[vimeo id="138781751"] One of the most important aspects of leadership is being a good steward of what God has given you. Jesus repeatedly emphasizes this in His teachings, and one of the most memorable example is His parable about the talents. Many of us probably know the story. Three stewards are given different amounts of money, or talents. Two of them invest their funds and double their money, but one of them buries it to keep it safe. Jesus praises the first two, but He criticizes the last one. So what does this parable tell us about leadership? Here are three points we can get from the parable about stewardship.
First, the parable is about people. Although most people use it as a financial lesson, in the broader context of Jesus’ message, it’s really about people. You know, we’ve all been given spheres of influence. Some people have a much larger audience that they can reach (like the servant with five talents), but we all have at least one person – or one talent – who we can speak into. Not only is it an opportunity, but according to Jesus, investing into others is part of being a “good and faithful steward.”
Secondly, stewardship isn’t about maintenance, it’s about growth. This principle is found throughout Scripture. Jesus repeatedly talks about cutting down trees or branches that don’t bear fruit because they aren’t growing. Even at the beginning of creation, Adam and Eve were told to rule the earth and “be fruitful and multiply.” The call to stewardship has always been a call to cultivate growth.
Finally, the last steward doesn’t understand the heart of his leader. Before he has to give account of himself, the steward calls his leader a hard man. But maybe that’s because he didn’t understand the heart behind the response. If the parable is really about stewarding people, then Jesus is really communicating how important investing into people is to God. For God, the proper stewardship of people is a serious matter. So think of someone’s life you can speak into and take the opportunity to be a good steward of people’s destinies.
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