“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your mater’s happiness!”
This scripture passage is often used by church leaders as part of “stewardship or capital” campaigns, making the (legitimate) case that if one invests in their local congregation, it will return Kingdom dividends.
But what if Jesus had a much more personal and high risk investment he was suggesting? As leaders, what if the primary ‘talent’ God has given us to steward is who we are as His image bearers?
Stewarding one’s self is the most vital work each of has been given as a follower of Jesus. The work we put our hands to and the things we choose to invest our time and energy in, are the primary things we must steward for Kingdom dividends. The Greek word for stewardship, “Oikonomia” translates as economy or house management. Before we can steward anything else, we must manage our own house. This means doing the hard work of knowing yourself, investing in developing yourself in an intentional and focused way.
This is not navel-gazing, but rather learning who God created you to be and what your unique gifts, talents and strengths are to steward, wherever He has placed you. It guides what you say yes to, and more importantly, what you say no to. When we do not know and develop the very talents God has placed with in each of us, we are hard pressed to help others do the same.
The leadership implications of this are profound. Stewarding of self is fundamental to the work of any effective leader and not attending to this is well-intended disobedience. The consequences are harsh:
“For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness…” Matt 25:29-30
Are you stewarding who God created you to be? Are you over-extended but know there are things you spend time on that are “outside your wheelhouse”? If so, then you are ready for the steward leadership journey that matters.
This was originally posted in Man Up Pittsburgh: 2016 Devotional. For more information on Man Up, visit www.ManUpPittsburgh.org.