This month’s topic is a deep dive into “How to Balance Faith with Stewardship.” Today, we will hear about the definitions of these two topics and hear some Leadership Lessons at the end.
Webster’s definition of Stewardship is “the conducting, supervising, or managing of something especially : the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care.”
A Biblical definition of stewardship, defined by our guest, is “managing someone else’s resources according to that person’s intentions.” We are called to be stewards of our lives and our finances, according to the bible. Everything on earth is God’s, we are just his stewards.
According to our guest, the real question of faith and stewardship is: “Do I have enough to accomplish the ministry, and how do I raise the rest?”
Can you be an effective ministry and not be effective stewards?
When asked this question, our guest responds that he has not seen a case of effective ministry with ineffective stewardship. But that it’s “Not just dollars, but the vision and ministry of the church.”
Our host responds with this warning from his years working in an accounting business: “We can’t guarantee that stewardship will mean you are an effective ministry, but we can certainly attest to the fact that many ministries have failed because of a lack of stewardship.”
Faith, according to Webster is a: “belief and trust in and loyalty to God.” A Biblical definition of faith, giving by our guest, is an “assurance that things revealed and promised in his word are true, even though they are unseen.”
Does God reveal my ministries success?
“Is it right to presume upon God for resources we don’t currently have?” asks our host. “It depends.” responds our guest. “We need to go cautiously with faith.”
Both men agree that stretch goals and those BHAG (big hair audacious goals) are needed. But as our guest reminds us, we need to stretch our faith, but not tear our muscles. It’s all about training.
How much money is enough to have in reserve?
According to our guest, “Again, it depends.” Employees, giving, and the market can all be factors. Vulnerabilities and availability to get short term cash should also be factors. He encourages us to have conversations, get guidance from experts, and have proper planning in place to understand what your specific ministry needs.
“We are called to be good stewards of God’s plan.” – Dr. Glenn Miller, CEO, Miller Management
Dr. Franks responds that “Reality is your friend.” We don’t want to see reality for what it is, but we need accurate numbers to plan for the future.
Going along with that, Dr. Franks says we should “Find reasonable people. We need faith people and we need sight people.” Live in the tension. Healthy, good conflict is what you need in those budget meetings. Engaging both sides of faith and stewardship on each particular topic, for the cause of Christ. It is hard work. But that is the hard work required of a leader.
“What a beautiful thing it is to be a leader.” – Dr. Neil Franks, President, Missouri Baptist Foundation
Special thanks to our guest, Dr. Neil Franks, and our master of all things podcasting, Chris Miller, for this introductory episode in the Balancing Faith and Stewardship series.