Steward Leadership
by Nancy Russell Catan

I have just completed co-facilitating a 3-day workshop on Steward Leadership: A Course in Transformational Christian Leadership for 50 BCBP leaders in Davao, June 23-25 . One of the participants commented on the evaluation sheet at the end of the course that he wished this Training could be given to most of our leaders at all levels of society so they would be better able to lead their respective followers according to Christian values and principles.

In the Steward Leaders Training course, SLT, we discuss in detail the differences between worldly leadership and steward leadership. Worldly leadership flows from power and riches, is authority-centered rather than other-centered, and is characterized by the need to feel important, self-empowered and in control.

Steward leadership on the other hand is empowered by the example and spirit of Jesus and flows from service and dedication to the welfare of others with the steward leading through example of life, with personal integrity and genuine love for others.

The worldly leader orders: “Do what I tell you”. The steward leader says: “Follow me and do what I do.”

The results? The worldly leader most often becomes stressed out, makes enemies and adversaries, experiences aloneness (no friends!) and leads a life of inner turmoil that he tries to hide through arrogance and abuse of power. Such people are prone to ulcers, strokes, heart attacks, migraine attacks, etc. But the steward leader has many true friends and embraces a life of fulfillment, joy and inner peace.

What then is the definition of a steward leader? A steward leader has access to the possessions (life, skills, talents, resources, opportunities) of the owner and is tasked with the responsibility of managing those possessions according to the mind of the owner to achieve desired results. He nourishes, improves and strengthens these possessions so that he will be able to return them to their owner in better condition than when he received them at any time the owner desires an accountability.

The Christian steward leader is deeply aware that his “owner” is God. He should therefore be a person of integrity, competence, and possess the courage to stand up for the right and the good. His life’s principles and value system must be in place and be the basis for his decision-making. He should have genuine concern for the welfare of others with the desire and willingness to apply the Golden Rule in his life and in all areas of responsibility. He should be proactive rather than reactive.

Do our leaders measure up to the high standards of Christian Steward Leadership? We must also ask ourselves this same question... for their leadership is only as strong as the persons they lead!

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