The Three Faces of Stewardship


In gathering money for ministry there are several programs used to generate resources. These tend to happen developmentally and in sequence. They include:

  • events/products/and services
  • annual drives/offerings
  • capital campaigns
  • planned giving/endowment building

These programs tend to happen in an organization in the order listed above.

In the stewardship language of the church, we talk about these activities in the context of three faces (or aspects) of stewardship. These are:

Ordinary Stewardship
Extraordinary Stewardship
Legacy Stewardship

Ordinary Stewardship is the regular practice of returning to God a portion of all that God has given us. It involves teaching ourselves how to create a life built upon the notion that all that we have is a gift from God. This includes teaching the holy habits of keeping Sabbath and tithing and the concept that giving regularly of our time, talent, and money to Godˇ¦s work on this earth is as much a spiritual practice as prayer and worship.

Extraordinary Stewardship involves the special occasions that arise in the life of Christian communities that call us to give beyond our ordinary habit. They involve increased risk and encourage us to experiment with sacrificial giving in order to help the community realize an especially important goal. The best example of extraordinary stewardship is the capital campaign.

Legacy Stewardship is the way in which we address the matter of disposing of the accumulations of our lifetime. Who will use your ˇ§stuffˇ¨ when you no longer need it? It is the opportunity to leave a planned gift that constitutes both a legacy to generations yet unborn and a final witness to those whom we hold most dear.

From The Alleluia Fund, A Guide for Dioceses and Congregations, published by the Office of Stewardship, Episcopal Church Center, 2002