About the Authors
Mary Sue Dreier is associate professor of congregational mission and leadership at Luther Seminary.
Grace Duddy is a M.A. student at Luther Seminary and a student worker at the Center for Stewardship Leaders.
#10. 1 Timothy 6:12-19
“The life that really is life”
Stewardship emerges out of a heart of faith that confesses Christ. In this letter, Paul urges Timothy to teach the rich to put their trust in God, not their possessions. For it is only through God that they can do good and “take hold of the life that really is life”.
#9. Philippians 2:1-11
“Be of the same mind”
A good steward, like Christ, humbly puts the interests of others before his/her own. In this passage, Paul implores the Philippian Christians to share the mind of Christ, who was humbly obedient to the point of death and was exalted by God. As stewards we follow Christ’s example in obeying God’s command selflessly to love our neighbor.
#8. Galatians 5:13-14
“Called to freedom … but through love become slaves”
Good stewards rejoice in their freedom in Christ and embrace their slavery to their neighbor through a bond of love. Stewards are motivated by grace, rather than law, and freely chose to bind themselves in service to their neighbor.
#7. Acts 2:42
“They devoted themselves”
“As we worship, so we live.” Stewardship extends from our corporate experience of God in worship and fellowship with one another. In Acts 2, this community, grounded in its worship and fellowship, practices good stewardship through radically sharing and redistributing their possessions.
#6. Luke 12:13-21
“One’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions”
What should I do with my abundance? The rich man in this parable asks a powerful question even though he does not arrive at the right answer. Good stewards are not greedy with their possessions. Rather, they realize that everything belongs to God and God has called them to share their abundance with the needy.
#5. Matthew 10:8
“Give without payment”
We have freely received, so we must also freely give. In this passage, Jesus commissions his disciples to go out with minimal possessions to proclaim the good news and perform miracles in his name. Good stewards are givers, because they were first receivers. They trust that God will provide for them, through the community where they have been sent.
#4. Habakkuk 3:17-18
“Yet, I will rejoice in the Lord”
Stewardship is more than just an activity, it is an attitude and this attitude is not conditional. Even in times of material scarcity, good stewards remember God’s abundant gift of salvation that is unconditional.
#3. Isaiah 43:1
“You are mine”
All that we are and all that we have belongs to God. God has claimed us and promised to be with us, thus we are not alone in our work of stewarding God’s creation.
#2. Deuteronomy 26:1-11
“First of all the fruit of the ground”
We are stewards not only of God’s creation but also of God’s story. In this passage Moses commands the people to bring their first fruits of the promised land into the sanctuary as well as tell the story of God’s salvation, promise and fulfillment for the people of Israel. Good stewards bring their gifts into the storehouse in thanks for God’s relationship with God’s people.
“More than enough”
Good stewards give exuberantly in response to all that God has done for them. In this passage, the Israelites bring more than enough offerings to Moses in order to build the sanctuary. They bring so many gifts that Moses has to restrain the people in their giving. The people offer time, talent and treasure from what they have and it is more than enough.