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The Steward Declaration By R. Scott Rodin

Tomorrow is the Launch of The Steward Declaration

Tomorrow is the official launch of The Steward Declaration, and it comes to you with an invitation for you to take a stand.

A Fiery Furnace

Daniel’s chapter 3 has the familiar story of Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, and the fiery furnace. When this is often preached or taught, the focus is on the miraculous rescue of the three from the blazing inferno.

Defining Decisions

As we begin 2022, I want to focus on a different part of the story and its impact on our decisions in this new year. To me, the most challenging part of the drama is the command from King Nebuchadnezzar for all people to ‘fall down’ on their faces and worship the idol he had created once they heard the music playing. It seems there were two purposes for this. The first was to ensure that all the citizens of the land were paying homage. The second was to point out very clearly the recusants.

Critical Choices

What might we have done given such a choice? As our American culture continues its rapid moral decline, the values of the kingdom of God and its central messages of sin, grace, salvation, sacrifice, and obedience are standing out in the starkest contrast against a background of narcissism and human avarice. So much so that we are considered anathema to those bent on driving the Christian message from all public life.

The increasing acrimony toward the Christian message is a modern version of the king’s music heard through the power of intimidation, social media threats, ostracization, and condemnation. When it plays, how do we respond? Stand firm and be burned in the fire of public disapproval, or bow down and let our silence save us?

Dangerous Compromise

I wonder if we, as evangelicals in America, are choosing a third option or at least attempting it. While it’s easy to say we will stand tall and firm and face the flames of an increasingly hostile culture, I wonder if, too often, we try to find a middle ground.

Imagine in Daniel’s day that as the music started playing, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego responded by bending over just enough to appear to the authorities to be bowing down to save them from the furnace while also seeming to be standing up just enough not to forsake their faith. What a sad scene!

They would have nothing to do with such a compromise. They stood tall for all to see. Their faith reflected Jesus’ later command, “Everyone will hate you because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.” (Matthew 10:22)

Follow Jesus

Yet despite Jesus’ command to stand firm and the witness of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, it seems this crouching Christianity is a choice we too easily make even as we desire to be faithful Jesus followers. In the face of growing hostility to our faith, we can easily forget that Jesus’s invitation to follow him includes his command that we must take up our cross to do so. (Luke 9:23)

Will You Stand?

My question for us is whether we will stand tall in 2022 when our culture plays its music and demands we compromise our values, conform to the standards of this world, and accommodate, or at least privatize our faith. Will we be crouching Christians in 2022, or will we stand firm like our three friends in Daniel, regardless of the cost?

What might it look like to stand tall in 2022? Well, here is one option right at the beginning of the year.

Tomorrow is the Day

Tomorrow, January 6th, is Epiphany, and we are choosing this day to launch The Steward Declaration. A group of thirty or so people have been meeting annually for the last eight years to present papers and dialogue on faith issues and the faithful steward’s life. From those summits, we have produced a document that is our attempt to stand tall, proclaim the truth, and call the body of Christ in America back to the fully surrendered, obedient, and joyful life of the faithful steward.

Take the Next Step

You are invited to be among the first to read it here and, as God leads, sign it and share it. We pray that by adding your name to this declaration, you will start the new year, standing firm and proclaiming truth regardless of the cost. I pray the document is a blessing and a challenge to you. There are also several resources to help you walk the journey in 2022.

Let’s come together and message our nation that God’s people take their faith seriously and will stand firm on our kingdom’s values. May that encourage and bless you in the year ahead.


R. Scott Rodin is the Senior Consultant/Chief Strategy Officer for The Focus Group. Over the past thirty-eight years, Scott Rodin has helped hundreds of organizations improve their effectiveness in leadership, fund development, strategic planning, and board development. Be sure to read Dr. Rodin’s newest book, which is titled The Greater Mission.



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.

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