Leadership in Context Episode 56 Show Notes
Giving pt5: Higher Standards for Leaders
Leadership in Context with Keith Tucci
Money Principle #1: Giving is a grace.
Money Principle #2: Giving is a spiritual standard.
Money Principle #3: What has God given you?
Money Principle #4: It’s the equality of the commitment, not the abundance of gifts, that really makes a difference.
Money Principle #5: Leaders are held to a higher standard.
2 Corinthians chapters 8 and 9 is exclusively dedicated to having a sound biblical understanding of finances and giving. The apostle Paul was not just trying to tell the Corinthians what to do, but he was trying to create a culture where their thinking about money was healthy. You can have a lot of money or a little money and still have healthy thinking about finances. It’s important to understand what God thinks so we can be in agreement with Him.
2 Corinthians 8:17-24
For he not only accepted our appeal, but being himself very earnest, he has gone to you of his own accord…
This is referring to Titus, who was going to pick up the offering from the Corinthian church.
…We have sent along with him the brother whose fame in the things of the gospel has spread through all the churches; and not only this, but he has also been appointed by the churches to travel with us in this gracious work, which is being administered by us for the glory of the Lord Himself, and to show our readiness…
We don’t know who that person was. He was famous in his day because he was trusted with the money. He was God’s Brinks armored car, and he was traveling with Titus. He had a great reputation for handling the money well.
…taking precaution so that no one will discredit us in our administration of this generous gift; for we have regard for what is honorable, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men. We have sent with them our brother, whom we have often tested and found diligent in many things, but now even more diligent because of his great confidence in you. As for Titus, he is my partner and fellow worker among you; as for our brethren, they are messengers of the churches, a glory to Christ.Therefore openly before the churches, show them the proof of your love and of our reason for boasting about you.
Higher Standards for Leaders
This passage is really referring to their philosophy of how they handle the money. What we see here is that leaders are held to a higher standard. James tells us that we should not want to be teachers, knowing that we will receive a greater condemnation, not a greater commendation. In other words, we will be held accountable for the things that we teach.
Verse 18: We have sent along with him the brother whose fame in the things of the gospel has spread through all the churches.
Proper money management is a gospel issue. Look at how the world has attacked the Church, and unfortunately sometimes rightfully so, when churches or ministries have mishandled money. If we handle money right, I believe that God will trust us to handle lives right. When the world is looking at us and they don’t believe we can handle a few dollars right, how would they trust us to handle someone who needs our love and guidance correctly? When we don’t talk about money in our church or ministry, we are leaving out part of the gospel. Every person thinks about money every day. We need to teach what the Scriptures say about money.
Verse 17: Referring to Titus—very earnest, he has gone to you of his own accord.
Titus was not being paid to do this. He did it out of his own pocket. A critical standard of leadership is not just how someone handles responsibility; it’s how they handle privilege.I’m sure Titus could have asked for an expense account. I’m not saying it is wrong to ask for one. But what I am saying is that in the heart of every leader has to be a drive where they believe in it so much that they will do it of their own accord. I look for leaders who are investing in the same thing that they are asking other people to invest in. Are we digging into our own life, time, talent, and treasure? There should be times in our lives as leaders that we, on purpose, make sure we pay it of our own accord. Personally, I do this regularly in my own life. I want to keep myself honest. I don’t want to take advantage of every privilege, even though that privilege is completely legitimate.
Verse 19: He has also been appointed by the churches to travel with us in this gracious work.
Grace keeps coming up in this chapter. In episode 52, we talked about giving being a grace. Giving is sustained by grace. Grace is not slack. Grace is an empowerment.
Verse 20: …taking precaution so that no one will discredit us in our administration of this generous gift.
We have to be wise. There are people who want to discredit us. There are things that I have seen leaders do that were not morally wrong, but they were tactically wrong and they could lead someone to believe that they were doing the wrong thing. Think ahead and do things on purpose so that there is accountability.
Verse 21: We have regard for what is honorable, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.
This is the heart of every shepherd, every ministry leader—“We are going to ask you to give, and you will not be embarrassed by how we spend that money. We will show integrity.” When I was pastoring, we had raised a substantial amount of money for a project. As we got into it, it became apparent that this project was not the direction we should go. I met with the leaders and shared what I was going to do. Everyone who gave to this project got a card where they would write their name and check if they wanted their money back or not. I shared with the whole church that if they did not ask for the money back, we were going to put it into our missions fund. It amazed me how many people asked for their money back. It was actually a back-handed compliment. They wanted their money that they gave with intentionality back so that they could give with intentionality again. For the next project, we had a greater outpouring of generosity. Sometimes you have to go out of your way to make sure the enemy does not take advantage of your doing good.
Verse 24: Therefore openly before the churches, show them the proof of your love and of our reason for boasting about you.
In other words, this is really going to glorify God. It’s going to cause people to sit up and take notice when we walk out that we are a generous people. Wouldn’t it be great to be known as the most generous church in town? Giving is a sport in our church because we are healthy and not sensitive about talking about money.
There is a higher standards for leaders. If God has called you to leadership, He has called you to a higher standard.
Join us next week as Keith Tucci continues to put leadership truth in the context of the local church. And as always, please like, share, rate/review, and invite others to listen. See you next week!