“Then King David turned to the entire assembly and said, “My son Solomon, whom God has clearly chosen as the next king of Israel, is still young and inexperienced. The work ahead of him is enormous, for the Temple he will build is not for mere mortals—it is for the Lord God himself! Using every resource at my command, I have gathered as much as I could for building the Temple of my God. Now there is enough gold, silver, bronze, iron, and wood, as well as great quantities of onyx, other precious stones, costly jewels, and all kinds of fine stone and marble. “And now, because of my devotion to the Temple of my God, I am giving all of my own private treasures of gold and silver to help in the construction. This is in addition to the building materials I have already collected for His holy Temple. I am donating more than 112 tons of gold from Ophir and 262 tons of refined silver to be used for overlaying the walls of the buildings and for the other gold and silver work to be done by the craftsmen. Now then, who will follow my example and give offerings to the Lord today?” Then the family leaders, the leaders of the tribes of Israel, the generals and captains of the army, and the king’s administrative officers all gave willingly. For the construction of the Temple of God, they gave about 188 tons of gold, 10,000 gold coins, 375 tons of silver, 675 tons of bronze, and 3,750 tons of iron. They also contributed numerous precious stones, which were deposited in the treasury of the house of the Lord under the care of Jehiel, a descendant of Gershon. The people rejoiced over the offerings, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord, and King David was filled with joy.”
1 Chronicles 29:1-9 NLT
We’ve often heard about all king David gave in preparation for the building of God’s temple, but seldom do we hear of how willingly the leaders who served him gave as well. I ask the Lord every day before reading His Word, to do three things: Teach me something I do not know, show me something I never saw and remind me of what I may have forgotten. Today I saw something I hadn’t noticed before in this passage and it blew me away. Hence the title of this message-Leaders who lead.
We live in a culture of gimme, taking but not willing to give. We enjoy giving what belongs to someone else whilst holding on to me and mine. Just pay attention to government leaders. The billions they’re promising to spend isn’t coming from their pockets but from ours. The culture of the church isn’t any different. Pastoral leaders forget that it’s the giving of God’s people that sustains and support the ministry work. They’re always asking for more, but have you ever seen them open their wallets during the offering? I observed a pastor while visiting a ministry during the offering with her fist closed as she dropped her pittance in the basket-But later listened as she literally shamed everyone else into giving more. Those counting the money always have to unravel the scrunched up dollar bill she so generously sowed in the offering. I’m not making this up.
When you hear of churches giving to help whatever causes the ministry supports, it’s not coming necessarily from the leaders’ pockets, but from the resources of the ministry. Leaders who call for special offerings and are the first to give, create a culture of giving within the congregation. That ministry will want for nothing. Why? They have a leader who leads by example.
In the passage above, I don’t need to repeat what it says, it clearly demonstrated that David was a leader in giving to and worshiping Jehovah. He not only gave what was already prepared, he went into his own personal resources and gave above and beyond. That’s what offerings are, above and beyond the tithes. David led by example. So much so that when he posed this question to his leaders, they didn’t hesitate. He asked. “Who will follow my example and give offerings to the Lord today?” The leaders went all in. The congregation was so moved by what their leaders were doing that verse 9 said this:
The people rejoiced at the willing response of their leaders, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord. David the king also rejoiced greatly. NIV
Leaders who lead get to invite others to follow their example. Leaders who lead create a culture of celebration in giving. Leaders who lead will never beg for an offering another day in their ministerial lives. All David did was lead by example and the invitation to participate was well received by all.
God is looking for leaders who will lead by example. Not just in churches but in homes as well. I taught my daughter the principles of tithing at a very young age. For every quarter to every dollar, she was taught ten percent belongs to the Lord. She’s watched me be faithful in tithes and offerings for thirty-five years. I’ve endeavored to lead by example in every area of my life. God has been faithful. I will not ask her or anyone else to do what I’m not willing to do. Leaders who lead never have to fret over having their or the church’s need met. Likewise, if you’re a stingy leader, you have no right to expect your congregation to do what you’re unwilling to do. This passage proves that generous leaders produces a generous church. The results bring glory to God. Let’s continue reading what happened after this free will offering.
“Then David praised the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly: “O Lord, the God of our ancestor Israel, may You be praised forever and ever! Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is Yours, O Lord, and this is Your kingdom. We adore You as the One who is over all things. Wealth and honor come from You alone, for You rule over everything. Power and might are in Your hand, and at Your discretion people are made great and given strength. “O our God, we thank You and praise Your glorious Name! But who am I, and who are my people, that we could give anything to You? Everything we have has come from You, and we give You only what You first gave us! We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace. “O Lord our God, even this material we have gathered to build a Temple to honor Your Holy Name comes from You! It all belongs to You! I know, my God, that You examine our hearts and rejoice when You find integrity there. You know I have done all this with good motives, and I have watched Your people offer their gifts willingly and joyously. “O Lord, the God of our ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, make Your people always want to obey You. See to it that their love for You never changes.”
1 Chronicles 29:10-18 NLT
Leaders who lead recognize that God owns everything, and that even the willingness of the people to give is a gift from Him. By acknowledging that everything comes from God, leaders don’t need to beg. Have you heard a leader offering up thanksgiving like this after they have guilted the people into giving? They cannot. When they lead by example, spontaneous worship and thanksgiving to God is the result. David prayed that the heart of God’s people would remain loyal to Him, that their desires and thoughts would always be one of joyful and willing generosity towards the work of God. Leaders who lead can offer up these prayers on behalf of their people. Who wouldn’t want to give their best to the Lord under the leadership of one who leads by example?
Whether you serve under a leader like king David or one like Saul, still honor the Lord with your tithes and offerings. As David so eloquently said : Everything comes from You, and we have given You only what comes from Your hand. V 14b. Everything is His. Be a willing generous participant who walks in wisdom and discernment. Obey God’s Word and you will be blessed to be a leader who leads.
“Then David said to the whole assembly, “Give praise to the Lord your God!” And the entire assembly praised the Lord, the God of their ancestors, and they bowed low and knelt before the Lord and the king.”
1 Chronicles 29:20 NLT
Remember what I said about squeezing sand. The tighter you squeeze the less you have. Open your hands, don’t be that pastor who gives with a clad fist. Lead in giving by example whether you’re a pastor or parent serving the Lord from a pure conscience. Luke 6:38; 2 Corinthians 9:6-7
Written by permission of the Holy Spirit