A working definition of stewardship is that of "A man who manages another 's property", he then becomes the steward of that great estate. In the secular realm, the manager of the owner's property may not necessarily expect the steward to accrue financial or spiritual gain, but in the same sense the owner does not expect any loss of property as well.
However, in the realm of the Christian site, stewardship takes on a different connotation, for it always identifies the owner by name and title, but on a larger and grandeur scale. The Christian definition of stewardship recognizes the sovereignty of God as owner and ruler of all things, and the bestowal of His grace upon us.
The principle of stewardship is not only concerned with our financial and material possessions, above all else it concerns our spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ. Stewardship involves our loyalty to God and how well we manage the means that God has entrusted to our care. It also includes our time, our talents, our finances and our love to God first and then our love for one another. Stewardship is our earnest investment in the evangelistic efforts of the gospel message to a perishing world, and in return the Lord has promised us in Proverbs 3: 9, 10, that if we "Honor the Lord with all thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barnes be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine."
The scripture teaches that God, as the giver of all benefits have a claim upon them all; He only ask for 10% of all our income and an offering - I'm inclined to believe that the offering is dependent on ones relationship with God, ones faith in God and ones burden for soul-winning. After all, this is the essence of the gospel, the principles of restoring in the fallen race the divine image of God by a constant manifestation of benevolence. God has placed sufficient means in the hands of men, that his divine gifts may flow through human channels in doing the work appointed as in saving our fellow men. This is one of God's ways of honoring man. James 1:17 tells us that "every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the father of light." Every good thing on earth was placed here by God as his expression of love towards man. The poor are His and the causes of religion are His. The gold and the silver belong to Him as well as " the cattle upon a thousand hills".
God does not need us or our finances to further His cause, He could do it all by Himself. However, instead of doing it this way, He has made man his stewards, entrusting him with means, not to be hoarded for personal or selfish reasons, but to be used in benefiting others. We are God's representatives here on earth acting in His stead, when He blesses us we are to bless others, we are the channels through which His blessings flows. God planned the system of beneficence in order that man might become like his, creator benevolent and unselfish in character, and finally be a partaker with Christ of the eternal glorious reward. We are admonished to "Let your light so shine, that men may see your good works and glorify your father, which is in Heaven." (Matthew 5:16) In conclusion, this is the basic principle of Christian stewardship.