Stewardship is a way of life that begins with a personal relationship with God. It is an expression of our intimacy and loyalty to Him. As followers of Jesus Christ, we understand that our lives exist because of God, and this understanding should shape our thoughts and actions in all these areas of life. The stewardship ministry is not just an additional program in the church. It is a ministry with the goal of discipleship, as mandated by Jesus Christ in Matthew28: 19-20: “Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” The goal of Stewardship is expressed best in Galatians 4:19, “until Christ is formed in them.”

What is Stewardship?

Stewardship is the idea that God owns everything and that we(stewards) are entrusted with His possessions. As stewards, we are responsible for managing God’s possessions wisely and using them for His glory. There are many perspectives on stewardship. Some people believe stewardship is only about money, while others believe it includes everything we have, including our time, talents, and possessions. In Matthew 25: 14-29, Jesus tells the parable of the talents, which teaches us that we are to be faithful in using the gifts and resources that God has given us. Therefore, stewardship is described as follows:

Managing all of life’s resources for Cod’s purposes. In a local church, the practice of stewardship in the church can have a lasting effect on how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” Stewardship is what a person does after saying “I believe” as proof officially as an individual, collectively as a family, and as a congregation.

What is “Stewardizing”?

The word “stewardizing” would be viewed from four different perspectives. It is viewed as a process, method, programme, and relationship. However, stewardizing in simple terms is disciplining people with the stewardship concept/ideologies in the Church.

Stewardizing as a process: ‘Stewardizing’ is the process of reaching out to the members of the church, teaching and reminding them that God is the owner of all things, but the owner has saddled man with the responsibility of managing all of God’s resources and is required to be faithful because one day, he will give account. (Oladimeji,2016)

Stewardizing as a method:  Stewardizing is using the method of discipleship to address, teach and recruit good stewards in the local church (Ola,2023).

Stewardizing as a programme:  Stewardizing is a programme designed to ensure that every person goes through stewardship programmes planned Christian Education Department and that every member of the church goes through different stewardship-stewarded to become stewardesses. Those called to teach stewardship using the method of discipleship are called stewardizers. (Ola,2023)

Stewardizing as a relationship: Stewardizing is based on the understanding that entrusted to man to manage. Therefore, the man is expected to be actively involved with others in the community to see that human needs are met, the environment well kept, mutually fostered in the neighbourhood, and the divine ownership is acknowledged. We can say it is the management of all belongs to another (God). (Omomola 2019)

Some challenges that “Stewardizing” can address in the church

There is a need to go back to the drawing board to address and wake up to the challenges of teaching church members to be good stewards. After the believer’s salvation board addresses and wake up to the believer’s salvation, the church should focus on discipleship for such to be identified in the church that the process of stewardizing can solve. They include the following:

Lack of commitment to the things of God: Many people only attend the church, claiming to be working for God without commitment to the assignment entrusted into their hands.

Ignorance: Some Christians do not understand the magnitude and purpose of the resources entrusted to their lives. Unfortunately, if the purpose of a thing is not known, abuse is inevitable.

Envy and Jealousy: Each man is fearfully and wonderfully created with potential and resources. Jealousy thrives because we do not know what we have. When we are Jealous of what God has given someone else, it means we have not noticed what God has given us.

Misplacement of priority: Anyone who does not know how to set his goals right will face the challenge of misplacement of priority, where one would not know what to do first and last.

Lack of excellent or cordial relationship: Where there is no good interpersonal relationship among members, working together for kingdom growth may be difficult.

Lack of cooperation from members: When members do not cooperate with the church’s leader, achieving more may be problematic.

Care-free Attitude: This is when someone puts us in a non-challenge attitude towards a matter. Such attitude could be displayed in giving, loving others, managing oneself, serving God, and many others. If this is not addressed early enough, it may affect the smooth running of the church.

Idleness: When God has endowed us with many resources with which we are expected to work for and with Him. While such an opportunity is a challenge because of the danger of being idle or not doing enough. Having noticed the above challenges, Churches should strive to seek solutions through ‘stewardizing’.

The New Phase of STEM-“Stewardizing”

For the church to be what God has destined it to be, stewardizing members is essential. Below are some of the importance of stewardizing:

Church Growth: Effective and faithful stewardizing can help churches grow. This will happen when stewards do away with competition and embrace love and unity. Love and Unity will create a positive environment for soul-winning to flourish, fulfilling the Great Commission.

Prevention of abuse and misuse: Stewardizing would help responsible management of God’s resources to prevent misappropriation and hoarding of the resources.

Consciousness Promotion: Stewardizing would help members and the community of faith to be conscious of their status as stewards with faithfulness as a requirement.

Living right: Stewardizing can help empower church members to learn, apply and live by Christian principles. This will help them overcome self-centredness, hoarding of properties, and an ungodly lifestyle.

Transformation: The desired result of effective stewardizing is the transformation of people’s lives into Christ-likeness. God wants people to join Him where He is at work to ‘stewardize’ members of the church to become good stewards through the following pillars of the ministry:

Stewardship of life

Stewardship of Self-management

Stewardship of time

Stewardship of worship

Stewardship of the environment

Stewardship of influence

Stewardship of talents

Stewardship of endowment

Stewardship of prayer

Stewardship of service

Stewardship of family

Stewardship of possessions

Stewardship of thanksgiving

Stewardship of civic responsibilities

Qualities of A Stewardizer

There are some qualities that stewardizers must possess to fulfil the mandate of God in the church. It includes, but is not limited to the following:

  • He or She must be born again and have a passion for stewardship.
  • He or She must be an example of a good steward and be able to teach and be teachable.
  • He or She must have good interpersonal relationships with people and be a team player.
  • He or She must be a student of the Bible and be humble.
  • He or She must be a good time manager and a steward of integrity.
  • He must be a committed disciple, ready to develop others.

The Call to ‘Stewardize’

The only requirement God expects from all stewards is faithfulness (1 Corinthians 4:2). This suggests that God’s evaluation of the steward is not based on their abilities, achievements, or success according to human standards but on their faithfulness, accountability, and productivity. Are you willing to join God where He is at work by becoming a stewardizer? Are you ready to use God’s potential in you by stewardizing others? The time is now!

Conclusion

Why did you not come four years ago?” asked an elderly woman, pointing her finger at the minister. The minister had been leading in establishing a new church in a new area, and the woman had listened attentively to his teaching on stewardship and accountability. She had responded with a personal decision to be faithful as a good steward. After a time of prayer with her, the minister turned to leave, and that was when she asked the question:

Are you ready to be a good steward? Are you ready to become a stewardizer through whom others would rise to their stewardship responsibilities? Are you ready to surrender your time, possessions, endowments, and all to God so that others would be ‘stewardized’? If your answer is ‘yes,’ the time to act is now.