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What did Paul mean when he said he and his colleagues were stewards?

What is a steward? Is it a slave, a servant....?

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A "steward", Greek oikonomos (Strong's numberG3623), literally means "the manager of an estate or household." In a sense we are all stewards, managers, of the resoures God has put into our hands. Paul and his colleagues were entrusted with the establishment of the church by preaching the gospel and organizing and caring for congregations. This role had been delegated tothem by the Lord. Therefore, they were Christ's "stewards" carrying out this work on his behalf.

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