RADICAL GENEROSITY LEADERSHIP
David was a great leader. God told him to build the temple. He called all the leaders to Jerusalem to share with them the vision. You see four areas of his leadership in radical generosity.
- God is in charge. Godly leaders always follow a vision that is initiated by God. In 1 Chronicles 29, he reminds them that the temple is not just another building, but it is where the Lord God will reside. (v.1) In I Chronicles 28, he had made clear that the Holy Spirit had given all the plans and specifications for each item in the temple. (v.12) He had encouraged them not to be frightened by the size of the task. (v.20). He reminded them that God would provide everything necessary until the task was finished. (v.20)
- Leadership by example. He didn’t want the temple to be just a dream, but the people would have to give to make it happen. He didn’t tell them what to do—he led by example.
David describes the essence of his personal generosity when he says, “I am giving all of my own private treasures to aid in the construction—this is in addition to anything else that I’ve already given.” (I Chron. 29:1)
Leaders don’t tell people what to do—they say, “follow me.” I used to get criticized when we made our financial pledges to the church. I didn’t want to know what any person gave, but I did think it was important for people to know what I was going to give. Everybody knew my salary because it was published. I knew many people wondered if I would really practice the principle of tithing. Therefore, I would list on the front of the bulletin specifically what my family and I would give. For me, it was extremely important to lead by example in giving.
- Give the challenge. David said, “Now then, who will follow my example? Who will give himself and all that he has to the Lord?” (v.5) Leaders challenge people to do things that are not natural. Poor leaders pat people on the back and never challenge them. Compliments are important, but not at the expense of failing to lift up the standard that God sets for us.
- Rejoice in the response. The people responded with radical generosity! They gave “huge sums of gold, silver, tons of bronze and iron, currency, and great amounts of jewelry.” (vs. 6,7) Wow! What a response!
“Everyone was excited and happy, for this opportunity of service and King David was moved with deep joy.” (v.9) Leaders get excited when people respond to the financial challenge of radical generosity in today’s world. Christian conversion expresses itself through following God’s teaching about giving. No layperson ever receives a bigger paycheck than hearing God say, “well done.”
Not every leader experiences the response that David received from his people. We are called to be faithful, not successful. The success of a leader is not based solely on the financial results, but on faithfulness to lead by example and present a clear challenge.