Christian Cyclopedia

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Term used Lk 16:2–4 (in the parable of the unjust steward). A steward is a servant entrusted with administration of his master's property and interests (cf. Gn 39:4–6). The Bible uses the term in a secular sense but elevates it to a fruit of faith, permeating it with spiritual meaning and implications for pastors (1 Co 4:1; Tts 1:7) and Christians in gen. (1 Ptr 4:10).

Christian stewardship is recognition and fulfillment of the personal privilege and responsibility to administer all endowments of life acc. to God's will. Sometimes identified with sanctification, it is more properly sanctification in a narrower sense.

Christian stewardship acknowledges that God owns all (1 Ch 29:14; Ps 24:1; 100:3; 1 Co 4:7; 6:19), that we belong to Him by virtue of creation, preservation, redemption, and sanctification and are to glorify Him in all things (Ro 14:7–8; 1 Co 6:20: 10:31; 1 Ptr 4:11), that all our talents and endowments are temporarily in our charge (Lk 12:20; 16:2), and that we must render account to God (2 Co 5:10).

True motivation for Christian stewardship is supplied by the Gospel, not by the Law.

A proper ch. stewardship program is educational, aimed at lay participation in ch. work and at growth in the grace of giving. RGL. JEH

See also Finances in the Church.

P. Lindemann, My God and I (St. Louis, 1949); K. Kretzschmar, The Stewardship Life (St. Louis. 1929); W. C. Birkner, “Christian Stewardship,” The Abiding Word, I, ed. T. Laetsch (St. Louis, 1946). 457–481; C. W. Berner, Spiritual Power for Your Congregation (St. Louis, 1956); T. A. Kantonen. A Theology for Christian Stewardship (Philadelphia. 1956); R. C. Rein, First Fruits (St. Louis, 1959); H. Rolston, Stewardship in the New Testament Church (Richmond, Virginia, 1946); J. E. Herrmann, The Chief Steward. (St. Louis, 1951).

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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Content Reproduced with Permission

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