Stewards of the Mysteries of God


Serving as a preacher or teacher in the church is a weighty responsibility. Paul described his ministry as being a steward “of the mysteries of God” (1 Corinthians 4:1-2). God has entrusted us something precious to submit our lives to and proclaim–His Word.

In The Archer and the Arrow: Preaching the Very Words of God, Phillip Jensen shares what a good steward is and an analogy to illustrate the stewardship of the Word which preachers have:

Stewards-of-the-Mysteries-of-God-in-The-Archer-and-the-Arrow-189x300The distinguishing feature of a good steward is that they be found trustworthy—that they deliver in pristine condition whatever has been entrusted to them.

The Mona Lisa is probably the world’s most famous painting. It currently resides in a purpose-built, bullet-proof case in the Louvre. It is considered so precious that it has only been exhibited outside of the Louvre twice in the last century. In 1963, it was displayed for a time in the National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., and then in the spring of 1974 it was hung in the Tokyo National Museum.

Can you imagine what might have happened if those responsible for delivering the painting decided that the Mona Lisa was a little short of artistic merit? What if they had whipped out a brush in transit and added a nice floral pattern to the border or updated the dress to the duck-egg blue fashion of the day? “We thought it was a little dreary and we wanted to brighten it up a little.” This would not have been an acceptable excuse. Their job wasn’t to improve the painting, but to deliver it in its original condition.

How much more with the word of God!

One of the pastors we train in Ecuador said that after learning this truth, his preparation for preaching now involves trembling and sometimes tears. He knows the heavy weight of responsibility–and honor–it is to be God’s spokesman and proclaim His Word to His people, and he wants to do it faithfully. This attitude is also something near to the heart of God:

“But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.” Isaiah 66:2

When I see a pastor enter a pulpit, I want them to catch God’s eye–to be looked on favorably by the Almighty. I want them to tremble before God’s Word and faithfully proclaim it. I want them to remember they are stewarding the amazing mysteries of God revealed to us in Scripture.

Good stewardship is what God wants, it’s what the church needs, and it’s what will bring Him the most glory.

Author: Kevin Halloran. Follow Kevin on Twitter.

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Kevin Halloran

Servant of the Word. Husband. Father. Blogs weekly at Anchored in Christ. Content Strategist/Trainer in Latin America with Leadership Resources International.