David Denmark on “How do you collaborate with other givers?” Part 1 of 3

Situation: Collaborating with other givers

“How do you collaborate with other funders/foundations?” – Cynthia, South Africa

Our dear friend, David Denmark, is the executive director of the Maclellan Foundation. Under his leadership, Maclellan underwrites the lion’s share of Generosity Path’s costs. God has given David exciting vision for the ways that Christian givers around the world can join forces to fund the expansion of the Kingdom.

Before we turn to the “how” of collaboration, I asked David to share his views on why collaboration matters. Here’s what he says:

 

Scripture: Why are you wealthy?

In Deuteronomy 8, Moses is talking to the people, and he is preparing their hearts to receive God’s blessings found in the promise land.

Moses tells them that they will soon possess cities and vineyards and herds of animals.  They are going to become wealthy.  And then he gives them this encouragement:

Beware lest you say in your heart, “My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.  You shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you the power and ability to get wealth, that he may confirm His covenant that He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.”

This is a fascinating Scripture.   God told His body that they were going to be wealthy, and that was a good thing.

Steps:

1. Search the Scriptures to Ask “Why Am I Wealthy?”

If you are like me, you probably have said that “God blessed me with wealth.”

I don’t think that is entirely accurate.   You are wealthy because you are smart, you worked harder than most people, you had the guts to stick it out during the hard times, and you had favor over your competition.

  God did not give you wealth. He gave you the ability to make wealth.

That is why you are wealthy.

Now, it was the Lord that gave you your brain, your work ethic, your guts, and the favor.  God did not give you wealth. He gave you the ability to make wealth.

So here is the question that I want to propose: Why you, why me?

Why wasn’t I born blind in a village in Brazil?  I still would have had a great life, but it would have been a different life.  Why was I given these unique abilities in the unique place where I live in this unique time?

There are 100 million other Christians that do not have your brains, your work ethic, your guts, and the same opportunities and favor that you have.  Why you?

We know it isn’t that God loves us more than anyone else.  He loves all his children the same.

And this isn’t some weird guilt trip, it is actually a very exciting question to ponder.   You were handpicked by God to become wealthy.  That is amazing, and radically encouraging.  But why is that?

What is the purpose for your wealth?

I think it is different for each of us.  But one thing I believe we all have in common can be learned from this Scripture.

 

2. Celebrate that God Confirms His Covenant through Your Wealth.

God gives us the ability to make wealth for the purpose of confirming some covenantal promise he has made.  What promise has God spoken over your family?  What covenant has He spoken over your country?

Our wealth is destined to confirm those covenants.

 

3. Enjoy the Wealth He Has Given You.

I believe we are supposed to enjoy our wealth.   And one of the best ways to enjoy it is to find a covenantal purpose for it.

And a great way to discover that purpose is to gather together with other people who has also been handpicked to make wealth. Come together to discuss what it means to use our wealth to confirm a covenant made by God.

 

In Part 2, David Denmark explores the reasons to give with other Christians. In Part 3, he shares lessons that the Maclellan Foundation has learned about collaborative giving.

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