DO YOU HAVE A CALL TO ACTION?
By Dr. Marybeth Leavell
October 12, 2023
I was immediately intrigued by the title and focus of this book, A Call to Action. It is accurate in its assessment of the culture and challenging in its assessment of the need. Dr. Scott Rodin articulately declared this need for action in the preface by stating:
“As our American culture continues its rapid moral decline, the values of the kingdom of God and its central messages of sin, grace, salvation, sacrifice, and obedience are standing out in stark contrast against a background of narcissism and avarice – so much so that we are considered anathema to those bent on driving the Christian message from all public life” (Capuyan, et al., 2023, p. 1-2).
The book, A Call to Action, is a series of reflections on The Steward Leader Declaration, a document that was born out of the contributions of more than thirty people. Through annual steward leader summits over eight years, issues related to transformation as a steward leader led to various paper presentations and dialogue. The Steward Leader Declaration document serves as the culmination of this process. It attempts to challenge leaders in the body of Christ in America to live as faithful stewards, especially in the face of a deteriorating society. A Call to Action helps its readers understand and embrace the implications of stewarding relationships on four levels: with God; with self; with our neighbor; and with creation.
Relationship with God
The first chapter explores all God has entrusted us as His stewards, including time, talent, treasure, and relationships. According to Dr. Brian Simmons (p. 15-16), the most precious gift is the believer’s vertical relationship with God. As stewards of this relationship, we are to love Him above all else. As this vertical relationship with God grows more robust, it enables us to love and serve others on behalf of God. The biblical steward leader chooses to allow God, the owner of all, to use everything that God has entrusted into his care to accomplish His purposes.
Relationship with Self
Chapter Two, you find the steward leader’s relationship with self. Howard Rich (p. 33-34) explains that the role of a steward is distinctive because it requires a perspective change that affects the meaning of life and self-identity. A steward leader is no longer defined by culture, gender, family, tradition, government, or tribe. A steward does not control or determine self-identity but views the self as a created steward designed to love and obey Him, who owns all.
Relationship with Our Neighbor
This chapter focuses on God’s design of honoring another’s best interest above our own. As we offer care and concern, we acknowledge our vulnerability and need others to flourish (p. 44). Capuyan (p. 46) writes that faithful stewards pursue reconciliation and engage with others in mutual respect. This requires that we respond to the needs of others beyond our desires. Steward leaders are challenged to care for others as Christ would, acting as His representative to those around us.
Relationship with Creation
This final chapter clarifies and summarizes what it means to steward God’s creation wisely. Psalm 24:1 states that
“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.”
Porter (p. 50)
emphasizes that God is the owner. As His stewards, we manage it on His behalf, for His glory. Even though our identities are not found in the material things of earth, we are tasked with caring for earth, and all that is in it. He concludes with,
“We call the body of Christ to love God through valuing the things He loves, and by seeking the well-being and flourishing of all aspects of creation.”
The Steward Declaration
The book, A Call to Action, ends with encouragement to respond courageously to be a gospel-driven steward through your relationships with God, self, others, and creation. You are invited to take up this call by signing The Steward Leader Declaration. By adding your name to this declaration, you will join the growing movement of God’s people standing firm and proclaiming truth regardless of the cost.
As an added incentive, any CLA member who signs the declaration will receive a free copy of the book, A Call to Action. Read and sign the Steward Declaration.
Content excerpts from Capuyan, A., Porter, B., Rich, H. & Simmons, B. (2023). A Call to Action: A companion guide to the steward declaration. Kingdom Life Publishing.
Do You Have A Call To Action was reposted with permission from Christian Leadership Alliance.
Dr. Mary Leavell is an Adjunct Faculty/Methodologist at Columbia International University. She is an experienced educational consultant with a demonstrated history of working in the education management industry.