“His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’”
Open your group time by creating an environment in which you begin to develop a community of connection. Get to know one another through sharing prayer requests and experiences that provide members with an opportunity to engage.
CONNECTING IN PRAYER
Begin your time together with prayer and praise.
CONNECTING WITH ONE ANOTHER
Describe what it means to steward (or “manage”) something on behalf of someone else?
GROWTH THROUGH UNDERSTANDING
In the first session, Dr. Evans introduced the concept of stewardship. He shared scriptures that reveal God’s ownership and rule over all of His creation. We also learned how humanity was made in the image of God and given the dominion mandate, which means to rule over God’s creation for Him. Dr. Evans defines kingdom stewardship as: The divinely ordained responsibility of managing God’s assigned resources (time, talent and treasures) in such a way that brings Him glory and expands His rule in the world.
The passage used as the backdrop for this week’s session is Matthew 25:14-30. In this parable, Jesus spoke of a master who went on a long journey, entrusting three of his servants with a certain number of talents while he was away. The Greek word for “talent” is talent on, which refers to the largest unit of currency in Biblical culture. For example, one talent equaled around 6,000 denarii. One talent had the earning power of approximately 16 1⁄2 years of wages. As you can see, one talent alone was an enormous sum, which gives us insight into the magnitude of our stewardship over the resources we have all been given as Christ’s followers.
The parable concludes by giving the master’s response to each person who either stewarded well or stewarded poorly the master’s assets in his absence. To the ones who stewarded well, they were given more responsibilities. But to the one who hid his talent out of fear or for self- preservation, the master took his talent from him, gave it to the one who earned ten, and cast the wicked servant into outer darkness, where there was weeping and gnashing of teeth.
Dr. Evans is encouraging each of us to take seriously the return of our Master, the Lord Jesus Christ. When we do not take His return seriously, we fail to manage well the resources He’s given us. These resources include our time, talents and treasures. The Master is going to return, and He is going to settle accounts with how we used the resources He gave us to advance His Kingdom ownership of the creation that He placed under our rule.
GROWTH THROUGH DISCUSSION
As you dive into the heart of Dr. Evans’ teaching, use the following questions to generate discussion among your group.
- Describe the differences between an owner and a manager. Are there any ways you think or act more like an owner over what God has given you to manage?
- Dr. Evans mentioned that we often associate “treasures” with money yet while money is a resource, he said there are others as well. What other resources can “treasures” refer to?
- The “wicked” servant hid his talent in the ground. Why did he hide it rather than put it in the bank? What would hiding a talent look like in today’s contemporary Christian culture?
- What were the rewards the two faithful servants received? What kinds of rewards would you like to receive in eternity for being a faithful steward?
Now is the time to apply the wisdom of what you have learned to your life, as you express the depth of your relationship with God through service to Him and others.
What one thing could you personally invest a greater amount of your time in this week to further God’s kingdom?
Since God is the owner and rules over all, He is the One who best knows how you can maximize your time, talents and treasures to help others. In prayer this week, ask God to bring you a new opportunity every day to use the resources He’s given you in order to help someone else. Be sure to keep your heart and mind open to what He brings your way.