John D. Beckett, Mastering Monday: A Guide to Integrating Faith and Work. IVP Books, 2006.
Stewardship is an important element of Christian discipleship. John D. Beckett has written well on the subject in his book on faith and work. It states that stewardship is "more than money"(166). He defines stewardship as "caring for resources that are not our own" (166). Beckett is chairman of R. W. Beckett Corporation, a leading manufacturer of commercial heating systems. A guiding principle of the company is "to be wise and able stewards of the trust he [God] has placed with us" (166).
Webster defines stewardship as "A person put in charge of the affairs of a large household or estate, whose duties include supervision of the kitchen and the servants, management of household accounts . . . " (166).
Stewardship is an important teaching in the Bible. Adam was placed in the garden to care for God's creation. Beckett notes, "The Garden, Adam and everything else belonged to the Lord" (167). Jesus told a parable of an unfaithful steward in the Gospel of Luke, chapter sixteen. Jesus states, "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else's property, who will give you property of your own?" (Luke 16:10-12).
The Apostle Paul also taught on stewardship. He thinks of himself and his ministry companions as "servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God" ( 1 Corinthians 4:1). Paul knew he had been entrusted with the Gospel and he must be faith to this calling. Paul states, "Moreover it is required in stewards that one be faithful" (1 Corinthians 4:2). The apostle Peter spoke of stewardship too. Peter states that Christians have been given gifts by God and they were to use these gifts to serve others. Peter asserts, "As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God" (1 Peter 4:10 NKJV). Beckett notes, "Gifts to be ministered included prayer, care for others, extending love, hospitality and serving (see 1 Peter 4:7-11)" (169). God gives us gifts to minister to others. It is required of us to be faithful stewards of the gifts given to us.
Beckett list the following areas as opportunities for stewardship: family, time, influence, knowledge, resources, abilities, relationships, work, and the "spiritual atmosphere around (over) us." How are stewards to act? Ultimately, our stewardship is to God. Beckett describes four characteristics that will make us faithful stewards: "perseverance," "generosity," "guardianship," and "understanding success." God does not call us to be successful but He does call us to be faithful.