A biblical world view of stewardship can be defined as, "utilizing and managing all resources God provides, for the glory of God and the betterment of his creation" (Charles Bugg, “Stewardship” in Holman Bible Dictionary (Holman: Tennessee, 1991), 1303-1304). Stewardship is therefore a matter of discipleship as we give in response to God’s generosity, leading to his ultimate sacrifice for us on the cross.

Christian stewardship is our responsibility to be stewards – or caretakers – of God’s resources, including recognising that everything we have come from God. Stewardship is also acknowledging that God is the source of each gift and possession, that we have a trusteeship over them and not an ownership. Our giving forms a response to that generosity.

Through giving we enable God’s mission; we resource that mission, through giving back what we recognise is actually God’s in the first place. Our giving, its broadest sense, primarily enables our churches to flourish and grow. Giving our time to volunteer helps us to be places of welcome and hospitality, and on a practical level facilitates encounters with God through prayer, worship and fellowship. Our financial giving is equally important, as this sustains and resources our ministry and mission, and enables us to reach out to our communities in faith.

And by giving we also grow as disciples. Where we spend our money reveals our priorities in life and shows the challenge of discipleship; our attitude towards money can powerfully influence our outlook on life. Our challenge as Christians is to place God at the top of the list, rather than working out what’s left at the end of the day.

Click here to find out how to run a Generous Giving programme in your church.