Who is a Christian steward? One, who receives God’s gifts gratefully, cherishes and tends them in a responsible and accountable manner, shares them in justice and love with all, and returns them with increase to the Lord. The definition, rooted in biblical and church tradition, corresponds with Almighty God’s decision to entrust to humanity the universe God has created (Gn 1:26-31) and with Jesus Christ’s famous parable of the talents (Mt 25: 14-36).
For disciples of Christ – everyone who responds to Jesus’ invitation, "Come, follow me” – Christian stewardship is an obligation, not an option. Correctly and fully understood, Christian stewardship holds every individual accountable to God for personal care of the universe. At the time of judgment, God will have the right to ask, "What did you do with my world?”
Christian stewardship, therefore, applies to everything – all personal talents, abilities, and wealth; the local, national, and worldwide environments; all human and natural resources wherever they are; the economic order; governmental affairs; and even outer space. This stewardship does not tolerate indifference to anything important in God’s world.
Why is the “stewardship lifestyle” so important to the Christian disciple?
Every diocese, parish and disciple should make education and formation for stewardship a major priority. This is vitally important today because:
- it helps disciples, families, and communities better understand what it means to follow Jesus in an affluent, consumer culture, and
- it establishes an appropriate, scriptural basis for responding to the Church’s growing need for human, physical, and financial resources.
A Lifelong Process
Stewardship involves a lifelong process of study, reflection, prayer, and action. To make stewardship a way of life for disciples, families, parishes, and dioceses requires a change of heart and a new understanding of what it means to follow Jesus without counting the cost. This conversion of mind and heart will not happen overnight, but, as always, the Holy Spirit is at work in the Church today. Those parishes and dioceses that embrace the theology and practice of stewardship are beginning to see a change of attitude on the part of clergy, religious, and lay people to be more fully developed disciples.
A Solid Foundation
A comprehensive approach to stewardship education and formation is essential if diocesan and parish communities truly wish to make stewardship a way of life for disciples, families, and communities. Increased offertory and fund-raising programs that bypass stewardship education and formation must be more than a “jump start” to financial giving. Such programs could separate church funding from its vital connection to Christian discipleship. The foundation of everything that the Church takes on should be rooted in the mission Christ has place before His Disciples.
What does the term “time, talent, and treasure” mean?
"Time, talent, and treasure” is a term that means giving the whole self to Christ and His mission; not just part of the self and leaving the others out. Discipleship is a call to embrace the whole being and human action into the work God has called His disciples to.
Our Sunday Visitor: Loaves + Fishes Monthly Webinars
On each second Tuesday of each month there is an hour long webinar beginning at 2pm EST provided by Our Sunday Visitor. These webinars cover various stewardship topics that can be implemented in your parish. In addition, a link to the recording of each webinar is provided and the recording is available for viewing at any time for one year after the webinar airs.
These webinars are paid for by the diocese and are free to you.
To receive email invites, recording links, and handouts, please email Carolyn Bennett to be added to our email list.
For a list of this year's webinars, CLICK HERE.
To view June 2016's webinar, Forming the New Evangelist for the New Evangelization, CLICK HERE
To view May 2016's webinar, Helping people in Time of Loss and Crisis, CLICK HERE
To view April 2016's webinar, Evangelizing with the Eyes of Mercy, CLICK HERE
To view March 2016's webinar, Working for God, CLICK HERE
To view February 2016's webinar, Stewards of Our Talents and Strengths, CLICK HERE
To view January 2016's webinar, The Seven Pillars of Effective Evangelization, CLICK HERE
Webinar recordings are available for one year after they air live. If you are interested in viewing any of the older webinars from within 12 months of today's date, please contact Carolyn Bennett.
There are a number of sites which provide information about stewardship. Among them are: