As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the multifaceted grace of God.
(1 Peter 4:10, NASB)

Stewarding or managing God’s economy and the Household of God is way more than returning the Tithe or ensuring an organization is financially afloat.

Observing the present state of the Christian church, Bloomberg remarked, “I often wondered why Christian ministries that are raising money do not stress the central biblical truth that giving is part of the whole-life transformation, that Stewardship and Sanctification go together as signs of Christian obedience and maturity.”[1]

Hall argued that the stewardship concept had been truncated in the Christian church today: “What we have by way of stewardship in our churches is, in fact, a drastically reduced version of the biblical concept … a purely functional appropriation of the biblical metaphor.”[2] He also observed that, based on this truncated concept of Stewardship, churchgoers rationalize that Stewardship is “about the acquisition and management of ecclesiastical monies and properties,”[3] meaning that Stewardship is reduced to a narrow business model in its not-for-profit management of church organization.

Speaking in an even more tangible way, Rodin and Hoag illustrated the difference between being a steward and doing Stewardship:

“More than any other area of ministry today, we are measured in this work by what we do. The development department makes its reports by using charts and graphs. We talk about our work in terms of dollar goals, percentages of participation, average gifts, and pledge totals. From thermometers in lobbies to annual reports mailed to our entire databases, everybody knows exactly if we are successful or not. Ours is a highly measurable profession where we are evaluated almost solely on what we do and how much we raise. There is something fundamentally wrong with this picture.”[4]

Hence, there is a need to have a wholistic approach to Stewardship where all aspects of the “Manifold grace of God” (1 Peter 4:10) are interconnected and are part of one whole, unbroken unit. As Froom explained: Stewardship in its larger aspects is the all-inclusive principle of the whole of life. It is not a theory nor a philosophy but a working program. It is in verity the Christian law of living. It forms the Christian appraisal of privilege, opportunity, power, and talent.”[5]

An indebted investigation of Ellen G. White’s writings revealed a long list of over fifty different areas of life that include spiritual, emotional, relational, material, temperamental, and other areas of life we are “stewards of,” acknowledging both the individual or group engagement of the Christian.

The analysis indicates that beyond White’s comprehensive, wholistic view of a steward’s engagement, the overwhelming emphasis in her writings was on being stewards of “grace.” Some examples are “stewards of God’s or His grace,” “stewards of the manifold grace of God,” “stewards of the grace of Christ,” “stewards of the manifold grace of Christ,” “stewards of the mysteries of God,” and “stewards of the mysteries of the grace of God.”

It is safe to say that out of 535 references, over two-thirds are grace-related, and half of the remaining third are relational, describing the steward’s direct dependent relation to God and the Lord Jesus. The references to grace emphasize generosity with all the gifts, including the gospel, grace and mercy, hospitality, tithing, love, and many other received gifts. She referred to “time and means, talents and influence” as “temporal gifts.”[6]

While she considered them important and worthy of the faithful management of the stewards of God, her emphasis was over and over on stewards who “must be partakers of the self-denial and self-sacrifice of Christ for the good of others.”[7] She emphasized the stewards’ identification with the Owner or their Lord and their work of channeling and dispensing the received manifold gifts of grace through their lives.

Just as Apostle Peter taught, we received many gifts for building up the fellowship of believers, caring for each other, and growing the kingdom of God. In other words, we received all the gifts to generously share with others for the glory of the Giver and for the salvation of many. Jesus commissioned his stewards: And as you go, preach, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” (Matthew 10:7-8). This is genuine STEWARDSHIP!

—Anton Kapusi was lead pastor at First Pueblo Seventh-day Adventist Church until August 31, 2023. Photo by Pexels.


[1]  Willmer, W. K. (Ed.). (2008). Revolution in Generosity: Transforming Stewards to be Rich Toward God. Chicago, IL: Moody. p. 45.

[2]  Hall, D. J. (1990). The Steward: A Biblical Symbol Come of Age. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans. p. 12.

[3]  Ibid.

[4]  Rodin, R. S., & Hoag, G. G. (2010). The Sower: Redefining the Ministry of Raising Kingdom Resources. Winchester, VA: ECFA. pp. 7-8.

[5]  Froom, L. E. (2012). Stewardship in its Larger Aspects. Mountain View, CA: Pacific Press.

[6]  White, E. G. (1973). God’s Amazing Grace. Washington, DC: Review and Herald. p. 62.

[7]  Ibid.