The Good Steward
What is a steward? And how do I become a good one?
The Biblical perspective of what God wants you to do with His stuff.
A steward is a manager or caretaker of another's property. As Christians, we are managers of God's property – everything around you and YOU.
The answer of how to become a good steward is simple: find out what God wants you to do with His stuff and do it. However, in practice, that answer represents an ongoing life challenge. Doesn't it? We have to gain a deeper understanding of the heart and mind of God all the time. We have to ask the Lord what He would have us do with the time, talent and treasure He has given to us. How can we best use everything He has given us for His will and purposes? It is a challenge, no doubt, but it is a challenge that will grow us into deeper intimacy with the Savior.
If that's your desire, read on…
Key Stewardship Principles:
1. God owns everything. I am a manager – NOT an owner. (Leviticus 25:23, Psalm 50:10)
2. God doesn't want anything to come between us and Him. (Matthew 19:21)
3. We are to use our resources wisely. (Matthew 25:23)
For more principles, check out:
Christian Stewardship Services
How to support Trinity Baptist Church
For ways you can financially support the work and ministry of Trinity Baptist Church. (more)
Testimonies from Trinity friends:
Rob G.: "...the bottom line is that God has proven to me that He will bless us if we put him first and are faithful."
Penni U.: "Warning! One prayer could dramatically change your life!" Don't say I didn't warn you."
The Treasure Principle by Randy Alcorn
God's Plan for Your Money by Derek Prince
Good Sense Ministries For additional resources, books, articles and helpful websites see the Good Sense Ministries website at http://www.goodsenseministry.com.
How to Support Trinity Baptist Church
There are currently many ways that you can contribute financially to the work and ministry of Trinity Baptist Church:
- Direct Donation. Place your checks/cash into the offering plates on Sundays or in the foyer offering boxes at any time.
- Donate by Mail. Mail your donations (please don't send cash) to Trinity Baptist Church, 250 East 61st Street, New York, NY 10065.
- Donate Securities. We have a system set up to receive your appreciated securities. Our policy is to sell donated stock as soon as possible. Please call the church office at 212-838-6844 x 213 if you are considering this kind of gift.
- Donate through your Bank. If your bank has automated bill paying (i.e. JP Morgan/Chase) you can set up Trinity Baptist Church to receive electronically generated checks, allowing you an easier way to be systematic in your giving.
- Donate Online. Using direct withdrawal or credit card using our third-party partner 24 hours-per-day via Trinity's Online Giving and Registrations Portal.
Mr. & Mrs. Rob G. Four and a half years ago I was approached about a job opportunity in NYC. The thought of a move from Columbus, Ohio to New York City seemed daunting, but also held big promise for my career. My wife Christi and I prayed a lot about it, asking God to either open or close doors, but either way to make His will clear. As pure as I thought my intentions were, in retrospect there is no question that the money was an important motivating factor for me. Despite this, God opened the doors and we moved for what I thought was the job. Little did I know, it was not the job that He had brought us to NYC for, but instead for a level of spiritual growth that I had never before experienced – particularly related to the stewardship of our finances. Before we moved, we were giving irregularly to our church in Columbus. When we moved to NYC, we began to give more, but on a larger salary and in a more expensive city, the tithe seemed extraordinarily large. Christi and I found ourselves discussing the tithe more and more, and had conversations defending why tithing on income net of taxes made more sense than tithing on gross. What we soon began to realize, though, was that this conversation was just evidence of how tight our grip – and particularly my grip – was on money. We didn't know how it would happen, but we just eliminated the net/gross argument by giving 10% of gross to Trinity. For the maniacal planners that we both are, this type of faith was especially difficult. One of the most convicting situations was with our taxes. When we moved in 1999, we sold and gave away practically everything we owned, and as a result were sure we faced a big tax liability. We prayed about this and much to our surprise, that first year we got money back. It wasn't much, but the relief was extraordinary. We decided to give it away, since considering our situation, it was nothing short of a miracle. The next year rolled around, and again, we worried we would be forced to write a big check. Again we prayed, and again were shocked to receive an even bigger refund. The number was larger and no less a gift from God, so we gave it away again. This happened the next two years, only this year, the refund had grown to a significant size. For the first time, we actually wondered if we needed to give it ALL away? This was telling in that it was an easy decision when the number was smaller, but when it got big enough, our tendency was to hold on tight. After lots of prayer and discussion, God convicted us that the plan for this money was not a big vacation, a car, or even additional savings, but instead he provided opportunities to participate in ministries outside of Trinity over and above the tithe. In the end, we gave it away and felt a huge burden lifted. The example isn't meant to imply that if you pray for financial help, it will just appear. It also isn't meant to suggest that I'm where I need to be in this part of my spiritual life. And don't think it hasn't been hard. There is always the pull of culture – you look around and see others who may be in similar positions with bigger houses, bigger cars, or more stuff. But the bottom line is that God has proven to me that He will bless us if we put him first and are faithful. God says to bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, and see if he will not open up the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that we will not have room for it. One author puts it well that God is not concerned with what we give – not 10% or 15% or 5% - but with what we keep – the 80, 90, or 95%. God convicted me that it isn't about giving more, but instead about the blessing and freedom that comes from keeping less.
Mrs. Penni U. "Warning! One prayer could dramatically change your life!" Don't say I didn't warn you. In 1997, I had been working as a graphic designer/manager for five years. By that time, I had already been burnt out for two years. I was getting heart palpitations every time my phone rang. I had worked ridiculously long hours at breakneck speed for comparatively little pay when my boss suddenly decided to close the business. I was relieved and thankful. In my thankfulness to God, I prayed a very simple prayer that went something like: "Lord, I don't care what I do, I just want to be able to get to choir rehearsals on time and sing for you!" For me, that was the first step toward committing my time and talent to the Lord. And, as if He were waiting for me to utter the words of willingness, the Lord gave me an opportunity to work at Citibank as a consultant for seven months with a huge pay increase. And the hours? You guessed it—they were 9 to 5 (5:30 or 6 p.m. was the latest I ever left work). It wasn't my dream job, but I made it to choir on time every week. Not only that, but my husband and I were able to purchase our first house in October 1997 only six months after we were both laid off. I think God delights in giving us dramatic answers to our prayers to reflect His infinite grace, glory, wisdom, love and blessing in our lives. I was beginning to see a correlation between giving my time and talent and heart to God and a growth in my faith and understanding of God's character. The Lord was growing my trust in Him. In the beginning of 1998, God challenged me to join the Finance Commission at Trinity. So, against my logical thinking (financial management was my worst subject in college), I accepted the challenge and served for two years. Funny things began to happen. Even though our new house was a blessing and we loved it, fixing it took up a lot of our free time, a lot of sweat equity and more money than we had. We fell into a bad habit of spending more than we made—you know, not by much, just by a little too much. Actually, it could have been a lot worse because we didn't really have a budget, or a spending plan. For that matter, we had almost no accountability to each other. It was not long at all before we found ourselves confused about how our accumulated debt reached the $20,000 mark when we hadn't been splurging or taking extravagant vacations. Of course, in hindsight I can see that, while we thought we were being thrifty (and we were!), we were still spending money that we didn't have on things that we thought we needed. God decided that it was time for us to start learning about Biblical stewardship principles. I have to say that, while I don't mind paying the bills online for our family, I would not have said I'd be the first person in line for a Saturday morning budget workshop. Fortunately, God knows me better than I know myself. He allowed us to reach a point of drowning in debt while I was on the Finance Commission (how embarrassing!) in order to bring me to a place of conviction and provide me with a way to repent (change). That year, Trinity held its first finance seminar, and all of us on Finance had to help plan and facilitate it. So there I was on a Saturday morning Finance Seminar with my husband (and I even invited my parents and sister), learning about stewarding my money for God's purposes. God is so good. In January 2003 (five years after that seminar), we became debt-free. Free at last! Thank you, Lord, for the lessons that you've taught me and freedom that your Word provides!
God owns everything. I'm His money manager
We are the managers of the assets God has entrusted – not given – to us.
My heart always goes where I put God's money
Watch what happens when you reallocate your money from
temporal things to eternal things.
Heaven, not earth, is my home
We are citizens of "a better country – a heavenly one." Hebrews 11:16
I should live not for the dot but for the line
From the dot – our present life on earth – extends a line that goes on forever,
which is eternity in heaven.
Giving is the only antidote to materialism
Giving is a joyful surrender to a greater person and a greater agenda.
It dethrones me and exalts Him.
God prospers me not to raise my standard of living,
but to raise my standard of giving
God gives us more money than we need so we can give – generously.