Leadership and Response
Leadership and Response (1 Chronicles 29)
There is a proverb which goes, "He who thinketh he leadeth and nobody followeth is only taking a walk." Leadership is meaningful because people respond to a leader. In the Old Testament account of building the temple, David appears as a leader who effectively moved other leaders and followers to the task. A leader must have both a vision and a task. A vision without a task is an illusion. A task without a vision is a drudgery. But a vision coupled with a task means leadership.
Travis has a vision of serving the maximum number of people in Fort Worth and Tarrant County. This vision requires a task. Spiritual goals of the church require physical provisions for the church. Travis Together Triumphant gives us the challenge of leadership and response.
Leadership Calls for a Vision and a Task
We must envision building for God's work. David had the vision of a building that was "not for man but for the Lord God." The visionary dream of a temple for God's work fired the life and imagination of David. He was clear in his motive that the purpose of the structure was for God and not for man (v. 1). Through a providential intervention God has provided us with a block of property and a new building. God clearly intervened in the timing, personalities, and circumstances for the south education building.
We must make provision for the vision. Along with the vision is the task of paying for the vision. Because David wanted the vision to be reality, he made regular, planned contributions to the work (v. 2). But beyond his regular contribution he was willing to give "over and above" all that he regularly gave (v. 3). God's plan for making vision reality remains the same. We ought to give regularly the tithes that belong to God as well as our offerings. On extraordinary occasions, however, God calls us to do more in the face of need. Such giving ought to be personal, additional, and devotional. The act of giving is really the act of consecrating oneself.
Leadership Calls for Response
By definition a leader is a leader because people respond and follow. Every level of leadership should respond to the commitment of the principal leader. When David made his pledge to the building of the temple, the other leaders in the congregation responded. This included the heads of families, the officers, commanders, and every level of officials. Your pastor and family are committed to this program. The leaders of your church have already made a sacrificial commitment at many levels. Leaders at Travis are leading.
God's people should respond in reaction to their leaders' commitment. The response of all the people was one of joy and generosity when they saw their leaders give to the work. All of the people were moved to sacrificial giving in light of the leaders' example. The result was a total effort of leaders and followers which created great joy in the congregation.
Praise Results from Such Giving in the Congregation
There is no praise in the congregation to match that which follows from supernatural giving. Such praise results in the magnification of God (vv. 10-13). The words of David's joyous praise-prayer still resound in our own worship. The highest days of praise Travis will ever know will come from response in sacrificial giving. Praise is not cheap. It grows loudest out of devotion that is deepest.
Such giving demonstrates the position of humankind (vv. 14-15). We are a dependent, derivative, and disappearing people. Even when we give we confess our humility in the face of daring to present anything back to God. We are so derivative that we can only confess, "Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand" (v. 14). We should also keep in mind that we are disappearing: "Our days on earth are like a shadow without hope." Giving acknowledges that we do what we can when we can.
Such giving results in a celebration of the Lord's presence: "They ate and drank with great joy in the presence of the Lord that day" (v. 22) On May 7 we will celebrate the victory that has come in Travis Together Triumphant. Those of us who have responded will celebrate the joy in God's presence. Would you not be part of that celebration?