By Chris Brown
When talk turns to stewardship, your mind might naturally shift to financial stuff. After all, it just makes sense to focus on checking accounts and charitable giving when you think about using God’s blessings God’s way for God’s glory.
To be honest, though, money is the easy part of stewardship. We know that God has given us a responsibility to handle money well. But stewardship involves so much more than that. It includes other blessings that aren’t quite so easy to identify.
Like your leadership.
That’s right. If you’re a leader, God has blessed you with that role. That means you have a responsibility to manage that leadership His way for His glory.
If the idea of mixing stewardship and leadership rocks your world, you might struggle to make it work in real life. That’s okay. We’ve got you covered with six ways you can be an effective steward of your leadership.
1. Hold on loosely—because God owns it all.
Yes, you know that Psalm 24:1 says the earth and everything in it belong to God. If everything really means everything, then He owns your leadership. And you have to hold it with open hands, just like you hold the material blessings He provides.
In other words, don’t get caught up in a whirlwind of power and authority. Leadership is one of those areas where “What would Jesus do?” is a solid question to ask when you’re trying to be a faithful steward.
2. Be transparent.
This might come as a shock, but nobody’s perfect. Yeah, you already knew that, but it’s always a good thing to remember. And since everybody makes mistakes, don’t be afraid to own up to yours.
Most team members are much more willing to forgive leaders who come clean and learn from their mistakes than someone who pretends nothing’s wrong or, worse, tries to cover up their mistakes. Besides, you’re eventually going to give an account of your stewardship to God, so you might as well start practicing transparency now.
3. Hold others accountable.
One of the more difficult jobs of a leader is calling out problems among team members. Nobody wants to hurt someone else’s feelings; but if you’re letting things slide to spare a team member some heartache, you’re practicing shaky stewardship.
To be unclear is to be unkind, so be as clear as you can about team members’ responsibilities and your expectations. Then, uphold those standards. You don’t have to be a jerk about it, but you do have to be a faithful steward.
4. Don’t waste time.
This world is filled with distractions that come in all shapes and sizes. And while it’s not wrong to take a little mental break from time to time, never let it keep you from putting in an honest day’s work.
Unlike money, time is the ultimate limited resource. You can’t wave a magic wand to make more minutes, and you can’t buy extra hours at the office supply store. So, be a good steward of your leadership by being a good steward of your time.
5. Cast a compelling vision.
Leaders can’t lead if no one follows. And no team member will follow a would-be leader who has no vision. On the flip side, people will fight and claw to serve alongside a leader who casts a vision that touches hearts and changes lives. They want to be a part of something bigger than themselves.
To steward your leadership well, you have to cast a vision that people can embrace. So, identify what matters most to your work—then show your team members the purpose behind their investment. People will buy in to that kind of leadership, which means you’re being a faithful steward.
6. Protect your family.
Of all the things you’re called to steward, your family is the most important. Too often, leaders get swept away with the pressures and responsibilities that come with their positions. As a result, those closest to them suffer.
But all the success in the world isn’t worth your family. Your spouse and your kids need you. Steward them first, and you can steward your leadership better.
Stewardship requires attention and intention, but it’s also necessary if you’re going to be the leader God designed you to be. He has you in your position for a purpose. Use that position His way for His glory.
Chris Brown is a pastor and dynamic speaker carrying the message of intentional living nationwide as a Ramsey Personality. Host of the Life, Money and Hope podcast, Chris provides biblical wisdom and practical advice for life’s everyday questions. Chris and his wife, Holly, live in Franklin, Tennessee, with their three children. You can follow Chris online at Stewardship.com, on Twitter and Instagram at @ChrisBrownOnAir, or at facebook.com/ChrisBrownOnAir.