Summary: This sermon examines some basic guiding principles of a good steward.
Today I am beginning a new series of messages titled, “Taking the ‘Stew’ Out of Stewardship.” Much of the material for this message comes from a book by Rod Rogers titled, Pastor Driven Stewardship: 10 Steps to Lead Your Church to Biblical Giving (Dallas, TX: Brown Books Publishing Group, 2006).
As I talk to you this morning about giving, you may be getting a little nervous. You may be thinking that I am going to ask you to give some of your money to the church. Well, I want you to know that you can relax! I am not going to ask you to give any of your money to the church—because you don’t have any money! I will be talking to you about giving God’s money to the church, because all your money really belongs to God. Now don’t you feel better already?
You see, the Bible teaches us that we are not owners, but rather stewards, of God-given resources. Therefore, for the Christian, proper management of money and possessions grows out of an understanding of the biblical principles of financial stewardship.
But, what is a “steward”? We can define a “steward” as follows: A steward is someone who manages the resources of another to accomplish the goals of the owner.
In the ancient world, a rich man would buy a slave and make him his steward. The steward’s responsibility was to manage all the possessions and business affairs of the owner in his master’s best interests.
1 Now Joseph had been taken down to Egypt. Potiphar, an Egyptian who was one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard, bought him from the Ishmaelites who had taken him there.
2 The LORD was with Joseph and he prospered, and he lived in the house of his Egyptian master. 3 When his master saw that the LORD was with him and that the LORD gave him success in everything he did, 4 Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. 5 From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the LORD blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the LORD was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field. 6 So he left in Joseph’s care everything he had; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate. (Genesis 39:1-6a)
For the next five weeks the Tampa Bay Presbyterian Church family will be focusing on financial stewardship. There are two major aspects to this emphasis on financial stewardship.
The first major aspect is a Capital Stewardship Campaign, which we are calling Forward by Faith. I am very excited about what the Lord is doing at the Tampa Bay Presbyterian Church and how he is going to change lives as a direct result of people getting involved in Forward by Faith!
The desire of our church’s leadership is to accomplish the mission and vision we believe that God has given to our church. About two years ago we completed a mission and vision document, which we called our 2020 Vision. You can read about our mission and vision in the 2020 Vision statement on our website (at www.tampabaypresbyterian.org).
Our mission is summarized in the following Mission Statement:
The mission of the Tampa Bay Presbyterian Church is to bring people to Jesus Christ and membership in his church family, develop them to Christlike maturity, equip them for their ministry in the church and life mission in the world, in order to magnify God’s name.
Our vision is summarized in the following Vision Statements:
We envision a church where God is glorified in every area of our church. TBPC will strive to do everything with excellence in order to bring glory to God.
We envision a church that has a “God-sized” vision that will take God-glorifying faith and God-glorifying obedience to accomplish that vision. We want to attempt something so great for God that it is doomed to failure—unless God be in it.
We envision a church that is true to the Scriptures, faithful to the Reformed faith, and obedient to the Great Commission.
We envision a church that is healthy, and that is committed to developing healthy relationships with God and with one another. Our church will be a place where the hurting, the depressed, the disappointed, the lonely, the confused, the guilty, and the sinful find forgiveness, love, acceptance, help, hope, guidance, encouragement, support, and salvation only in Christ.