Biblical Management

The Value of Stewardship in Missional Enterprise

The biblical concept of “Stewardship” is one of the core values 1 that guides our efforts at Navigators Missional Enterprise. But what is Stewardship and what does it mean when we say that leaders of missional enterprises are stewards?

Hugh Whelchel, Executive Director for the Institute for Faith, Work & Economics explains biblical stewardship in this way:

In the beginning of Genesis, God creates everything and puts Adam in the Garden to work it and to take care of it. It is clear that man was created to work and that work is the stewardship of all of the creation that God has given him.

This is the fundamental principle of biblical stewardship. God owns everything, we are simply managers or administrators acting on his behalf.

Whelchel goes on to explain that a steward is responsible and accountable to the owner, but also receives a reward for faithful service. Jesus makes clear in the Parable of the Talents that faithful servants receive affirmation, greater responsibility, and entry into “the joy of [the] master.”

Think of how an understanding of stewardship changes our perspective on our positions within an enterprise. Those who are “owners” must realize that they don’t ultimately own anything. God owns it all. On the other hand, “hired hands” must realize that they too are stewards, and are “working for the Lord, not for human masters” (Colossians 3:23).

For an inspiring example of what the Stewardship perspective can do to transform a missional business, check out this video (11 minutes) from the Faith & Co. documentary film series created by Seattle Pacific University. It tells some of the story of Bertie Lourens, CEO of WastePlan in South Africa, who transferred a 51% share in his company to a Christian educational development non-profit as a response to the conviction that God owned the company.

Verse(s) of the Week:

This week, we include all of Psalm 8 for us to read, meditate upon, and apply. Let’s allow this Psalm of praise and wonder to inspire us this week as we live as stewards for his glory.

Lord, our Lord,

    how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory

    in the heavens.

Through the praise of children and infants

    you have established a stronghold against your enemies,

    to silence the foe and the avenger.

When I consider your heavens,

    the work of your fingers,

the moon and the stars,

    which you have set in place,

what is mankind that you are mindful of them,

    human beings that you care for them?

You have made them a little lower than the angels

    and crowned them with glory and honor.

You made them rulers over the works of your hands;

    you put everything under their feet:

all flocks and herds,

    and the animals of the wild,

the birds in the sky,

    and the fish in the sea,

    all that swim the paths of the seas.

Lord, our Lord,

    how majestic is your name in all the earth!



In previous editions of M3 Weekly, we have shared about the values of “Life-to-Life Discipling,” “the Triple Bottom Line,” and “Community.”

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