In this previous post, we discussed how most people - in a business, non-profit or church setting - are stewards of others’ assets. Today, once again using Mark Vincent’s Stewardship Manifest, we are going to look at how to define what assets we may be stewarding.
Mark says, “These assets can be property, equipment, wealth, or even people. The steward is a servant who treats their charge as if it were their own.” (Stewardship Manifest, page 2.)
Acting as a steward leader causes us to gain perspective on the assets we interact with in three major areas:
- Wealth, property, and other material resources
- The environment and natural resources
We steward wealth when we manage others’ property, materials, or wealth on their behalf. This is the most common understanding of stewardship. Our culture has embedded this kind of stewardship in legal, moral and ethical writing over many years.
We steward people when we realize that people who work with us, for us, and over us all have gifts, skills, talents and abilities that are not ours, but over which we have significant influence due to our relationship with the person. Moreover, when people work for us, they entrust their livelihood to us, including their earning power, their health, and their relationships with family and friends outside of their work environment. The implications of this could seriously affect how bosses and owners treat those who work for them, in particular.
We steward the environment and natural resources when we realize that we don’t really own, or control, the planet on which we live, but must take care of something that long preceded us and (in all likelihood) will long outlast us. This certainly affects how we manage and use those resources.
What assets do you manage as a Steward Leader?