10 Rules of Life for a Follower of Jesus {Part II}

By Dr. Scott Rodin    

A Guide to Help You Live a More Fulfilled Life (Part II)

10 Life Rules for a Follower of Jesus | The Steward's Journey

In my last blog we looked at the first five ‘rules of life’ that should guide us as followers of Jesus. These first five related more to who we are as disciples. Now we turn to the final five, which are more focused on what we do as steward leaders called by God to serve by leading others toward kingdom outcomes.

As with the first five, these final rules come from our book, The Choice, written with my colleagues Gary Hoag, Wes Willmer. Here are the final five rules:

6. To employ faithfulness-focused strategies related to prayerful strategic planning

As leaders we face the temptation to create strategies that are solely focused on growth as our measurement of success. As steward leaders we must choose a different path. Our measurement of success must be focused on faithfulness to hear and obey the directions of the Owner. When strategy is developed in the crucible of discerning prayer it will produce vision that will bear witness more to our desire for obedient service than organizational advancement. Put another way, we will focus on building God’s kingdom, not our own.

As steward leaders we must reject the temptation to build strategy on the unexamined presupposition that growth is the driving measurement of success. In its place we must create a culture that is satisfied only in its pursuit of uncompromised and absolute faithfulness to ‘every word that comes from the mouth of God.’

This rule requires us to subordinate deeply entrenched business practices to the higher calling of obedience, trust and faith. It requires spiritual maturity and discernment on everyone’s behalf. It is the work of the steward leader to create the context and passion for such a pursuit.

7. To utilize eternity-oriented metrics for ministry accountability and transparent financial administration

Kingdom work is eternal work. In our role as a steward leader we are striving for impact that has eternal value. Doesn’t it make sense that we would create metrics that align with this ultimate goal? If we measure success in terms of faithfulness, we must apply metrics that tell us how we are doing in achieving that faithfulness. We measure what we value. What are you measuring that determines what you value and consider ‘success’? 

If we are stewards of what belongs to the sovereign God of all creation, there is also no room for even the least suggestion of ethical compromise or secret financial dealings. Transparency is a non-negotiable for every steward leader. Secrecy in any form is an invitation for the enemy to breed deception, accommodation and compromise. Drive every form of it from your organization, and your heart.

This rule provides us with a challenge and a charge. The challenge is to tie our measurements of success to our commitment to faithfulness as our driving definition of success. The charge is to examine all of our financial dealings and let no shadow of compromise in integrity fall on them. Steward leaders are called to pay careful attention to both.

8. To manage relationships from a posture of humility and love

How we measure success will dictate how we manage our people toward the accomplishment of that success. When we are driven by a never-ending need for growth we will manage people as means to the end of achieving those results. Our people can become units of production instead of fellow travelers on a journey of faith. By measuring success as faithfulness we are freed to manage our people according to kingdom metrics. That is, we can value the whole person and, with humility mixed with love, we can help unfold the skills and aptitudes of our people.

As steward leaders we profess that we do not ‘own’ the people who work for us. We are called instead to steward their time and investment in our work, bringing out their best and caring for them as ends and not merely as means.

This rule provides us with an opportunity to be used by God to help each person entrusted to us to become more faithful, and thereby more fruitful stewards of their life and work. When our people are set free to live as God created them to live, they are best prepared to serve our organizations with passion, excellence and joy. That is among the highest callings of a steward leader.

9. To mobilize spiritually gifted people and exhort them to demonstrate radical Christian generosity

A distinguishing mark of a faithful steward is a spirit of generosity. Likewise a telling characteristic of a faithful organization or ministry is a culture of generosity. The antithesis of this culture is an environment of protectionism fomented by a scarcity mindset. Such organizations focus on what they don’t have and complain of never having enough. Owner leaders fuel this attitude in an effort to keep the pressure on to perform. Does a scarcity mentality dominate your organization?

Steward leaders cultivate an abundance mindset that reflects the nature of the God we serve. They model this abundance by the way they lead, manage and guide their people. They focus on how to get the most from what they have believing God has supplied them with all they need to do His work His way. It is the pursuit of doing things God’s way with God’s resources that drives a steward leader. And scarcity has no place in such an endeavor.

This rule shapes culture like none other. Generosity is infectious. Once a leader models it consistently it will permeate an organization and influence every aspect from budgeting to envisioning, from managing to resource raising. Steward leaders shape culture. Will your legacy be one of scarcity or abundance?

10. To model steward leadership that glorifies God and points the way so that others may follow

This rule sums up the previous nine and commits us to a genuine and authentic walk as a steward leader. Steward leaders live and lead through the reality that everything belongs to God. They seek intimacy with God as their most important work. They refuse to tie their identity to their job but they anchor it firmly in their calling as a child of God and a follower of Jesus. Steward leaders view others as fellow travelers and never just as means to an end. They treat all resources as gifts to be stewarded according to the will of the true Owner. They do no put their security in money nor do they shrink back from their responsibilities to care for creation.

All of these components of a steward leader are subsumed under the broader understanding that this is spiritual warfare, and the steward leader who thrives will live the truth that victory in this battle begins with surrender.

This rule calls us back to the foundations of our faith. It calls us to start our leadership day on our knees, surrendering back to God what is already His. In doing so, we position ourselves to allow God’s power and love to flow through us, that we might serve in His name and lead others for His glory.

Will you commit today to live out these ten rules of life? The joy and freedom of the faithful steward awaits all who do. May you be blessed on that journey!

Dr. Scott Rodin    

Dr. Rodin is the Founder and Content Expert of the Center for Steward Leader Studies. He also serves as President of Kingdom Life Publishing and Rodin Consulting Inc.

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