HIGHER THINKING BLOG
Financial Stewardship By Dr. Sid Yeomans
Why should Christ-Centered leaders care about financial stewardship?
I’m a stewardship nut. It’s God’s call on my life. 40 years ago as a kid growing up on a farm in Iowa I purchased, raised, and sold cattle, budgeted my earnings, and found joy in the impact of generosity. Then I went on to serve in corporate America and left 15 years ago when stewardship became 100% of my vocational ministry…. so maybe I’m a bit “over the top” in my view of the importance of stewardship?
John Eldredge contends that life is: “set in the midst of a life-and-death battle… a battle for the human heart.” In today’s world a primary arena of that battle is financial stewardship. Consequently, preparing people for this area of their lives should be a top priority of Christ-centered leaders. My mentor and stewardship guru Dick Towner and I have discussed multiple compelling reasons why:
- Money is the chief rival god and our failure to address that issue sacrifices the spiritual well-being of our people. In the words of Ben Patterson, there’s no such thing as being right with God and wrong with money. Our people’s hearts and thoughts will be focused on their treasure (Matthew 6:21); they can’t serve God if they’re serving money (Matthew 6:24); the deceitfulness of riches will choke out God’s word in their lives (Matthew 13:22); and the love of money will lead them into all kinds of evil (I Timothy 6:10).
- Ministry costs money. Given our fallen nature and the press of the culture, people will not innately tend to generously support God’s work in the world unless Christ-centered leaders have taught, trained, and encouraged them to do so.
- The church has often failed to address such a large part of peoples’ day-to-day lives. Money is a huge issue in most people’s lives. We spend a major portion of our lives making money, spending money, protecting our money, worrying about money or fighting over money. To be relevant, the church must address what has been too often the “great silent subject.”
Stewardship in a Global Context
The first bullet point above presents more than enough rationale for stewardship to be at the top of leadership’s agenda. But allow me to speak further as to how the global issues of our day are, at their core, stewardship issues that cry out for the church to articulate a biblical response. Major global issues of our time include the protection of the environment, the plight of the poor, conflict and war—issues that should be of great concern to Christians. Let’s look at each in the context of stewardship:
Clearly a significant factor leading to destruction of the environment is a result of over-consumption and wastefulness—that’s a stewardship issue.
That same over-consumptive lifestyle requires that a significant portion of the world be poor to provide the goods and services at prices the developed world wants to pay. That’s also a stewardship issue.
Conflict and War
A major cause of much of the world’s conflict has at its root the growing gap between the rich and the poor – and that, too, is a stewardship issue!
The Value of Life
One last connection between stewardship and a major ‘global’ issue is that of the value of life. What determines the value of a single human life and how is that associated with financial stewardship? There was a time when life was viewed as a gift from God. But what happens when God for all practical purposes is removed and commodity categories take over? When we view each other not as humans, but as consumers—as we’re commonly labeled; we come to value only those who benefit us, and we grow to lament those who cost us, even if only a little.
The Bottom Line
Christ-centered leaders must awaken to the all-encompassing importance of stewardship in day-to-day, spiritual, and global terms. And the church may just be the last place where matters of stewardship can be discussed in non-marketplace terms. Let us not miss the opportunity, the necessity, the calling of God, to do so.
Dr. Sid Yeomans is president of the Good $ense Movement. Good $ense is an organization that believes deeply in the fact that stewardship of financial resources lies at the heart of Christian discipleship. Good $ense is passionately committed to raising the level of biblical stewardship education and training for churches, ministries, organizations, and individuals to equip families for financial freedom; transforming peoples finances resulting in life transformation.
Want to go deeper in your understanding of Christian stewardship?
Enroll in the Outcomes Academy Online! In the Winter Term, Christian Leadership Alliance is offering the module titled CCNL STEWARDSHIP, This module covers both the financial and HR that are vital to any nonprofit organization. This is a required course for the Credentialed Christian Nonprofit Leader (CCNL) Program, but it is available to anyone interested in this aspect of leadership.
Registration Deadline: January 14, 2019
Modules Begin: January 21, 2019
What is Christian Leadership Alliance?
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.