This is a blog on a several year research project into what the Bible has to say on Stewardship, based on a doctoral desertion by Richard Krejcir, theologian in residence, at the Francis Schaeffer Institute of Church Leadership.
The word, stewardship, simply means to manage someone else’s property.
We sought to find out if there is a connection or correlation of faith from “discipleship precepts of Christian formation” to giving in a local church. Then compare that to how stewardship is actually perceived and practiced in American local churches.
Verses on Stewardship: Psalm 24:1; Proverbs 3:9-10; Romans 12:6; 1 Corinthians 4:1-2; 6:19-20; 2 Corinthians 8-9; Ephesians 5:15-16; James 1:17
Why was this study done? There is little serious or in depth research preformed on this subject.
Answers to Doctrinal Committee Questions on the scope of the dissertation:
- What inspired your idea initially?
As a pastor I have realized that most Christians only give superficial interest in stewardship and do not understand the concept and call of this mandate. It is my intent to do a careful research project to stimulate interest and show the love of God and the call to care for His creation and His Church, in our time, treasures and talent.
- What particularly interests you about this subject?
I have no particular personal interest; in fact I do not like this subject much. I chose it to help challenge my own thinking and simulate my interest so I can be a better steward personally and communicate as a pastor and trainer of pastors these concepts better to others God’s Biblical stewardship precepts.
- What sort of things do you want to find out?
I want to find out what does God desire of us in stewardship and bring clarity on this subject to others. And the investigation is to dive into His Word with an inductive and deductive scientific model to determine the meaning, context without a predetermined theological parameters or mindset, rather a “fresh look.” I will also examine the postmodern mindset to determine current thought and trends in this subject as compared to Biblical precepts. This is to instigate the ability to be able to answerer people’s questions, is it a straight ten percent principle, or is it just a matter of the heart or is there more to this? Why is this subject so upsetting to me and most others, and how we can change our mindsets from being stingy to giving cheerfully?
- How is it relevant to what you’ve been studying?
My study is practical theology and my concentration is “discipleship precepts of Christian formation.” However, I discovered little to no inductive research in the subject of stewardship; rather most works center upon reading in personal and preconceived agendas and no real interest in most researchers to discover the biblical facts of the matter.
- How is it relevant to you personally?
As a missionary I have to raise my support by seeking people who are wise stewards to personally contribute to the work God has given me to do. However, this task is becoming increasingly more difficult. Christians do not give as they have in the past. They seem to have a chokehold on money and a resentment of giving, while those who are doing His work are suffering from others misguided theological understandings and fears of conviction.
- Is it a topic worth writing about?
Yes! Because there is little dissertational research preformed on this subject. I have searched through the significant theological libraries of “Fuller Theological Seminary,” “Clermont” and “William Carry University” in the United States and the significant libraries of “Oxford” and “Cambridge” in England and found no dissertations on this exact subject or in any close approximation. There is however significance in the “creation stewardship” principle but not in the “exegetical” principle. Also an internet search also revealed no results! Because of this there are a multitude of misguided theological positions in the church and even in the same denominational frameworks. There is a seeming impression of a refusal to look closely at this subject. And the average Christian in the pew has a varied palate of misconceptions on this subject as well. It is the duty of a church and pastor to bring clarity, communicate this subject matter as clearly as thoroughly and as loving as possible while being an example. It is my intent to provide a modest platform for this endeavor.
Primary Sources of Data
The primary sources used in this project are all biblical and theological. Certain selective books, articles, periodicals and commentaries on Stewardship in hard format and online have been thoroughly explored, especially those of competent biblical exegetes. In conjunction was an in-depth examination of complied research, statistical examinations and the personal interviews of 178 subjects were obtained and another 100+ via popular website forums, with a validly comparison to 560 people.
Besides textbooks and commentaries, the Greek New Testament Bible edited by Metzger, in juxtaposition word study tools have also been primary resources that I have employed in the analysis of the subject. Also, the use of varied English Bible versions, Septuagint, Lexicons, Bible Dictionaries, biblical Encyclopaedias, Greek grammar works and Concordance have been the pre-eminent assist to acquire the most accurate translation and information as possible of terms in the text, context and meaning.
In spite of all these endeavours intended to convey in this dissertation, I honesty admit that this study only “scratches the surface.” I therefore make no evidential claim to be definitive and exhaustive. Rather, this is only a modest effort to by exegetical means to critically and scientifically analyze the concept of Biblical Stewardship. Further sources listed in the bibliography.