Stewardship in the Bible: Guiding Church Giving and Finances

Group of church stewards reading the Bible

Stewardship is one of the leading principles of Christianity, and biblical stewardship is critical to any church giving effort. Understanding stewardship in the Bible and how financial stewardship relates to church giving is critical to understanding how stewardship shapes how churches handle their finances.

A faithful servant values stewardship and understands the importance of giving back to one’s congregation and community. But what is the biblical principle of stewardship, and what are some practical applications of stewardship for church development and finances? Read more to find out! 

Table of Contents 



Overview of Stewardship in the Bible

Christian stewardship is a core principle of the Bible that believers must strive to live out in their daily lives. In the Bible, stewardship has several connotations. Examples of stewardship range from government and treasurers in Romans 16:23 to administrators responsible for employer affairs in Luke 16:1 and Christians tasked with spreading God’s message in 1 Corinthians 4:1. 

At its core, stewardship is about using one’s resources to promote God’s glory and the betterment of all His creations. Churches typically speak about stewardship using a combination of its meaning in the Bible. Ultimately, stewardship is about understanding your responsibility for doing what God wants you to do with the resources He has provided you. 

In the modern church, stewardship is often synonymous with a church’s financial well-being and fundraising efforts. The most important aspect of stewardship is reflecting God’s image and remaining responsibly committed to bettering His creations in your daily life. 


Biblical Principles of Stewardship


Scripture on stewardship is found throughout the Bible, emphasizing the importance of financial stewardship within a church. Two central instances of stewardship in the Bible are found in 1 Peter 4:10 and Genesis 1:28, which emphasize the importance of taking resources and giving back to God’s community. 

1 Peter 4:10 states, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” This verse reminds us that the gifts God blesses us with must be used to serve His purpose for us and that you must operate as a faithful servant in whatever way possible, whether giving to churches financially, volunteering within the community or any other action to support God’s mission. 

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Genesis 1:28 states, “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.’” This verse highlights the impact believers can have on multiplying God’s gifts by giving back and His servants’ responsibility to spread the principle of stewardship. 

Stewardship in the Bible can be used to create a broader understanding of financial stewardship and management of financial resources within a church. These verses about stewardship have a crucial connection to modern church financial management, showing the worldly riches leaders can unlock with the proper management of resources. 

Stewardship principles — including the principle of ownership, principle of accountability and principle of reward — offer a moral and ethical framework for church finances, promoting transparency, planning and accountability in financial management while focusing on how financial contributions support the greater good of the community. 

By practicing financial stewardship, churches manage their resources to fulfill a broader mission and serve the Lord and their communities. 


Practical Applications in Church Finance

Church leader figuring out church finances

Integrating biblical stewardship into your church’s finances is critical to your ongoing church development. As a church leader, living out scripture on stewardship is vital and allows you to uncover the true riches that serving the Lord provides. 

Beyond your management of resources, stewardship integrates into church processes like budgeting, tithing and offerings — three elements essential to a sustainable and faithful congregation. A comprehensive stewardship plan is a great place to start defining and enhancing these processes. Below is a breakdown of integrating stewardship into these processes and encouraging stewardship within the congregation through teaching. 

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Integrating Biblical Stewardship in Budgeting

The most important aspect of your church budget is ensuring that it aligns with your church’s mission and values and the values outlined in the Bible. Only budget for things that promote the principles of stewardship and initiatives that will serve the community selflessly. Funds should always be allocated to initiatives that align with your church’s overall message. 

Another important aspect of integrating biblical stewardship in budgeting is prioritizing the needs of your community and congregation over self-serving interests. Stewardship cares for the whole person, addressing spiritual needs that can be fulfilled through proper resource allocation. 

Budgets should also maintain provisions to set aside emergency reserves for any problems that arise during church fundraising and other expenses. While these difficulties are sometimes unavoidable, being prepared for the unexpected allows you to continue your mission of faithful stewardship. 

Integrating Biblical Stewardship in Tithing and Offerings

Tithing and offerings are two important aspects of stewardship and essential church management processes. Giving in the form of tithes and offerings is a fundamental aspect of the Christian faith. In the Christian sense, a tithe is a voluntary donation of one’s belongings, typically one-tenth of what one owns. Offerings are donations that exceed this one-tenth, emphasizing the need for generous giving to one’s community. 

Tithing and offerings are mentioned throughout the Bible in the Old and New Testaments, and the voluntary act of giving allows churches to fulfill their missions and provide aid to people in need within their communities. 


As a church leader, you can easily integrate biblical stewardship principles with tithing and offerings, as the two are inextricably linked. Offer church members clear biblical teachings on tithings and offerings, emphasizing how these elements are rooted in Scripture. Also, provide congregants resources on financial literacy to empower them to tithe responsibly and faithfully. 

Give congregants opportunities to provide special offerings for specific causes and missions, allowing them to contribute beyond regular tithing and promoting a sense of purpose among your congregation. Encourage offerings and always remember to give back to others through stewardship letters. 

Teaching and Encouraging Stewardship Within the Congregation

Promoting stewardship and helping people adhere to stewardship in the Bible requires you to provide congregants with teaching to promote stewardship efforts. There are several strategies to teach and encourage stewardship within your congregation, such as: 

  • A sermon series on stewardship that explores biblical stewardship and practical applications for financial management within and outside of the church. 
  • Workshops and seminars on stewardship to help congregants understand the value of stewardship. These workshops can focus on financial stewardship, budgeting and responsible management of resources taught by financial experts or volunteers. 
  • Stewardship campaigns within your congregation with clear goals and initiatives designed to engage your congregation and set targets for stewardship and financial responsibility


Enhancing Church Financial Stewardship with Vanco


Using church management software and financial tools to simplify church financial stewardship is possible with solutions like Vanco. We provide churches with software solutions that promote stewardship, increasing donations by 26% on average through simplified church management tools. 

Vanco’s solutions align with the biblical principles of stewardship in several ways, offering comprehensive church management software that integrates with other software solutions and minimizes the burden church staff often experience when conducting administrative tasks. This solution allows church staff to focus on using their time and resources to promote responsible stewardship within the congregation. 

Vanco’s payment options promote stewardship, such as our online giving platform, church app for mobile giving, text giving options and mobile card reader. These solutions encourage frequent donations to enable your church members to give regularly to their community, practicing stewardship as often as possible through digital giving solutions that are simple and convenient. 

Our payment features also offer flexibility in how your congregation gives, with digital software that accepts various payment methods and donation frequencies with recurring payment options to accommodate a range of opportunities to make financial contributions to your church. 

Vanco helps your church encourage financial literacy regarding stewardship to ensure your congregation members understand the importance of stewardship in the Bible and in a modern context through our church livestreaming option. We make it possible to educate your members about giving and budgeting to live according to the Bible: responsibly and wisely. 


Testimonials and Case Studies

Churches worldwide benefit from Vanco’s church management software, simplifying financial stewardship and enhancing churchgoers’ ability to donate. One church that’s benefitted from our solutions is Trinity Lutheran Church in Moline, Illinois. 

With a largely older congregation, Pastor Pete from Trinity Lutheran Church was concerned about user adoption to help members engage in financial stewardship. Pastor Pete has found immense help in Vanco’s educational resources to introduce and sustain online giving online and on mobile devices. 

Pastor Pete also found Vanco’s ability to categorize different stewardship initiatives helpful. Vanco allows churches to organize fundraising efforts for different important causes so stewards can feel empowered in their giving decisions. 

Another church that has used Vanco to thrive in its stewardship initiatives is the Shadow Rock Congregational United Church of Christ in Phoenix, Arizona. Chief Financial Officer Heidi Zinn found that Vanco allowed her church to live out its core values of spirituality, justice and inclusion through Vanco’s flexible payment solution. 

Before using Vanco, Heidi relied on payment options like cash and checks to collect donations. While she struggled to simplify donations through PayPal, Heidi had significant success using Vanco’s software. Through automated donations, Vanco saved the Shadow Rock Congregational United Church of Christ time and energy. It enabled the church to collect donations nationwide, greatly increasing the church’s ability to raise funds for crucial community needs. 

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Key Takeaways: The Future of Church Finances and Stewardship

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Stewardship is crucial to guide your church’s giving and finances. Encouraging financial stewardship within your congregation is important to following Scripture on stewardship and remaining faithful servants. Stewardship helps believers use their resources to highlight God’s grace and glory and better His creations, promoting selflessness and allowing followers to understand their responsibility to multiply God’s gifts. 


As financial stewardship adapts, digital solutions like Vanco’s are crucial to the future. Vanco offers a proactive approach to adopting biblical financial principles like ownership, accountability and reward. Through comprehensive church management tools, church leaders can provide the education and resources needed to make financial stewardship more accessible than ever before. 



How does stewardship relate to tithing and offerings?

Tithing and offerings are two forms of giving to one’s community and an act of stewardship. Tithes are voluntary donations of one-tenth of one’s belongings, while offerings exceed one-tenth. 

Through stewardship software like Vanco, churches can empower members to make donations to diverse causes, adding new meaning and depth to their offerings by allowing them to give tithes and offerings to different causes. 

How can church leaders teach stewardship to their congregations?

As a church leader, you have several options to teach stewardship to your congregation. Consider hosting a sermon series about financial stewardship that provides insightful information about giving according to the Bible. 

Teaching biblical stewardship is also possible through educational workshops and seminars that help your congregation gain the financial knowledge they need to donate to your church responsibly and comfortably, regardless of their initial knowledge level of financial stewardship. 

What role does technology play in enhancing church financial stewardship?

Technology like Vanco plays a massive part in enhancing and encouraging church financial stewardship and can greatly increase the volume of donations a church receives. Technology can promote church financial management and make it easier for congregants to donate regularly, allowing for more frequent acts of stewardship. 

How does stewardship influence decision-making in church budgets?

Financial stewardship contributes significantly to how nonprofit institutions allocate their budgets, and churches are no exception. Stewardship impacts how much you can budget for as a church and what you can afford to give back to your community, so the more options for financial stewardship your congregants have, the better. 

What are the long-term benefits of adopting biblical stewardship in church finances? 

There are several long-term benefits of adopting biblical stewardship, such as: 

  • Greater financial stability for your church 
  • More member engagement and commitment to your community 
  • Bigger community impact 
  • Increased sustainability within your congregation 
  • Enhanced presence of God’s mission in your daily church activities 

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