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Voices from Manila: The Power of Steward Leaders by R. Scott Rodin

Christian Leadership Alliance

By R. Scott Rodin

I have just returned from teaching twenty-five students at Asian Theological Seminary in Manila on the Theology and Practice of the Steward Leader. I came away amazed and humbled by how powerfully the Holy Spirit worked in them during our days together.

Listen to their voices and see if in them you do not find your own.

“I have this mental picture of me running around alone on a football field, no play, no strategy, frantic, beads of sweat just rolling down my face, and my hair a hot steamy mess. And then God’s there, in a coach’s outfit, on the sidelines, watching, holding a towel and a bottle of water for me… just watching… waiting for me to come over, wondering what I’m doing. And I keep looking back at him, putting my hand up to signal “just a sec,” and then proceed to running back and forth on the field, searching for who knows what. If only I’d stop, walk over to my Coach, and ask him for the Game Plan!”

“In the midst of my busyness for the kingdom, I have missed the King.”

“Right knowledge about who God is made me truly see my identity in Christ. He made me understand that my life and everything in me is God’s. That my calling is not about me or my organization, my life was not for myself but for God and for His glory and for the best of others. My victory in the battle against this world, my self and the enemy is already won, completed by the Lord Jesus Christ, and all I have to do is trust Him alone in absolute surrender.”

“I want to declare my freedom verbally. I wanted you to hear this declaration so I can be accountable to you. And so, in Jesus’ name, I choose generosity over entitlement and set myself free from the bondage of ownership.”

“We almost never miss a meal because we always feel the pangs of hunger reminding us that it is time to nourish our body. I am seeking the Holy Spirit to create in me that hunger and thirst for God again. Rather than will-power and man-made techniques, I believe my breakthrough will come from the grace of God triggered by a humble and desperate heart.”

“Being the head leader of the organization and a pastor, sometimes I am driven to work just to please some people inside the organization and even inside the church. However, I was reminded by God that He is the primary source of affirmation and no one else, nothing else, nothing more. My self worth is not dependent on my acquired leadership position and although some people throw criticism, I am certain that I am loved by God. Though I have struggles now, I am secure in my identity in Jesus.”

Reflections can Teach Us

Together over these days we discovered that steward leaders understand that their lives are not their own; steward leaders seek intimacy with God as their highest calling; steward leaders are secure in their identities in Jesus Christ; steward leaders see those with whom they lead and serve as fellow pilgrims; steward leaders regard all resources as gifts from God; steward leaders recognize the spiritual battle they are in as they strive to lead as faithful stewards in a world of people playing the role of master; and steward leaders have learned that victory starts with surrender.

I pray these reflections inspire and challenge you to a higher level of faithfulness as a steward leader.


 R. Scott Rodin, Ph.D. has been in not-for-profit leadership and consulting for twenty-five years. He has served as counsel to over 100 organizations across the country and in Canada and Great Britain including colleges, seminaries, schools, churches, para-church ministries and other not-for-profit organizations. Visit his blog at Kingdom Life Publishing.

Christian Leadership AllianceIn April of 2016, Christian Leadership Alliance celebrates 40 years of equipping and uniting leaders to transform the world for Christ. We pay tribute to this milestone at the  Outcomes Conference: CLA Dallas 2016.  The theme for 2016 is PERSPECTIVES. Join us as we celebrate the past, seize the present, and prepare for the future.  Best pricing for the event is now through June 30, 2015.




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Christian Leadership Alliance equips and unites leaders to transform the world for Christ. We are the leaders of Christ-centered organizations who are dedicated to faithful stewardship for greater kingdom impact.

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