Leadership Is A Stewardship

Photo by WillowCreek D/CH

Photo by WillowCreek D/CH

The Catalyst Podcast

I enjoy listening to the Catalyst podcast regularly. It’s one of a few podcasts that I like to listen to while I’m working out. If you’re familiar with this podcast at all, there are some great leadership quotes by well-known leaders spoken in the front-end bumper music portion of the program.

My favorite quote in the opening bumper is Andy Stanley‘s statement, “Leadership is a stewardship. It is temporary, and you’re accountable.” This is a simple, yet profound statement that always causes me to pause and reflect on my own leadership of those I have been called to lead.

The Stewardship of Leadership

Stewardship. There’s one of those fancy, King James Bible kind-of words. A simple definition of the word is “management.” A steward is simply a manager of the owner’s property.

Because of its connection with God’s Word, I also believe stewardship has a very serious, spiritual connection. It’s not simply a management role. Stewardship is a spiritual discipline that Christians are expected to engage in. We have all been called to manage well everything that God has given to us manage in our temporal life here on earth: our personal finances, our possessions, our talents, our families, and our career calling.

If God has made you a leader, then He’s expecting you to manage with excellence your leadership role, however big or small that role may be.

You Will Be Held Accountable

The second half of Andy’s statemement “ … It is temporary, and you’re accountable” is where this whole stewardship concept can get a little scary. There is coming a day for all who follow Christ in which we will hand off the leadership baton to others and then give an account to God of our management ability of what He has asked us to manage.

I’m reminded of these New Testament passages in regard to the accountability of our stewardship of leadership:

Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you (Hebrews 13:17).

Jesus told his disciples: “There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. So he called him in and asked him, ‘What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer’ (Luke 16:1-2).

It is written: “‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.’” So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God (Romans 14:11-12).

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account (Hebrews 4:12-13).

One day, we will all give an account to God for our management abilities. For those of us who are leaders, especially within the church, we will be held to a higher standard than other believers.

I would encourage all of us to live and lead today as though our personal evaluations by God will be held tomorrow.

Question: In light of this revelation that the management of your leadership role will be evaluated by God Himself, how will you lead differently, now?

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