Published by Tyndale on January 2020
Genres: Non-Fiction, Christian Life
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In Kingdom Stewardship, Dr. Tony Evans inspires you to broaden your perspective of Christian stewardship. In this encouraging and challenging book, you will learn that stewardship includes how you manage all that God has given you--your time, your talents, and your treasures--to advance God's kingdom and bring Him glory. While many stewardship books focus on managing financial resources, Tony Evans says that your finances are one small part of a much bigger calling. He teaches that God owns all things, and you are the manager of His assets. When you bring your entire life into alignment under God, you will be blessed with purpose and the abundant life that comes from living by God's eternal principles.
Just recently, I posted a Facebook status offering some pastoral suggestion of how to handle the incoming government stimulus check. (For those of you reading this in the far future, a pandemic has shut down the economy and put millions out of work. To offset this, the government is graciously returning some of our tax dollars to us.) In this post, I suggested that, if you didn’t need the money now and knew you wouldn’t need it later, to consider giving the money away to someone who did. Almost immediately, I got the backlash “Or it’s my money and my rules.” That’s the prevailing thought in a hyper-individualized American culture. It’s mine and I decide. At the heart of Kingdom Stewardship is the exact opposite. It’s God’s and I have the responsibility to choose wisely. This is about more than money. It’s about managing all of life under God’s rule.
This concept of subservience to the rule of the Kingdom of God and stewardship of His resources is at the very heart of Tony Evans’ ministry. It’s the undergirding theme of all of his writing. It’s only natural, then, that his view on stewardship is profoundly powerful and life-changing.
Too often, we think of stewardship in purely financial terms. It’s the money that I give to God. What we forget is that money is congealed life. It represents our time, out talent, and our resources. Money is but a tangible aspect of our stewardship. In truth, stewardship is about the direction of our entire lives. Stewardship is discipleship: it’s what you were created for.
Kingdom Stewardship is divided into four parts:
- The Foundation of Kingdom Stewardship
- The Scope of Kingdom Stewardship
- The Approach of Kingdom Stewardship
- The Benefits of Kingdom Stewardship
All four sections have three perfectly alliterated chapters per section, thoroughly working out the substance of Evans’ beliefs.
The Foundation of Kingdom Stewardship
The first section walks readers through the meaning, mindset, and motivation of developing a theology of Kingdom Stewardship. I don’t think there’s anything exceptionally revelatory in this section. People just don’t want to follow it. They’ll pay lip service to this foundation, but never work it out. This section almost works as a “gotcha.” Evans gets readers to raise their hands and shout amen before hitting them with the practical implications of their thinking.
The Scope of Kingdom Stewardship
The second section takes through the structure, spheres, and strategy of Kingdom Stewardship. Of particular note in this section are his subsections of the spheres of the individual, the family, the church, and the community. Evans teaches on having a proper reverence and fear of God in your relationship with him, to not treat your relationship with the Lord of the Universe as something to be taken casually.
His section on the family calls for unity and togetherness. Some will take issue with his complementarian leanings, which don’t get full expression here. I think Evans would have done well to not gloss over this viewpoint. Either embrace it and explain it, or skip over it entirely. This is ostensibly the most important section and it receives the least amount of time.
The third section deals with developing a practical approach to Kingdom Stewardship. This is where the book could have shined, but Evans shies away from too many solid and actionable approaches and stays more in the realm of the theoretical. In truth, this is more of an extension of the scope of stewardship.
The best takeaway from this section is that whatever you do, do it with all your might. You may not feel like your job has a Kingdom-purpose, but you can create something out of it anyway.
The final section details the benefits of Kingdom Stewardship. Not only does it leads to rewards in the present, Evans details the eternal reward that those who live under God’s rule will receive. It’s a clear and concise reminder that everything we do in this life matters, not just for a future Kingdom, but for the Kingdom of God that is now here crashing down among us.
In the end, Kingdom Stewardship isn’t all that revolutionary. Then again, it’s the way I’ve lived my life for a while, so maybe I just don’t see it. I would have liked to have seen some more practical, actionable suggestions, but as a baseline overview for those just beginning to consider how to live a Kingdom life, this is a solid start.
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