Often thought of as involving only the raising of money to the church. But it is far more than that. The true ministry of the stewardship is helping believers become disciples of Christ in the use of all the resources God has provided. In other words, Stewardship is properly managing the resources that God has committed to our care. This includes the management of one’s body, material possessions, abilities and time.
The Fundamental Belief #21 states that “We are God’s stewards, entrusted by Him with time and opportunities, abilities and possessions, and the blessings of the earth and its resources. We are responsible to Him for their proper use. We acknowledge God’s ownership by faithful service to Him and our fellowmen, and by returning tithes and giving offerings for the proclamation of His gospel and the support and growth of His church. Stewardship is a privilege given to us by God for nurture in love and the victory over selfishness and covetousness. The steward rejoices in the blessings that come to others as a result of his faithfulness.”
Jesus spent much time discussing the material aspects of life. He knew His hearers couldn’t understand the great principles of His kingdom, unless they had an understanding of their “steward” relationship with God. He told the gathering in His sermon on the mount that "where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" - Matthew 6:21. God asks the church to be a fellowship of individuals sharing a common purpose and caring for one another as they grow in faith. The New Testament speaks of the church as the “body” of Christ (Eph 1:22). Christ calls us into His body for the purpose of establishing a saving relationship with Him and the community of believers.
Ellen White comments that, “Every believer should be wholehearted in his attachment to the church. Its prosperity should be his first interest, and unless he feels under sacred obligation to make his connection with the church a benefit to it, in preference to himself, it can do far better without him. It is in the power of all to do something for the cause of God.” (Counsels on Stewardship, Pg 42).