Why Good Stewardship Isn’t Always the Cheapest
Updated: Jul 20, 2020
Webster defines stewardship as: “The conducting, supervising, or managing of something; especially: the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care.”
We could agree that in ministry, we want to steward our resources as an effective investment to further the Kingdom. More often than not, when we think of stewardship we only think of things that hold monetary value, but stewardship isn’t solely limited to money. Some of the things we tend to look over are gifts, time, talents, family (spouse, children, etc.), and people under our leadership. So when you are looking to book a trip for your ministry, it’s important to know how to steward the MANY resources the Lord has given you.
Make A List.
When planning, ask yourself, “What are the resources that have been entrusted to me and how am I stewarding them?” This will look different for everyone. Make a list of the resources God has trusted YOU with.
Ask for Wisdom.
Knowing you have awesome leaders in your ministry, allow them to speak into the decisions you’re sorting through when it comes to price vs. safety. The Lord is not “more pleased” when you save $50 on a trip, He’s pleased when you invite Him into the process and ask for wisdom and guidance on how to steward the things He’s entrusted you with. Do your due diligence and make an educated decision, but keep in mind there is no formula!
What are some situations where “cheapest” might not be adequate? Here are some situations we run into:
When comparing bus companies it’s important to look into things like the safety record of company, quality of the equipment they use, and the network they are a part of if they break down. Essentially ask yourself the question, “Would I put my kid on that bus?” Again, sometimes the price isn’t the resource you should be concerned with in this situation. God has entrusted you with the lives of the people in your ministry and at this point you should process through and pray for wisdom on what it looks like to steward that well. Process what your priorities are and how to accomplish your goal if you can’t afford a safe company.
The more complex example would be purchasing a higher-priced refundable ticket versus a lower-priced non-refundable ticket. Say you’ve been given the responsibility to find and purchase travel with a budget of $2,000. After searching you find a refundable ticket for the full budget price of $2,000. There is also the option to purchase the tickets at a cheaper price of $1,700, but there is no refund option. Overall, which option would be better stewardship of every resource included in the process? Would the better option be to pay the additional $300, maximizing the budget, to ensure your entire purchase is safe? Or would it be better to pay a cheaper price and risk losing the trip altogether should something happen with the airline? (Also, see the benefits of purchasing trip insurance here.)
We’re not saying the cheapest option isn’t sometimes the best way to steward your resources. We’re saying the cheapest option might not always be acceptable for the safety of your ministry. So what do you do when all you can afford is not acceptable? Let us know what you think in the comment section below!
Written by: Hannah Bewley (With help from Chad Crain)