Many in the various groups that comprise the church today feel that only the ministry and those in official positions of service within those groups are stewards of the church.
This misconception has for generations effectively neutralized the Father’s family as a powerful and effective instrument of Christ to proclaim the plan of salvation for humanity, to proclaim his soon-coming kingdom to the world, and to prepare a people to rule the world with him after his return.
In this study, I want to show what a “Steward” is and what is “Stewardship”. Who are the stewards and what is the function of stewardship within the Sovereign Father’s earthly family of future kings-priests? Also, why is it important to understand this concept of being a profitable servant/steward of God’s word.
Although there are many nuances to the meaning of stewardship and the aspects of stewardship within the body of Christ, the basic function of a steward and stewardship as those terms apply to us is to care for another person’s affairs or possessions with which one has been entrusted.
Under the stewardship of Christ, the Father has entrusted his children with stewardship over his truth and way of truth, which his children are to learn and practice to the best of their ability while administering their individual skills, talents, gifts of the spirit, and functions and responsibilities within his family as future kings-priests. See 1.Pet.4:1-11.
Stewards of God’s Grace
1Pe 4:1 Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin;
1Pe 4:2 That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
1Pe 4:3 For the time past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:
1Pe 4:4 Wherein they think it strange that ye run not with them to the same excess of riot, speaking evil of you:
1Pe 4:5 Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and the dead.
1Pe 4:6 For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.
1Pe 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.
1Pe 4:8 And above all things have fervent charity among yourselves: for charity shall cover the multitude of sins.
1Pe 4:9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
1Pe 4:10 As every man hath received the gift, even so, minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
1Pe 4:11 If any man speaks, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
A steward then in God’s family is simply a disciple who moved beyond a simple student to one who is actively utilizing the truths with which he has been instructed, one who senses has been exercised, as Paul said, to be able to determine what is right and what is wrong.
Heb 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have a need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have a need of milk, and not of strong meat.
Heb 5:13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
Heb 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.
Stewardship is the most difficult and the most rewarding phase of discipleship. Stewardship within God’s family of future kings and priests requires you to be proactive in administering your personal skills, talents, gifts of the spirit, and your functions and responsibilities within the Father’s earthly family.
Stewardship is the process through which the Father’s children/heirs perfect a holy attitude, holy behavior, and holy character (1.Pet.1:13-16)
Called to Be Holy
1Pe 1:13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
1Pe 1:14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
1Pe 1:15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
1Pe 1:16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
while exercising his purpose for them through diligent and active participation in the affairs of his earthly family.
Being a proactive steward requires you to make and carry out personal decisions predicated on your education in the Father’s truth and way of conduct for members of his earthly family, the body of Christ.
Once you have not only learned the ways of God but have gained experience in applying them to your lives, you can begin to take on the responsibilities of a steward in God’s earthly family. Because now you are able to not only teach others what you have learned but you are no longer subject to the waves of false doctrine that are out there. Now you can show and defend as needed.
Here is a section from Buddy Cocherell’s Book: Discipleship and Stewardship ;
Functions and Responsibilities
There are clearly functions and responsibilities of stewardship that belong to those in official positions of service within the Father’s family, such as the ministry, teachers, prophets, and individuals assigned to assist widows. However, these individuals are not the only ones within the Father’s family who are obligated to be stewards. Stewardship is a function and a responsibility assigned to each member of the Father’s family. This is noted in many of Christ’s parables and the teachings of the apostles.
The question is not whether or not all members in the Father’s family of earthly king-priest are stewards, because all members are stewards. The question is what are the specific functions and responsibilities of a steward within the Father’s family? In order to answer this question a person must diligently search and study the scriptures to know and understand these functions and responsibilities and their application within the family.
Clearly in order to perform certain stewardship functions and responsibilities, a person must be an active participant in a local congregation of the elect. However, the performance of many functions and responsibilities of stewardship within the Father’s family do not require being a member of a local congregation.
The following is a short list of some of the many stewardship functions and responsibilities that apply to each member within the Father’s earthly family of king-priests:
- Administration of your natural skills, talents, and spiritual gifts (Eph 4:1-16; 1 Cor 14:12)
- Function as an active team member within the Father’s family (Eph 4:16)
- Love for each family member (Rom 12:9-10; 1Pet 1:22, 4:7-8; 1 Jn.4:21)
- Understand your opportunity of salvation (2 Cor.5:9-10; Phil.2:12)
- Be a righteous example to the ungodly (Matt.5:14-16; Eph.5:8; 2 Pet.1:19)
- Be responsible for your discipleship (2 Tim.2:15; Titus 3:14; Rom.14:11-12)
- Be responsible for your spirit and spiritual growth (2 Tim.2:15; 1 Pet.3:18)
- Work out your salvation (Phil.2:12; 1 Thes.5:21)
- Take responsibility for the conduct and teaching of your children (1 Tim.3:4,12; Prov.22:6)
- Serve family members (Gal.5:13-14)
- Practice God’s law (1 Jn.2:4; 3:24, 5:3)
- Preserve knowledge and understanding of the truth (Heb.4:14, 10:23; Rev.2:25, 3:3)
- Submit to authority (1 Pet.3:1; Heb.13:17; Titus 3:1)
- Share and be hospitable (Rom.12:13; 1 Pet.4:9)
- Visit the sick and remain pure (Jms.1:27)
Being a good steward of what God has entrusted to us not only helps those who hear it but it also sets up in us a profound love of the truth. It is a true statement that a teacher always learns more than the student. It is time for us to become teachers/stewards of God’s word.