The 5 T’s of Stewardship

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Stewardship is a concept which runs right through the Bible. It begins in Genesis 1 where God creates the world, and designates it as something that He owns, but which we are to look after. It carries on throughout the Old Testament, where the Israelites receive, but never own, His covenants and presence.  And then in the New Testament, through the sin offering of Jesus Christ, we can declare Him as our Lord, give the ownership of our lives to Him, and be restored to God. For those of us that make this choice of salvation, He becomes the rightful Lord and owner of our lives from that point, and we become stewards of the new life that he has given us, free from the power and penalty of sin.

A short word study on the word ‘stewardship’ in the Bible reinforces this view.  In the Old Testament we see the word steward appear 6 times, and each time it’s a composite set of Hebrew words meaning ‘one whom is over’, for example in Genesis 44:1 and 44:4 where Joseph commands the steward of his house (the one whom is over his house) to put a silver cup into his brother’s travelling bags.  This steward is clearly managing the different items that Joseph owns.

In the New Testament Greek we also see reference to stewardship, and it’s used a total of 13 times. The Greek word used is ikonoméō, which means managing a household properly, a type of administration where a person looks after another’s affairs / resources.  The word is used most by Jesus in Matthew 20:8 and Luke 12:42. In both passages, the steward is managing finances with their own authority, but also in the knowledge that the underlying assets belong to someone else.

So looking at the big picture of the Bible, but also these specific Hebrew and Greek words, we can suggest a definition of a steward as one who is commissioned to be in charge, who is given authority to be over certain resources, and who manages those resources that belong to another.


As I have reflected on the relevance and application of all this, I have identified 5 areas of our own personal lives in which we need to be prayerful and positive stewards.

  1. TIME                       How I love to laze around and watch TV! And goodness me how much time do I spend scrolling through my phone!! Outside of work the average person has 40 hours each week of awake-time.  Am I stewarding my time in line with what God wants from me?
  2. TALENTS               What are the natural strengths and gifts that God has given me?  How well do I steward them to contribute into the local church and give glory to God? This might be musical ability, hospitality, administrative strength, building friendships, or other creative abilities.
  3. TREASURE               I’ll focus more on financial stewardship during an upcoming sermon, but for now let’s remind ourselves that all our money belongs to Jesus; He is our Lord, and His priorities and plans should be those we earnestly seek to prioritise ourselves.
  4. TESTIMONY             God expects that His children will tell of His goodness in their lives to the people they meet, (see 1 Peter 3:15.)  In fact, we are instructed to go into all the world and share that news.  How well do we steward this responsibility that Jesus has given us?
  5. Our TRUE BEING       This is the private area of our life and character which others may not fully see… but which we know deep down. Psalm 51 says “create in me a pure heart oh LORD.”  God sees the deepest part of our hearts – our reactions of anger or spite, our bitter thoughts, our lustful moments, our envy and jealousy.  He sees our characters as though it’s written out in large print, and He sees the extent to which we are seeking to live by His spirit in our true being.

‘Whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.’ I encourage you to pause, pray, and take some quality time with God to review how you are doing in these 5 T’s of stewardship.  This could be something you choose to review over 5 different quiet times, or it could be something you have a frank and open conversation about while walking with a friend.   Let’s excel together at being stewards with these wonderful resources which God has given us in our lives.  Let’s steward them with integrity, joy, energy, and faith.

Fulfilling the Great Commission with local neighbours

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Living here in Luton we are in the unique and privileged position to meet and build friendships with unreached people groups.  Through past projects run by the church, we have developed good relationships with families from other cultures in our local community.  However a number of changes, and the challenges of Covid, have meant that as a church we were not able to connect with these families in the way we once did.

This year I am going to be doing a cross-cultural internship program with Hope Church and the ‘Unreached’ Network which is a part of New Frontiers.  The aim is to establish a team of people here at Hope Church who will be part of reaching out to friends and neighbours from other faiths and cultures.

As you remember before the pandemic a team from Hope would run regular holiday clubs which many of these families enjoyed coming to. We want to re-establish these relationships between the church and the families and that is going to be one of my aims this year.  There are three key considerations as we hope to achieve this is;

  1. to run a different style of holiday event, three times this academic year.
  2. providing a fortnightly homework drop-in for children in school years ages 7 to 11
  3. Finally we would like to have a team of people who would regularly visit some of our local families from other faiths.

For us to achieve this vision as a church we need people who are willing to give of themselves and their time to be a part of this.  It would be great if you feel you can support us by praying, but also we would love for you to be a part of the team that plans and runs the holiday event.  We would also like a team of people who could support at the fortnightly homework club.

Living in Luton we see this as part of our calling to fulfil the great commission and so if you are interested or feel God is speaking to you about this then please come and speak to me for more information.  Also please feel free to come and ask me any questions you may have.

LATEST NEWS – The homework club is starting on Tuesday 18th October from 3:30-5:30pm at Hope Church, for 7-11 year olds.  Parents are also welcome.

Posted by Kristina Druce

20 years of a people of Hope.

September is always a good time to reflect, the start of a new school year, the transition from Summer to Autumn. Also important in the light of the death of our queen after 70 years on the throne and on a day that is for ever imprinted on our memories, 9/11. There are events that stay in the memory of everyone alive at the time, I remember exactly where I was when I heard the news of the airplanes crashing into the world trade building. I will always remember where I was when I heard the news that the queen had died. Monumental times.

We should therefore not forget that this September represents 20 years since we started as a church, another significant event even if not in the same league as 9/11 or the death of the queen.

Prior to the start of the church a group of people moved with Anne and me to Luton with the declared aim to start the church. We were quickly joined by many already living in the town. These were the original people of Hope. Some are still here; others are serving God is other places in the UK and around the world. Many, many others have been part of the people of Hope since then. It has been an incredible 20 years and we will be having a number of activities over the course of the next 12 months to both acknowledge the journey God has taken us on and to look forward to the future.

Prior to the launch the team spent time seeking God about what we should be called. There was in awareness of the significance of a churches name, we didn’t take it lightly. There was a unanimous sense that we should be called Hope Church because hope is the antidote to despair. We felt despair was what we needed to combat.

Since then, we have learnt so much but the calling to bring hope in the midst of despair remains central to who we are as a church. We bring a message of Hope for now as well as hope for the future. Hope to those who have hidden despair and hope for those who have open despair.

In the first chapter of John’s gospel Philip invites his friend Nathanael to meet Jesus of Nazareth. Nathanael replies, can anything good come out of Nazareth? Come and see says Philip. We felt that there were similar sentiments about Luton, can anything good come out of Luton? people ask. Yes, we want to say, come, and see. We wanted to build a come and see church!

These were early themes that are still true today. Recognising that the UK is going to become more like Luton than Luton like the rest of the UK.  We need to keep seeking God about what his church looks like in a multi-cultural town like Luton with a very high Muslim population. With people coming from all corners of the world, coming with high expectations which are rarely realised. With white British people a minority, with many key figures in the town living outside and commuting in.

We want to build something to the glory of God in Luton, to which we can say to others, come and see what God can do. What we and others are building in Luton needs to be something that serves others, that brings hope for now as well as hope for the future. That is another of the things we have learnt, we need to work with others to serve the town. No one church or Christian organisation has all the answers, we have to work together not in competition. We need to have an attitude of humility, we need to have the same attitude as Christ Jesus who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant…… he humbled himself. Like Jesus we are in humility to consider others better than ourselves.

A massive change in the nature of the church was our purchase of Hope Church Centre in 2009, when we were just 7 or 8 years old as a church. It was a major faith event, raising money for a deposit, getting a mortgage, and then embarking on a year’s adventure refurbishing the premises. Prior to that we had met in different schools on a Sunday and had office facilities in Leagrave for a time. We had received words from God of our need for a building and some words describing the type of building He wanted us to have. Something that didn’t look like a church but had lots of rooms, something more like a community centre.

That is what we now have. A building that enables us to serve the community of Luton, which we do in so many ways. Things we run ourselves but also enabling others to serve the town.

We know so much more than 20 years ago; we have come along way, but we have much more to learn.

So many people have contributed to the church being what it is now. People who gave up weeks to refurbish the building, some not even members of the church. Others serving in different ways, including senior leadership and staff positions. We have been truly blessed by God and those he has gathered here. Something worth acknowledging and celebrating which we will be doing this year.


A church that reaches the unreached. (Part 2)

By Linda Geevanathan

There are certain characteristics a church should demonstrate to successfully grow in a way that welcomes and honours people from all backgrounds and cultures into it’s heart and not just on the margins.  Here are some of the characteristics:


  • Be Intentional – As Zig Ziglar famously says ‘You get what you aim for.’ Reaching the unreached is an area that is hard to break ground in and for this reason it is vital that as a church you are intentional about wanting to reach the unreached.  Intentional about building friendships and getting to know someone from a different culture to you.  This is especially important if you are a leader and looking to release people from different backgrounds into leadership.  Build relationships of trust if you want to see beyond the superficial, yet important differences and to see the potential in others.  A challenging question to ask yourself and your leadership team is – would you be comfortable being led by someone from a different ethnicity to you?


  • Humility – consider others better than yourself – styles of worship, readings in different languages, different speaker styles and accents, these are just a few ways we would have to choose to give space to and appreciate what others bring to a meeting and to the church family.


A few years ago, I remember having a discussion with another leader in the church.  She felt that the ethnic minority families in our church were not committing to life groups in the same way other families were and was questioning their commitment to church.  I explained that many Asian and African families do not use babysitters, so, evening, child free meetings would not necessarily work for them.  Those cultures usually prefer to bring their children with them to occasions rather than use a babysitter.  So, I challenged her that perhaps we as a church should look to hold life/home groups at different times and also have a few groups where children could come as well.  The presumption is that others should fit in with our culture, humility on the other hand, calls us to lay aside our preferences and convenience to think of the comfort of others.  Why can’t we of the majority culture look at how we could make a few simple changes and learn from people of other cultures?  I am thankful that now, a few years on, our church runs daytime groups and early evening family groups which many of our elderly, working class and ethnic minority members with children come along to, as well as our previous evening meetings.


  • Courage – Studies have shown that it is a fact that we prefer to be with people like us, a great book to read on this is ‘Rebel Ideas’ by Matthew Syed. It is the way we are naturally conditioned.   Most of my close friendship groups are with people who are generally like me, from middleclass backgrounds.  Over the years I have had to consciously choose to build friendships with people from working class and poorer backgrounds.  They are not always well presented; they can be very straight forward sometimes very blunt to the point of being rude. I felt intimidated and scared when I first set out to intentionally build with them but by overcoming my fear and reluctance, I have a life enriched by what they bring into it.  A perspective I would possibly have never considered.


Another area I had to re-evaluate and repent of was my own prejudice and fears about building with people from the Muslim community (in Luton many are from poor or working class backgrounds).  It was all subconscious until the Holy Spirit used people in my life to open my eyes to my own prejudice.  It then took courage to start to change my thinking and behaviour.  Now it is not unusual to attend iftars and other social gathering with my Muslim friends.


  • Listening – often as a culture we are about solutions and answers and our listening is about trying to solve what we think is the other person’s problem. For true belonging there needs to be real friendships built. This is made possible when people are given space to share their experiences, their perspective, their story.  To share how they may do something and why.  We listen and we honour. Will we let the stories of others shape us and our churches rather than look to be saviours?  Let’s seek to be peacemakers, learning from each other.


  • Distinguish our culture (often this is a white, middle class culture) from Biblical principles. Like I mentioned before some cultures don’t use babysitters.  Is that wrong? No, it’s different.  Some cultures don’t have bedtimes for their children, I observed this when I was in Valencia Spain and saw lots of young children playing together late at night.  Is this wrong? No, it’s just different.  Some cultures wear their best to church.  Is this wrong? No, it’s a preference.  Casual clothing is not more biblical than smart clothing.  They are different and both valid.  Be aware of what is ‘church’ culture, doing things the same way because we always have done, and which are Biblical principles.  Sometimes because we have been so immersed in our culture, we are unaware that it is not a Biblical principle and simply a preferred style.

For the church comfort is not our primary goal; reaching and raising up people who are passionate about Jesus is.  Making disciples who make disciples.  Breaking ground in our nation to see unreached people coming to know the goodness of God for themselves.



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