Stewardship Soundings Part 1

Is this what you think of when you hear the word Steward?

No, we do not mean that they are now called Flight Attendant or Cabin Crew.

We are talking about something entirely different. You see the etymology of steward is from the Old English word stigweard. Stig meaning hall/pen. Weard meaning guard. So, steward means one who guards the hall/pen.


Want something a little more graphic? What is kept in pens? Pigs.

So, quite literally, a steward is one who guards the pigs.

Let us consider that the person who owned the pigs hired someone to guard them. Now, we have the true meaning of steward: One who guards that which belongs to someone else.

Looking at it biblically:

  1. The steward had a position of high authority – Pharaoh said to Joseph; from now on, you’re in charge of my affairs…only as king will I be over you. Genesis 41:40 The Message
  2. The steward was not the owner – Joseph was appointed by Pharaoh to be governor over the land of Egypt. Genesis 42:6 NRSV
  3. The steward is responsible for benefiting the owner and those who depend on the owner – see the parable of the three slaves who were given talents to invest. Matthew 25:14-30.

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