Communication Devotional, “Life’s a Garden, Steward It,” by Brandon Knight

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Life’s a Garden, Steward It

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’” – Matthew 25: 21

Several pastors and Christian figures are well-known and popular in the eyes of the public today often through their effective communication strategies. Due to their large congregations or social media following, we conclude them as successful.

This simplistic gauge of success also, inadvertently, calls into question the “faithfulness” and “success” of those with smaller congregations or little to no social media following. We similarly make the same mistake even in our evaluations of people outside of the church.

For instance, many would argue that the most successful in the recent Super Bowl are the Chiefs and Eagles, especially their coaches and star players.

Many of us know of the star quarterback of the Kansas City Chiefs Patrick Mahomes. But, what about George Toma?

The fact that you have never heard of Toma is not surprising. Toma, also known as “The Sod Father” or the “God of Sod” prepared the Super Bowl LVII field for 18 months prior to the game. More significantly, Toma has prepared every Super Bowl field for the last 57 years, which means that, for the most part, his faithful work has gone undetected by most of the world until now. It is only now at his retirement at the ripe age of 94, that we—the public—hear about him. Yet, he has faithfully continued his work until now.[i]

Toma’s life and work were obviously not motivated by the limelight, but, rather, his faithfulness to the literal field(s) given for him to steward.

Our calling as Christians—pastors or layman—is the same: Be faithful stewards with that which we have been entrusted. In other words, steward the field (i.e, church, relationships, family, etc.) we’ve been given by God. Contentment, from this standpoint, is found in being faithful rather than desiring a bigger field to steward.

We learn this truth from Jesus’ parable of the talents specifically with the master’s response to the disciple who faithfully stewarded the five talents given to him. His five talents were sufficient to show his love and loyalty to his master.

Like Toma (until now), we don’t know this faithful servant’s name, but the Master does. In fact, because of the servant’s stewardship with five talents, he was promised to be entrusted with more in the Kingdom to come: “‘You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.’”

The life of Toma and the faithful servant reveal a lot about actual Kingdom success.

We don’t need to have large followings or be known by the world to be deemed successful. Even in our quiet faithful stewardship, we are known by Christ.

Toma, after 57 years with the NFL, was given the spotlight in front of the world for his faithful stewardship. Faithful Christian, at the end of your life, you will see the face of Christ as you are welcomed into his joy.

Continue to be a faithful steward with what you have.

Reflection: How do you measure Kingdom success? Do you relate success to popularity? How does your perspective of success need to change knowing that Christ simply wants you to be faithful with what you’ve been given?

Today’s Challenge: The next time you find yourself evaluating your ministry based on the world’s perception of success, you will read the parable of the talents in Matthew 25.

Brandon Knight, William Carey University


[i] Baldwin, “Groundskeeper, 94, for Every Super Bowl Field Prepares for His Last.”

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