific Affiliation, “Stewardship of Life in a Christian Worldview”)

Holistic stewardship encompasses all that we are, [and] all that we hope to become. (Alban Institute, Congregations magazine[07/25/05])

Stewardship is nothing less than a complete lifestyle, a total ac-countability and responsibility before God. (John H. Westerhoff III)

ruminations, spring 2020 image

To engage/download this most recent issue of Ruminations, click here.

While the Grace and gifts and promises
of Easter and Pentecost eclipse
our existence in this world,
they do not exclude
our co-management, with God,
of the all the stuff of earthly life and living.
And so, we dedicate
our newest issue of Ruminations
(a quarterly-season resource
of Zoe-Life explorations)
to a definition of
whole-life, life-long stewardship
as well as initial, practical handles
for the living out of a whole-life response
to the Lordship of Jesus Christ
throughout our days this side of Heaven.
(To engage or download this issue,
click on the link, above.)

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