Our September Man of the Month: Tapiwa Chizana

This month we interviewed Tapiwa Chizana and asked him to talk to us about stewardship.

Q:   What does stewardship mean to you?

A: It means being faithful with what God has given me and being fruitful and productive with it. This speaks to resources, as well as talents. I usually draw on the parable of the talents. A good steward produces more from what he or she has been given. Stewardship is more than just keeping things safe. While it includes safeguarding and increasing ones gifts, stewardship is also about remembering that ultimately your resources do not belong to you. They belong to God. Everything belongs to God, so we must handle all things in a way that pleases Him, putting His way first, and not our own.

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Q: What are the implications of not being a good steward?

A: One the consequences of poor stewardship is that we may lose that which God would have entrusted to us. We also lose out on experiencing the fulfilment that comes from serving God and experiencing his pleasure. You may also lose the respect of those within your family, or amongst good friends and in the community. Being a bad steward can have a negative effect on those around you, as well as result in financial loss. Companies and organisations can be destroyed when those leading the organisations are not good stewards. Whole families can be destroyed as well.

Q : How do you steward your time?

A: I prioritise, putting God first then my family before all else. Then I prioritise with respect to work, the church, social responsibility and social life.

Q: How do you steward your family?

A: I try to spend time with my family. I pray with them and for them. I live my life being mindful of them individually, guiding each of them. I protect them as best as I can against all things that may be harmful, physically or spiritually. I am mindful of their use of time as well, for example we like the kids to spend more time playing outside and being creative rather than watching television.

Q: What are the main challenges faced when trying to be a good steward?

A: One of the main challenges is actually accepting that indeed we do have gifts and talents unique to us. It is human nature to look at what someone else has or is doing rather than being yourself and being content to serve God with the gifts he has entrusted you. I overcome this challenge by going back God and reaffirming my identity in him.

Q : Do you think paying taxes and insurance are important things to consider in stewardship?

A: I believe we do need to pay taxes as that is God’s instruction to us. I also believe there is great wisdom in paying insurance, however, we need to do it prayerfully. You can either get insurance from a place of responsibility or you can get insurance from a place of fear. I don’t advise paying exhorbitant amounts to insurance as that undermines the reality that ultimately God is our provider and he takes care of us, come what may.

Q: Can you be a good steward when you are unemployed?

A: Yes definitely. Even when you don’t have money, you have other things you are required to steward. For example, what becomes key for a man in that situation is how he chooses to steward his time. I would advise such a person to ask the Lord what they should do with the time he has given them. Perhaps they could volunteer their services at a non-profit organisation.

Q: What are the key lessons you have learnt in your journey in stewardship?

A: God is faithful and we shouldn’t be in a hurry to amass wealth. Stewardship requires patience. Sometimes we make mistakes and sin by trying to hurry things along or by trying to arrive too quickly. In so doing we don’t take due care.

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Q: How can wives help men be good stewards?

A: Wives can help by being genuine partners and praying lots. They can also help by using their own God given talents to contribute to the growth of the family. They can lovingly hold their husbands accountable.

Q: How do you teach your kids stewardship?

A: It begins with explaining the value of things: material and spiritual. We impress upon them the need to take care of their possessions. We let them experience reasonable consequences of not taking care of their things.

Q: What advice would you give young men who are getting married?

A: Treat your wife as an equal partner. Help her to be all that God has made her to be.