For Such a Time as This: Laying the Foundation for the Steward Manifesto
Last week I announced the upcoming launch of the Steward Manifesto. Four writing teams comprised of twenty people have been working for over a year creating a document that we pray will be “a call to our brothers and sisters to reclaim our calling to be stewards of our identity, an identity that is being attacked, confused, and distorted.”
For you who have been following my blog, I earnestly pray that you will engage with this document as we prepare to roll it out publicly on September 9th as part of our annual Steward Summit. You are also warmly invited to attend the Summit and be present for this historic moment. (Register here).
One of the goals of the Steward Manifesto is to introduce a wider audience to the foundational theology that undergirds what we believe about being stewards and not owners. We lay this foundation with the following opening statement.
The Steward Manifesto is built on the biblical teaching that in creation God’s gift of relationship was given to us to steward faithfully under His guiding hand. As bearers of the image of God, we were perfectly designed to live as stewards through the four relationships that mark our core meaning and purpose: our relationship to God, Self, Neighbor, and Creation. God the Creator and Sustainer of life is the sole Lord, the one true owner of all creation.
One of my prayers is that we can help followers of Jesus name the things in their life that the enemy is using to keep them in bondage. We have spoken often in this blog about the two-kingdom trap we fall into when we seek to play the owner and grasp for control overthings in our life. Here’s how we intend to describe it in the Manifesto:
Two-kingdom people choose control over surrender, live as owners instead of stewards, and sacrifice freedom in their pursuit of happiness through the accumulation of power and possessions. As a result, two-kingdom people live in bondage.
We contrast this life of bondage with the truth and joy of the one-kingdom journey to which Christ calls each of us.
In the shalom of Eden, we lived as one-kingdom people. One-kingdom people are stewards. One-kingdom people are selfless. One-kingdom people know to whom they belong. One-kingdom people are secure in their purpose and identity. One-kingdom people are set free to fulfill the purpose for which we were created.
May I ask you to pray that the Holy Spirit will prepare the hearts of our brothers and sisters in Christ in America to read and engage with this message? If we will all commit ourselves to this prayer, perhaps this may be a part of God’s work to renew the church and revive His people. We state this vision and hope in the closing paragraph in the opening section.
This is the spiritual battle of our generation, and it is a battle we are losing. We will frame the battle as our call to live as faithful and free stewards in all four of these relationships. We will name the deceptions we have allowed to take root that rob us of the freedom we have in Christ. And we will proclaim for the body of Christ a new vision for how we might rise triumphantly through repentance and restoration that can lead to true revival.
May it be so!