Stewardship – “Reinvent the Wheel”?

The following is a featured post from Kevin Jones, Director of Sales & Marketing at Portable Church.

Stewardship – a well-known, common word in the church – refers to how we choose to spend our money, right? Or could we be talking about more than financial capital?


In Breen and Sternkee’s book “Oikonomics,” they describe five “capitals” which they consider equal parts of this stewardship – financial, physical, relational, intellectual, and spiritual. The authors suggest that diversifying stewardship into ALL of these resources leads to a more obedient and healthier church that is unified in mission.

Many churches today make the mistake of focusing far too heavily on the financial “capital” of stewardship, leaving the other four deficient. We at Portable Church have seen examples of this where a church may spend a substantial amount of time in pursuit of inexpensive gear in an effort to save money and honor God’s financial resources He has given them. Yet, what begins as a honest pursuit with all of the best intentions, ends in not only the church getting stuck with inadequate equipment, but also spending more time and money to fix the initial purchase, and eventually leading to volunteer burnout. Unfortunately, this is a common obstacle that constantly pulls churches away from why they exist – to reach the lost and the discipleship of God’s people. The time and effort a church sometimes uses to “reinvent the wheel” can be much better used toward their mission and goal.

As an example, one of our past clients had been, prior to coming to us for support, given a box truck. It was celebrated as a great win! It saved significant money. However, the weekly load-in/load-out had a cost that was soon discovered. It took eight times longer to unload, using 10 people, then what a different type of trailer requires – just 3 people for five minutes. Plus, over time, gear was damaged as well as volunteers injured due to the design of a box truck’s lift gate.

The cost of this free box truck was recognized through physical, relational, and intellectual capital expenses. The church found volunteers burning out and sometimes even leaving their church.

We also see hundreds of churches following the 6 effective principles of portability, make amazing design and equipment choices, as well as successfully train their volunteers in efficiencies and best practices. God has given us all different talents and gifts, and sometimes “inventing the wheel” through your gifts is the right decision.

We challenge you and your church to always prayerfully approach any decision, financial or otherwise, and keep your mission and goals in mind when trying to pursuit the inexpensive way. Chances are someone somewhere has done it. We at Portable Church use our time and effort for the innovation and details, so you can use your time and effort for people and the mission God has given your church.

If you would like to discuss how Portable Church can help you launch strong and thrive in rented venues, visit this page and talk to one of our experts.

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Kevin has been at Portable Church Industries for over 15 years and has been involved in countless church plants and mulit-site campuses. He has taught at Purpose Driven Worship Conferences, ARC Conferences, Nuts and Bolts, Exponential and Canadian Church Planters. He also wrote PCI’s eBook Set-Up Process and Team Structures, along with other blog posts and resources for multisite churches and church plants. Kevin and his wife Annie have three children, Gaven, Juliet and Naomi and a dog named Benny.