The Heart Of A Steward


Rev Raymond Fong

Scripture Passage: 1 Samuel 17 (NIV)



Summary | The Greek word for “steward” is oikonomos, formed from the words ‘household’ and ‘law’. The steward is law to the household, but he does not own the house. A steward is a servant who manages what his master owns. As stewards, we are reminded that God owns everything in our lives, for “the earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;” (Ps. 24:1). We have the responsibility to manage what God owns, to look after and nurture what He has placed in our care (Gen. 2:15). We are therefore accountable to God as described in the parable of the talents (Matt. 25:14-30) and will be rewarded for our faithful stewardship (Matt. 25:21).

Stewardship must aim at glorifying God and to accomplish His purposes. We may wonder how we could add to an already glorious God. It is our daily choices and actions that make God’s glory more visible to those around us. Others see God’s glory through our faithful stewardship. At the heart of stewardship is a relationship with the Master. This is exemplified by David, a man after God’s own heart.

In the familiar story of David and Goliath, we learn of what David stewarded and how he did so. The battle between the Philistines and Israelites had been ongoing for 40 days, during which Goliath taunted God’s people daily. David was sent by his father to give his older brothers provisions and witnessed this taunting by Goliath. These are the things that David stewarded:

Burden – David had a burden for the name of the Lord. 1 Sam. 17:26 shows how strongly David felt as he witnessed Goliath “defy the armies of the living God”. Burdens are passions and issues that compel us to action. Whether they be in missions or mentoring of colleagues, or a particular ministry or care for a certain segment of society, what do we do with our burden? How do we align with God’s purposes in handling these burdens? May we learn to pray, serve and give, in response to whatever burden God has laid upon our hearts.

Ability – 1 Sam. 17:36 describes the extraordinary ability David had as a shepherd boy. He used this ability to slaughter Goliath. We too have been blessed with talents and strengths. Let us ask the Holy Spirit to turn these talents into spiritual gifts and to use them for God’s glory by blessing the Body of Christ and advancing His Kingdom. We also blessed with capacity, some more and some less. “Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more” (Luke 12:48). It is not about the level of our capacity but how we steward this capacity that matters.

Experience – David had no military training but he had a wealth of experience protecting his sheep. God places us in circumstances through which we can glean lessons. The circumstances may be crucibles, where we are challenged and refined, or cruises where we experience smooth sailing under His guidance. Regardless of crucibles or cruises, we receive God’s comfort and instruction. Lessons learnt and comfort received through circumstances of illness, failure, or accomplishments are to be stewarded as nothing is wasted in life. Amy Simpson recalled the incident of 33 Chilean miners trapped underground for more than 2 months and realised that even when they were left in darkness, the days were not wasted. The miners testified to the presence of God even as they emerged into the light above ground. Our life circumstances are also the blessings we have to share. We are to sow bountifully (2 Cor. 9:6-7), faithfully and bravely, returning to God the resources He has blessed us with. God will create a harvest beyond our imagination. As we give through pledging, a pledge is a commitment of faith as we commit future resources back to God. Let us prayerfully consider our pledges in early July as our act of stewardship.

Adapted from Dr Tan Soo Inn’s book, the ABC of Vocational Discernment, let us steward our Abilities, Burdens and Circumstances (experiences) to glorify God. We do so in:

Faithfulness – steward all we have in a trustworthy manner. Can God count on us to do our part? Do not hold back but be ready to respond to needs that arise (Rom.12:6-8; 1 Pet. 4:10). Will the ones who are called to serve in CM, BeTween, YM or TSS respond to the need?

Excellence – giving our best, for we serve the Lord and not man (Col. 3:23).

Surrender – it is God who causes our stewardship to bear fruit. David declared in 1 Sam. 17:47, “The battle is the Lord’s”. David did not focus on the giant in front of him but the giant God who fights for him.

May we ask God to take our talents, resources, time, our all, for when we give of our best, we will have a heart after His heart.

(Sermon Notes by Angela Goh)

If you are interested to find out how God has SHAPE’d you for stewardship, register your interest for the Discover Your SHAPE workshop by emailing shape@wesleymc.org

Discover Your SHAPE (DYS) is a workshop that helps participants find matching areas of service through the discovery of their: [S]piritual Gifts, [H]eart, [A]bility, [P]ersonality and [E]xperience

This course is made up of the following parts:

  • Part 1: Complete and submit an essential pre-course preparatory work.
  • Part 2: Attend a two-hour teaching session.
  • Part 3: Attend an interview session in which a SHAPE interviewer will help to interpret your SHAPE profile and recommend areas for you to exercise your spiritual gifts in.
If you would like to explore volunteer opportunities in Wesley Methodist Church, please click on the button below to find out more:


1. Read and reflect on David’s stewardship in 1 Samuel 17. What is impressive and encouraging for you?

2. David is known to be a man after God’s heart. How does a heart for God impact the way we serve as His stewards?

3. Pastor Raymond shared about the A (Abilities) - B (Burdens) - C (Circumstances) of stewardship. Reflect and share one ability and burden you feel you can better steward.

4. Reflect and share lessons you have learnt from a past experience which you know can be a blessing to someone today.

5. We are called to steward with faithfulness, excellence and surrender. Reflect and share one struggle you have in an area of stewardship in your life. Encourage each other and pray for each other.