By Dr. Wayne Schmidt

Stewardship and discipleship are inseparable.

While leading Wesley Seminary, I was privileged to design and teach a class titled "Money." As students gathered the first day I began the class by saying, "I'm sorry if I misled any of you. You may have thought this is a financial class. More accurately, it is a discipleship course."

The very foundation of stewardship is the reality that “God owns it all.”

Everything we are and have is his: our time, gifts, resources, relationships, body. Everything.

Using the example of our bodies, Jesus queries his followers, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies” (I Corinthians 6:19-20).

Discipleship is giving ourselves fully to God—no holding back. This full surrender is how we recognize his ownership and submit to his lordship.

I monitor the connection between discipleship and stewardship in my life. As a pastor, if I avoid or apologize for talking about money, do I avoid or apologize for other dimensions of discipleship—reading the Word, praying, loving my neighbor? Or do I broaden my view of stewardship to elude accountability for a specific area God’s Spirit may be addressing in my life? If God convicts me about my use of time, do I comfort myself that stewardship also involves money or physical well-being, and if I’m doing fine in those areas, I’m okay?

Jesus stated, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). Where is your heart?

So, as you read about stewardship in the following pages, think discipleship! The two are inseparable.