If the term stewardship makes you think of sermons you’ve endured about church budgets and building programs, think again. In the ancient world, stewardship was not a religious term, but rather was one of the key functions of commerce. Almost every business concern had a steward who served somewhat like an ancient chief operating officer, running the daily affairs for the master of the house. Simply put, a steward was someone entrusted with the management of someone else’s affairs.
Stewardship means to hold in trust for another. In a business setting, Peter Block defines stewardship as “the willingness to be held accountable for the well-being of the larger organization by operating in service rather than control of those around us.
John 1:12 says that “As many as received him (Jesus), to them gave he power to become the sons of God.” All who believe in him are born again and have two natures. The new one is the new man in Christ, opening up a whole new source of power. The old nature still wants to sin.
Both natures are alive. Which one is dominant depends on which one you feed the most. If you feed the old nature the food of the sin-sick culture that surrounds us, don’t be surprised when the weaknesses of your temperament dominate you. If however, you feed your new nature the spiritual food of the Word of God and things pertaining to God, your new nature will become so dominant it will overcome the natural weakness of your temperament, enabling God to make maximum use of your inherited strengths or talents.
For a long time, people thought there were only two leadership styles-autocratic and democratic. In fact, people used to shout at each other from these two extremes, insisting that one style was better than the other. Democratic managers were accused of being too soft and easy, while their autocratic counterparts were often called too tough and domineering.
Managers who restrict themselves to either extreme are bound to be ineffective “half managers”. Whole managers are flexible and able to adapt their leadership style to the situation. The truth is all of us are at different levels of development, depending on the task we are working on at a particular time. To bring out the best in others, leadership must match the development level of the person being led.
It’s important not to pigeonhole people into any particular development level. In reality, development level does not apply to the person, but rather to the person’s competence and commitment to do a specific goal or task. In other words, an individual is not at any one development lever overall. Development level varies from goal to goal and task to task. An individual can be at one level of development on one goal or task and be at a different level of development on another goal or task.
How many times around here have you heard us say “take ownership”? George Bernard Shaw, said “This is the true joy of life, the being used up for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one; being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clot of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy.” Business leaders today want their employees to be fully engaged in their work rather than simply going through the motions.
First of all remember that everyone has a name and likes to hear it. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language. The great Dale Carnegie recognized that a person’s name may be his or her most valuable possession. We are to be compassionate, and cannot afford to be even perceived as being anything but Christ-like.
I want tis ministry to know that we are not fixed permanently on who is doing what. I have to take a step back and have an open mind. I want you to know that this ministry will evolve as the Lord leads. We are imperfect beings trying to do a perfect work.
If you are having the adjustment of your life, then maybe the one who gave you life in the first place will help you. But don’t clam up, and just exist. Don’t hold in. Reach out. If not for the relationship between you and that other person, do it for the ministry. Do it for your family. Failure will not be part of our vocabulary. Failure cannot be a part of your equation.