We believe that the only way to understand any aspect of life is to view it through the lens of the gospel. Paul discusses the impact the gospel should have on the way Christians understand wealth: For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. 2 Corinthians 8:9. Christ's sacrificial love gave up everything so that we could inherit the riches of heaven, helping us develop a healthy attitude toward our material possessions and become people who are both generous and joyful. Understanding the riches we have already received in Christ not only liberates us from excessive concern over our wealth, talents, and time, but also motivates us to invest them in the eternal kingdom of God.
A steward is a person who has been entrusted with another's resources, and who seeks to manage those resources according to the owner's vision and values. The gospel calls us to recognize that everything we have is a gift from God, and that those gifts are to be used for his glory and to further his kingdom. Scripture even calls Christians caretakers of God's gifts and truth (1 Peter 4:10, 1 Cor. 4:1). We recognize that in addition to acting as responsible stewards of our talents and skills, we must also be stewards of our possessions and finances, and we have a variety of tools to help you better understand stewardship:
What is Generosity? A Working Definition
(from Contagious Generosity, by Chris Willard and Jim Sheppard, p. 18-19)
Generosity is at its core a lifestyle, a lifestyle in which we share all that we have, are and ever will become as a demonstration of God’s love and a response to God’s grace. . . . What makes generosity a real and powerful witness to God’s love is our action. Generosity flows from an understanding that all that we have, are, and ever will become is ours to possess, and it results in sharing what we’ve been given with others for the advancement of the kingdom and the glory of God. Generosity embraces a biblical understanding of stewardship:
1. God is the owner of everything
2. What we have has been given to us by God
3. The resources we possess are assets to be invested in the kingdom.
Before we can be generous, we must understand what it means to be a steward, recognizing that what we have is not ours to own and confessing that Jesus is Lord over our money, possessions, positions of authority, and talents. You can’t be generous without the discipline of biblical stewardship, and biblical stewardship demands generosity. The gift of God’s grace shapes our faith and leads to the conviction that all that we have – our time, talents, treasure and testimony – has been given to us for a purpose. We cannot separate our acceptance of God’s grace from the practice of generosity. We are generous because God was first generous to us, freely giving His life for our sakes. As followers of Christ, we seek to imitate the one who gave himself for us (1 Thess. 1:6; 2:14). Stewardship is more than an obligation. It’s an opportunity to witness to the reckless nature of God who gives the gift of salvation by grace to all who will receive it. Generosity is the fullest expression of the life of a steward, one who has been given a gift that must be used wisely and for a purpose, bringing glory to God.”