Summary: Stewardship is defined as the servant of God looking at the things he has as not his own, but through the use of time, money, and abilities gives to God’s work and God’s glory.
Stewardship: What A Way To Live!
Scripture Reference: 2 Corinthians 9:6 – 14
I guess by now you understand that during this sermon series we have been discovering the way God intended for us to live. We have found that He wants us to live as disciples, to live as worshippers, and to live for fellowship.
I have sought to encourage you not to slow your pace or your energy, but to redirect your pace and energy towards the kind of living that pleases God, encourages other believers and models a life worth seeing by those who don’t know God.
I have wanted to challenge you to see how exciting it is to live a life going where Jesus would go, doing what Jesus would do, and saying what Jesus would say; to see how exciting it is to worship God daily using our spirit, intellect, and emotions; to rejoice in the opportunity to share our lives with others in the glory of God.
In Acts 2:42-47 five facets of church health are mentioned: They fellowshipped, edified each other, worshipped, ministered, and evangelized. As a result, verse 47 says, “And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”
According to Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Community Church in California…
1. Churches grow warmer through fellowship.
2. Churches grow deeper through discipleship.
3. Churches grow stronger through worship.
4. Churches grow broader through ministry.
5. Churches grow larger through evangelism.
Often churches offer one or another…for instance
The Church That Just Emphasizes Soul Winning
If the pastor sees his primary role as an evangelist, then the church becomes a soul-winning church. This church is always reaching out to the lost - to the neglect of the other four purposes. The only goal is to save souls.
The Church That Just Emphasizes Experiencing God
If the pastor’s passion and gifts lie in the area of worship, he will instinctively lead the church to become what is called an experiencing God church. The focus is on sensing the presence and power of God in worship.
The Church That Just Emphasizes Family Reunion
A church that focuses primarily on fellowship is what is called the family reunion church. This church is shaped by the pastoral gift. In the family reunion church, the gathering is more important than the goals of the church.
The Church That Just Emphasizes The Classroom
This church occurs when the pastor sees his primary role as being a teacher. Because he’s gifted in teaching and enjoys it immensely, he will emphasize preaching and de-emphasize the other tasks of the church.
The Church That Just Emphasizes Social Conscience
This is the church that is out to change society. It is full of activists who are “doers of the Word.” It comes in both a liberal and conservative version. The liberal version tends to focus on the injustice in our society. The conservative version tends to focus on the moral decline in our society.
Many churches are stronger in one or more of those areas, but in the context of Scripture a church cannot be healthy accept it balances all five of the areas.
Every church needs to grow warmer through fellowship, deeper through discipleship, stronger through worship, broader through ministry, and larger through evangelism. Of those five purposes we now focus on becoming broader through ministry – by looking at our stewardship.
I have given definitions for discipleship, worship, and fellowship, now let me lead into the text by providing a definition for stewardship. Stewardship is defined as the servant of God looking at the things he has as not his own, but through the use of time, money, and abilities gives to God’s work and God’s glory. He is simply a manager.
To be honest, we are all givers in one way or another…we give to ourselves, our spouses, our children, our friends, our pets, our jobs, our retirements, our favorite charitable organizations, our church, and others that I am sure you are thinking of at this moment.
So the object is not to stop you from giving, but get you to reprioritize your giving according to God’s standards. For that is what God will bless, His giving standards and not our own.
It seems strange that we Christians need encouragements to give, when God has given so much to us. God had enriched the Corinthians in a wonderful way, and yet they were hesitant to share what they had with others.
So then the question to ask for the day is, “How do I become the steward that God desires?” How do I live a life as a manager rather than owner? What is and isn’t enough? Is there a formula for the giving of my time, my resources, and my abilities? 2 Corinthians 9 brings that out…