Steve Otte led the youth ministry in my home church, First Baptist, Kahoka. He volunteered his leadership to a group of teenagers to introduce them to faith in Jesus Christ and grow in their relationship with the Lord. He became my example of what it meant to follow Jesus as a teen and then when I entered the ministry. I thank God every time I remember his influence in my life.
Have there been people who have made an impact on your life? Are there people you respect who model ways you want to live? Who taught you about Christian stewardship?
Stewardship is the commitment of one’s self and possessions to God’s service. It begins with a proper mindset. In his classic book, Mere Christianity, C. S. Lewis writes, “Every faculty you have, your power of thinking or of moving your limbs from moment to moment, is given you by God. If you devoted every moment of your whole life exclusively to His service, you could not give Him anything that was not in a sense His own already.” In Deuteronomy 8 the Israelites are reminded, “You may say to yourself, ‘My power and my own ability have gained this wealth for me,’ but remember that the Lord your God gives you the power to gain wealth” (Deut 8:17-18- HCSB). All that we have belongs to God and we are called to be good stewards of that which is given to us.
Stewardship is a sign of obedience to and maturity in Christ. Christians honor and obey God through the giving of their talents, time, energy and finances to His Kingdom. Christians are encouraged when they see fellow believers honor God with good stewardship.
In 2001, the Missouri Baptist Foundation Board of Trustees established the Fellowship of Christian Stewards (FCS). The trustees wanted to present people who demonstrate transformed lives through whole-life stewardship – the giving of their talents, time and treasures. The selection of these people into this fellowship is not an induction into a Hall of Fame. Inclusion into this fellowship serves to encourage others to follow their example of Christian stewardship.
The Foundation is currently taking nominations for the 2018 class of FCS. Do you know someone whom you feel is a good example of Christian stewardship? The core qualities that each nominee should possess are:
- follower of Jesus Christ
- practice whole-life stewardship (time, talents, and treasures)
- servant heart
- humble spirit
- sacrificial attitude
There are seven categories of nomination.
Nelson Fellow: A faithful, mature individual that exhibits whole-life stewardship through many years of Christian service.
Charitable Giving: An individual or couple that consistently models generous, sacrificial giving from the treasures God has entrusted – whether great or small.
Estate Stewardship: An individual or couple that plan wisely to provide for missions and ministry through estate gifts (such as, wills, trusts, charitable gift annuities and other forms of legacy gifts).
Vocational Achievement: An individual honoring God through significant contributions in his/her vocational career.
Ministry Achievement: Individual(s) that identify community or mission needs and actively responds to meet those needs through the gifts of their talents, time and/or treasures.
Emerging Leader: Next generation young adult (ages 18-29) modeling whole-life stewardship through missions or ministry.
Junior Achievement: An elementary, middle or high school child(ren) modeling whole-life stewardship through missions or ministry. A nomination could include a group of children or teens that served Christ in a particular event or way.
Each fellow is recognized through a public awarding and the Foundation web site. The awarding includes a grant given by the Foundation for the fellow to choose to give to a ministry or charity of their choice.
Do you know someone that you believe is a good example of Christian stewardship? The Foundation encourages you to learn more about FCS at our web site (http://mbfn.org/fellowship-christian-stewards/). Nominations are taken online or by mail. A form can be downloaded from the MBF web site, requested by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call MBF at 800-776-0747. Nominations for the 2018 class closes on March 31, 2018.
In 1 Corinthians, the Apostle Paul wrote, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1) The Fellowship of Christian Stewards is a platform to encourage all followers to live their lives committed to Christ with a mindset of whole-life stewardship.
(Nick Davis is Regional Vice President for Missouri Baptist Foundation.)