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STEWARDSHIP is not about the church! It is about God. • Our Relationship with God (Knowing & Loving God – having no other God) • Our Relationship with Ourselves (Knowing who we are as stewards – not owners – and then loving God with everything that He has giving us : mind, body, strength, heart, being) • Our Relationships with Others (Loving our neighbours as ourselves) • Our Possessions & Treasures (Stewarding everything we have)
We are created in the image of a Relational God Relationship, union, communion, intimacy, fellowship, love and community – all existed from all eternity within the economy of the Godhead God has redeemed us for fellowship on four levels – GOD; OURSELVES, OUR NEIGHBOUR & CREATION each requiring stewarding: • Each relationship effects the others – • Just like all macro/micro ecosystems – remove/abuse any one part and the other parts suffer
Stewarding Our Relationship with God We were created for fellowship with our God and commanded to fulfill that fellowship - ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind’ (Luke 10: 27) Being over Doing Intimacy vs. Stagnation Daily Discipline: Devotion & Prayer
Stewarding Our Relationship with God • • If the intimacy between husband wife reflects the relationship between God and us, how does/can your reading God’s Word, prayer and devotion reflect this? Is it one of obligation and stagnation or true intimate love? What is the biggest obstacle preventing intimacy in your relationship with God? And what can you do about it? > What one thing will I do differently because of this conversation?
Stewarding Our Relationship with Ourselves In light of our true relationship with our Creator and Redeemer God, we must have a balanced & honest self-understanding & self-acceptance (Child of God & Sinner Saved by Grace) We are not measured by the sum of our stuff (owner) Confidence vs. Self-Reliance Daily Discipline: Balanced Self-Image
Stewarding Our Relationship with Self • • Do you exhibit the signs of slipping into an ownership/control mindset? (fear, anxiety, compulsion, envy, mistrust, selfishness, impatience, proving yourself right and seeking vindication when wronged? ) Do you tend to be pulled towards either pride or self-abasement? Which way and why? > What one thing will I do differently because of this conversation?
Stewarding Our Relationship with Others We were created to be in fellowship with one another; To love our neighbour as ourselves (Luke 10: 27); > This is measured by the needs of our neighbour and not our own needs. We cannot view relationships as something we can use to better ourselves, compare ourselves against or compete with Fellowship vs. Expedience Daily Discipline: Seeing others as God sees them
Stewarding Our Relationship with Others • • What action demonstrates that you value your relationship with your neighbour as an end in itself? (i. e. not comparing, competing, or using) What must you do to invest the time necessary to build community and meaningful relationships with others? > What one thing will I do differently because of this conversation?
Stewarding Our Relationship with Creation Our meaning cannot come from the hoarding and consumption of resources but as caretakers (stewards) of the created world (our stuff & creation) Our purpose is measured by how loosely we hold to our possessions and how closely we heed our call to be caretakers of creation. Nurture vs. Control Daily Discipline: Submission
Stewarding Our Relationship with Stuff • • Do you pray over decisions on what you buy, consume and use? Why or why not? Is there a difference between stewarding your money & stuff vs. creation care? > What one thing will I do differently because of this conversation?
Recapturing the Joy of Being We are called to lose the doing-driven life that measures worth by accomplishments and wealth by possessions and power, that we might be given to the true life of the godly steward. It is not about doing – but being (this requires a change of heart) God seeks first a transformation of the heart through the denial of self (Matthew 16: 21 -46)
Recapturing the Joy of Being – Not Doing • • • Do you enjoy “being” a follower of Christ? What drives your daily schedule & personal goals? What fills your deepest need for acceptance, meaning and self-worth? > What one thing will I do differently because of this conversation?
Transformational Leadership with God Intimacy with God vs. Battle with Stagnation > Mutual Journey of Faith > Cultivating Kingdom Culture • Help shape culture (being rich towards God and conforming to His image) – but with no need to control it. • Creating atmosphere where the best from each team member is synthesized into a solution • Enabling the fullest expression of God-given talents • Culture of trust, confidence & Grace (Not fear, control, insecurity & mistrust?
Transformational Leadership with Self Gift of Confidence vs. Battle of Self-Reliance > Developing Whole People > Empower People to Serve • Modeling Balance • Molding vs. Unfolding • Intentionally listening to one another & God through scripture, prayer & worship • Organizational Agility - ability to adapt to new information and direction as God leads • Responding obediently to where God is leading the church
Builds & Values Community • Defining Success • Building Community out of Obedience • Building Community in Freedom & Order Caretakers of Community • Representing and representing the culture • Telling the Truth Transformational Leadership with Others Gift of Fellowship vs. Battle of Expediency > Building & Valuing Community as its Own End > Caretakers of Community
Stewarding Resources • Time • Talents • Possessions • Creation Vision & Mission A steward leader helps his/her people hear God’s vision for them, articulates it in the community and plans to achieve it effectively Transformational Leadership with Stuff Gift of Nurture vs. Battle of Control/Abuse > Stewarding Resources Effectively > Church Vision, Mission, Structure & Witness
Group Activity (Puzzle & Discussion)
Transformational Leadership with God • What kind of patterns are you modeling and how is it being repeated throughout your church community? • Is your community free to shape its culture according to the way God is leading it? • Where are you giving in to the temptation to play the owner-leader (control, compare, compete)? Where do you need to ask forgiveness from your people? ? What 3 things can your church do differently because of this conversation?
Transformational Leadership with Self • Are you developing a listening culture to all voices speaking in your community? • Are you freely empowering your people to serve • Is your church free to change to meet the needs of the community as God is leading your people? ? What 3 things can your church do differently because of this conversation?
Transformational Leadership with Others • How do you explain your church vision (internally & externally)? • Do you know what the outside community thinks/says about your church? • Are you free to see/speak truth about church’s strengths and weaknesses? ? What 3 things can your church do differently because of this conversation?
Transformational Leadership with Stuff • Is your church free or controlling with the time? • Are you content with the skills & possessions God has provided in your community? and to those he did not? • Are you celebrating and rejoicing when you see them used to carry out his work? • In what ways does your church answer the call to be caretakers of the earth? And is this reflected in the budget, policies & procedures? Is your church aware of the FMCi. C’s Position on Creation? ? What 3 things can your church do differently because of this conversation?
Summary of 4 Disciplines of the Steward Leader Level 1: Praying for a Restoration of a Thirst for Intimacy This thirst is a gift, but it must be sought and received. Pray for it, cultivate it, repent of the obstacles you have placed in front of it, expect it as a gift from God, and celebrate it when it is found.
Summary of 4 Disciplines of the Steward Leader Level 2: Daily Affirmation of Our Self-Image Within This Balance This is the recognition of our need to be healed – healed of our self-confidence, our thirst for ownership, our excuses, our discontentment and our distraction. Pray for it every day, and watch God change your heart from self-confidence to Godconfidence, the heart of a steward-leader.
Summary of 4 Disciplines of the Steward Leader Level 3: Seeing our Neighbours as God Sees Them We must seek daily a change in our vision. Pray that God will give us eyes to see and hearts to embrace the people in our world as God sees them and loves them. Pray for a heart that seeks to contribute to the greater story that God is writing for each of them. Daily pray for the mind of Christ and seek out accountability so that we can build trust and honesty with the people who love us enough to walk with us on this journey
Summary of 4 Disciplines of the Steward Leader Level 4: Daily Submitting Every Aspect of Our Lives to the Lordship of Christ It’s not mine; it is yours. I am not fighting this battle for you, God. It’s your battle and you are fighting it for me. It is all yours and I want whatever you have for me in this situation. It is not my church, it is yours. So I depend on your Spirit to show me what to do. These are not my people. I chose them and organized their efforts, but they do not belong to me. So this day is yours; I am yours; these people are yours; the resources are yours. The challenges we face are yours, as is anything we hope to accomplish. It is yours, God. It is not mine.
The Steward Leader Joyful, Obedient Disciples