“I became a servant of the church according to the stewardship from God — given to me for you — in order to complete the word of God” (Colossians 1:25 NET).
A “steward” was someone who held an important position in the New Testament era and Paul the Apostle used that occupation to illustrate the sense of responsibility he felt in representing Christ to others. Today we might associate a steward with someone who serves as a manager, administrator, or director of affairs for a business organization or residential estate. One source clarifies a steward’s responsibility with the following observation…
“A steward… was a servant whom his master entrusted with the administration of his business or property. His job was to devote his time, talents, and energy to executing his master’s interests, not his own. The figure stresses both the apostles’ humble position as belonging to Christ and their trusted yet accountable position under God.” (1)
This metaphor was so powerful that Paul used it in several of his Biblical letters…
“Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful” (1 Corinthians 4:1-2).
“For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel! For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have been entrusted with a stewardship” (1 Corinthians 9:16-17).
“For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money” (Titus 1:7).
These passages remind us that those who follow Christ have been entrusted with an obligation to prayerfully manage their God-given authority, gifts, skills, talents, and opportunities in a way that demonstrates love and respect for Him. Those who manage such assets in a God-honoring manner will obtain a great reward, for as Jesus once said in a message to His disciples…
“The trustworthy servant is the one whom the master puts in charge of all the servants of his household; it is the trustworthy servant who not only oversees all the work, but also ensures the servants are properly fed and cared for. And it is, of course, crucial that a servant who is given such responsibility performs his responsibility to his master’s standards—so when the master returns he finds his trust has been rewarded. For then the master will put that good servant in charge of all his possessions” (Matthew 24:45-47 Voice).
(1) Notes on 1 Corinthians 2019 Edition Dr. Thomas L. Constable [4:1] https://www.planobiblechapel.org/tcon/notes/html/nt/1corinthians/1corinthians.htm