Stewardship vs. Ownership in Youth Ministry – Kris Stout

Lee Lethers Podcast

What is the difference between looking at your ministry as owning it and looking at it as stewarding it? Kris Stout joins Brian in the studio to talk about this and how we should look at the ministries and students that we lead. Kris is the Vice President of International and Local Church Ministries here at Word of Life.

“Leadership is Stewardship”   Kris Stout

Popular Servant Leadership is part of Steward Leadership but Owner Leadership can lead to selfishness.  When ministry becomes “mine,” it warps our thinking.

We all need to live for the Day of Judgement before Christ.  II Corinthians 5:10

Dangers of Ownership Mentality

  • A “My kingdom” mentality develops instead of realizing it is God’s kingdom. Things become untouchable because it is “mine.”
  •  If you need to remove someone quickly from a position, this reveals if they were a steward or owner of the ministry.   Owners care what others think of them.   Faithful stewards don’t focus on that.  A steward is more concerned about what is best for the ministry not themselves.
  •  Jealousy/competition can enter in over relationships with students when you have an ownership mentality.   We need to keep the interest of students in mind.   We cannot be the end all in ministry.   God’s impact is what brings growth.  We need to have an Open Hand ministry by being open to moving to where it is best for the ministry not for me.

 Stewardship Thinking

 I Peter 5:2 says to Shepherd God’s flock not “your flock.”

“Caretaker” is the best synonym for Stewardship.   It is taking care of what God has entrusted to you.        Top Qualification for a Steward is to be found faithful.  I Corinthians 4:2

What is faithfulness? Faithfulness can be used as an excuse for lack of fruit. Some people think it is just showing up and not messing up.   Because we have to give an account for being faithful to the Lord, we need to know Jesus’s definition for faithfulness.

When we appear before the Lord, we will be fully known.  Christ will see our heart.

Jesus says faithfulness is described in Matthew 25 in the Parable of the Talents.  The Master entrusts 3 servants/stewards with his possessions.   When he came back, the first servant had gained 5 more talents. The second servant had gained two more talents. Jesus called them faithful servants. The third servant buried his talents. The third servant is showing the World’s version of faithfulness   He didn’t misuse it. He just maintained it.  Jesus called the third servant wicked and slothful.  Jesus’ definition for faithfulness is to multiply.  Am I multiplying what God has given me?

The difference between maintaining and multiplying is discipleship. Discipleship is not just studying the Word.  It is multiplication.  Mark 1:17 says “I will make you fishers of men.”   You have not made a disciple, until the person makes disciples.    Your students should be winning friends and discipling them.   Be a coach not a quarterback.   You don’t do all the work.   Let students do the work of discipleship.

Did the Gospel multiply in my ministry?   Did students grow and reach others for Christ?

Stewardship Mentality leads to partnership and working together.

We will stand before the Lord about whether we made disciples or not. Don’t manage or maintain.    Multiply your ministry! Is multiplication your focus in ministry?

If you need help getting out of maintenance mode, please contact us at



Word of Life Local Church Ministries

Dare 2 Share Ministries