The 3 Big Ideas of Stewardship

Biblical stewardship is all about how we manage the resources God has entrusted to us. But how do we know if we’re on the right track as stewards? In this topic, we’ll cover the Big Ideas of stewardship and learn three indicators of how we’re doing in this area.

Biblical stewardship is based on three Big Ideas, which form the “building blocks” of what it means to be a good steward. These ideas are:
  1. We are truly free when we are faithful stewards.
  2. A faithful steward is both a diligent earner and a prudent spender.
  3. A prudent spender is a generous giver first, a wise saver, and a cautious debtor.

We’ll spend the next five weeks exploring these in depth, but we’ll provide a brief introduction here.

As we’ve seen already, faithful stewards recognize that all that they have comes from God. They see themselves as managers of resources God has entrusted to them. They trust in God’s provision, which brings freedom from worry. And at the same time, they manage God’s resources wisely, like the first two servants in the Parable of the Talents.

Diligent Earners see work as coming from God and as the blessing it was intended to be. They understand that work is part of what we were created for and part of being made in God’s image, but they don’t base their sense of self-worth on their careers. They work with purpose, diligence, and a joyful attitude.

Prudent Spenders enjoy the fruits of their labor with gratitude to God, while guarding against materialism. They exhibit self-control and plan their spending; they’re patient, not given to impulse buying. And they’re content, living within their means.

Generous Givers give back to God with an obedient will, a cheerful attitude, and a compassionate heart. They take joy in giving and consistently look for opportunities to give and ways to make room for increasing their giving within their spending plans.

Wise Savers build, preserve, and invest with discernment. They provide for the future, both for their own needs and for the needs of those who depend on them. At the same time, they don’t depend on money for their security but rather on God. This faith enables them to save wisely while avoiding the extreme of hoarding.

Cautious Debtors avoid entering debt, are careful and strategic when incurring debt, and always repay debt. They see debt as potentially dangerous, but not as inherently evil. They leverage efficient debt when it makes sense to achieve key goals but avoid inefficient debt caused by overspending.

3 Indicators of Good Stewardship

If this is what it means to be a faithful steward, then how can we tell if we’re on the right track? While there isn’t a specific number that tells us whether or not we’re “good stewards”, there are three key indicators that reflect our level of stewardship and can tell us if we’re on the right track. And as it turns out, these indicators are measurements of the areas of faithful stewardship that we’ve just covered,