Time. How are you modeling balance and wholeness in your use of time? More importantly, whose time is it, really? Can you say of every minute of every hour of every day, ‘it is not mine, Lord. It is yours.’? Would an audit of your Google calendar bear witness to kingdom values? If our time is truly God’s, shouldn’t we start each day by laying our daily schedule (and to-do list) before Him and saying, ‘this is what I have planned. What would you have me do today?’ If we can’t image such a level of surrender of our time, then we must acknowledge the extent to which we play the owner. And i say ‘play’ because that is all we can really do. Our time does belong to Him. Can you imagine just what incredible ways He would use it if we truly surrendered it to Him.
Resources. Paul said it best, “I have learned the secret of being content in any and every circumstance, whether in prosperity or in want… for I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:11f) Too many Christian leaders are trying to serve two masters. Money – and the power, pride and praise that it promises – rules too many hearts among God’s leaders. I believe it is due in part because we become complacent. We all know of the Scriptural warnings about the love of money, but we seldom do the kind of rigorous self-examination that will identify where it has taken hold in our spirits nor do we take the serious steps that is required to root it out. How free are you from the love of money? How secure are you apart from your bank accounts and investment portfolios? How committed are you to ‘despise the one’ in order that you may love God and God alone? Are you willing to do the hard work, ask the tough questions and pay the price to be ‘all-in’ with regard to your attitude to money and resources?
Talent. A self-analysis will also ask us if we are investing our best skills for God’s use. If we refuse to accept the division between secular and sacred (and we must), then all of our work and the use of all of our skills all of the time are acts of stewardship. Do you view your job as part of your service to God? We can play the owner even of our own abilities and talents, choosing to use them as we see fit instead of submitting them back to God for his use. Whether we are called to business, government service, military, non-profit or domestic service, we are always working to God’s glory by using the very best of the talents he has given us. Are you a steward of your talents, investing them to do the the very best of what God created you to do?
Creation. Finally, we were called to be caretakers of creation before we were called to do anything else. Unfortunately, the political hysteria of our day has divided us into ‘camps’ and in all of the confusion some of God’s people have unwittingly become the opponents of caring for His creation. Yet the issue is profoundly simple. As you look out across your part of this planet, can you say unreservedly, ‘None of this is mine, Lord. It is all yours’? If you can, then treat is as such. If every follower of Christ believed that every square inch of our planet was created, “through Christ and for Christ” (Colossians 1:16), then we would respond as the body of Christ and be champions of creation care. Steward leaders use God’s resources in ways that are pleasing to Him and reflect the values of His kingdom.
That’s the check-list. It can all be summed up in one statement: Stewards leaders do the will of the owner. How are you doing today in modeling the life of a steward leader?