Throughout scripture, followers of Christ are called to be good stewards. Merriam-Webster defines stewardship as the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one’s care. In essence, being a steward is being a manager, and we have included this principle in our resource, 6 Reasons Estate Planning Conversations Should Start in the Church.
Most of us like to think that we “own and control” all that we have. Our society is built on the idea that gaining more and more wealth will solve every problem. This type of thinking runs counter to what God’s Word states. God is the creator and owner of all things, and He has only given to each of us a portion of his abundance to manage while we are here on this earth.
Jesus’s parable of the talents, found in Matthew 25:14-30, gives insight into what God expects of each of us as we are accountable for what He has entrusted to us. In the parable, the master gives his three servants money to manage while he is gone on a journey. Now each servant got a different amount based on their ability. As you may know from the story, two of the servants invested their money and returned double to the master when he returned. To them the master said, “Well done, good and faithful servant, you have been faithful over a little and I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master” (vs 21 and 23). But the servant who was given the least did nothing with what he was given and gave the master back the money with no interest. This servant was rebuked by the master because he did not steward well the money he was given.
Church leaders need to set the example. As you consider everything under your care, what kind of steward are you? God has given us all resources for us to manage during our life. Are you doing all you can to make an eternal investment in the Kingdom of God?
While I hope all of you are tithing and giving from the assets you have today, I want to challenge you to think differently about stewardship and pray about developing an estate plan to make an eternal impact with assets from your estate after you are gone. Being a good manager does not stop when we die. At the Foundation, we believe it behooves all of us to make a stewardship plan from our estate.
The Tennessee Baptist Foundation is ready to help you as you lead your church and help your members steward well the resources God has given them, both now and later.
Download our free resource 6 Reasons Estate Planning Conversations Should Start in the Church.