Human Stewardship

What are the people in your church worth to you?  How much do you value them as individuals, as volunteers, as brothers and sisters in Christ?

Al Newell challenged me with some thoughts on stewardship that I found to be frustrating, hurtful, and helpful.  Frustrating because they reminded me I have a lot of work left to do.  Hurtful because they reminded me that I don’t love people the way I should.  But helpful because they gave me a way forward in ministry.  If you have people involved in your ministry, here are some thoughts on stewarding those human resources:

Misappropriation of Resources

When an organization or church has a misappropriation of funds, there is an outcry.  We all know that we have to steward our financial resources in a godly manner.  But how are we stewarding our human resources?  Churches misappropriate people every day – putting them in a volunteer position they are not equipped for, allowing them to lead without any experience.  We often talk about the cattle on a thousand hills belonging to the Lord, but so do the people in our churches.

Temple Building

God is in the process of building his temple – the church!  And the building blocks of that temple are the people in our churches.  We talk a lot about taking good care of our facilities, but are we taking care of the Lord’s temple?  Are we equipping the saints?  Are we leading them well?  Do we love them enough to make sure they are in the right church, the right ministry?

Right People in the Right Places

If we really love our people and we want to steward God’s resources well, then we have to be looking to put the right people in the right places in our church.  This means we have to create a system that allows us to find what place those people need to be in.  This means we need to be seeking the Lord as we decide what ministries our church should have.  If no one in your church is gifted and called to lead an evangelism seminar, you wouldn’t force them to.  In the same way, if we only have 2 people who are called and gifted to teach small groups, we should only have 2 small groups.

Loving Them Away

Recognizing that all our people are God’s people, not our own, we may sometimes need to love them enough to send them away.  Maybe they need to go on the mission field.  Maybe they need to go into full time pastoral ministry.  Or maybe they just are a better fit at the church down the street.  Do you love the Lord, the universal church, and your people enough to get them into the right place for them?  When we love someone away we bless the other ministry, that person, and the Kingdom of God.

I admit that I have a long way to go when it comes to stewarding my human resources.  How about you?  How can we steward human resources better?