An organizational leader is a steward. He or she has been entrusted with resources and a responsibility that will influence others either for good or harm. This is also true for mothers, fathers, teachers, and many other life roles. How one views stewardship of life and contribution will determine everything!
The wisest man who ever lived noted the analogy between ants and people (Proverbs 6:6-11). The principle that emerges is that, daily decisions determine destiny. Stewardship is about daily decisions—conscious or subconscious. Why is stewardship such a vital concept to understand and practice well? Joseph shows us why!
Joseph was entrusted with and became a steward of his dreams (Genesis 37). He was given his sense of destiny as a teenager. This was much bigger and more impactful than anything he could have dreamed on his own. The path to see his God-given dreams fulfilled included what appears to be a diversion (see Henry Blackaby, Experiencing God, for the insightful principle: When God tells me what He wants to do through me, I will face a crisis of belief). However, stewardship, when believed and pursued, will keep a leader heading on a course regardless of temporary diversions or setbacks.
Joseph lived out his stewardship impeccably as Potiphar’s’ chief of staff, as the Jailor’s assistant and as Pharaoh’s governor. Consequently, the Lord blessed Potiphar’s household and his fields (39:1-6). The Lord blessed the Jailor by relieving him of all oversight of prisoners (9:19-23). The Lord blessed Pharaoh and the Egyptians with life (47:20-26). And ultimately, Joseph’s dreams came true by providing the needed sustenance for his family. Stewardship lived well provides great good.
How should we view our stewardship? There seems to be two arenas for stewardship—personal and organizational. The personal side includes the understanding and living out of our design—gifts, personality, experiences; along with our desires—passion, talents, dreams. The organizational side includes the understanding and living out our responsibility—duty, order, accountability; along with our opportunity—delight, creativity, blessing.
Key concepts of stewardship include: faithful, increase, blessing, accountable, entrust, trustworthy, responsible, resources, results, measurement, reward. Everyone appreciates a leader who is characterized by these qualities.
What are the implications of impeccable stewardship? Take our job seriously since we are doing it for God and not people. Do our best! Bring our entire design to our job because God has uniquely made us to be master workmen. Use all He gave us!
The starting point, as with all change, is to get clear within ourselves. We need to be sure that we are personally choosing stewardship and not acting out of obligation or a desire to please… If there is no transformation inside each of us, all the structural change in the world will have no impact on our institutions. (Block, Stewardship, Pages 75, 77)
How could you enhance your stewardship in some area of life by focusing on serving the Lord and bringing all you are? What is hindering impeccable stewardship with your life? What steps should you take to better align your life and role with whom God has entrusted to you and designed you to be?
Next Blog: Joseph Review