At the deepest level, discipleship and effective stewardship are interwoven into the same rope of Christian formation and maturity. In Matthew 28:20 Jesus challenges his disciples to “go into all the world and make disciples,” This statement could be read as, ‘go into all the world and help people become effective stewards;’ disciples who will effectively steward all that God has trusted to them.
God’s people are to become the type of people the Apostle Paul is writing to in Romans 12. Paul challenges the Roman believers to break from the molds that surround them and are vying to squeeze, shape, and form them. Minds and mindsets are to be transformed and renewed in every aspect of life - perhaps even previous missions’ models. The call to discipleship and effective stewardship is a worldview, mindset, and behavior transformation. Lives that embrace the reality that God owns absolutely everything, and that people in Bangladesh, India, Uganda, and the United States manage His resources for His purposes and His kingdom, are transformed lives.
In light of our commitment to discipleship within the majority world, we are beginning to see churches that are not content to wait for others who will plant more churches but are eager to join in the process themselves.
We find those who have once been dependent upon Western funding begin to recognize the model is broken. They now see with excitement the exponential growth that comes as local hearts and resources become engaged in ministry. Those who once were slaves, now not only have found freedom but are helping others to find freedom from both human bondage and spiritual bondage.
Communities are finding more effective ways to handle their orphaned and abandoned children without creating the administratively and financially dependent programs of the past. Business leaders are uniting with church leaders to simply and powerfully embrace and model expansion of God’s kingdom in their local settings. All of this is multiplying and expanding the breadth and the depth of the Gospel’s impact into tribes and peoples that until recently had no Christians and no Gospel representation in their communities and regions.
The mindsets of scarcity, dependency, and entitlement of the majority world are being transformed through the principles and practical applications of biblical steward-discipleship. The indigenous churches and leaders within the majority world are grasping the vision and mission of biblical stewardship and are creating new and culturally intentional methodologies. They are being transformed and are transforming lives. The church of the majority world is becoming the model for the church in the West to follow.