Those Crazy Macedonians

Those crazy Macedonians, am I right?

We hear about them in 2 Corinthians 8. And honestly, it’s difficult not to be inspired by their generosity. Though they had little, yet they gave extravagantly. They were poverty stricken, yet they were rich in generosity.

As church leaders, we all want the people in our church to reflect a similar level of radical generosity. We long to see our church filled with generous disciples, embracing stewardship, experiencing all God has for them.

Here are 4 things you can share with your congregation to inspire generosity from the story of the Macedonians.

1. Generous disciples are moved by what moves God.

The Macedonians were clearly passionate about the things of God. “They gave themselves first to the Lord (verse 5).” God had done a work in the Macedonians’ hearts, and they were sensitive to the desires of God. The Macedonians’ hearts were aligned with God’s heart.

Generous disciples are moved by what moves God.


2. Generous disciples know their resources are not their own.

The extent to which a person claims ownership of their resources is directly related to the extent of their tightfistedness. “Mine” is tough to release. “Yours” is easy. The Macedonians clearly did not view possessions as something to hoard. Their stuff was not their stuff. It was God’s stuff.

Generous disciples know their resources are not their resources.


3. Generous disciples understand the bigger mission.

In 2 Corinthians 8, the church was on the move. The gospel was going out. God’s Kingdom was advancing. The Macedonians understood the bigger mission. Their love for others was sincere (verse 8). The mission was not about making earthly kingdoms, but a heavenly Kingdom. Therefore, resources were not directed toward that which was momentary, but that which was eternal.

Generous disciples understand the bigger mission.


4. Generous disciples consider it an honor to participate in the mission.

“They urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people (verse 4).” The Macedonians did not just understand the bigger mission, they desperately wanted to be a part of it. They understood that God had invited them into His mission and considered it a tremendous privilege. Generosity was not a burden. Generosity was an honor.

Generous disciples consider it an honor to participate in the mission.


Maybe these 4 principles will inspire you to write a sermon about the Macedonians or perhaps it will provide you with some good talking points to share from the pulpit during an offering moment. Whatever way you decide to share this story, we hope it equips you with the tools you need to inspire radical generosity in your church.

Art Rainer

Art Rainer is the Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. He writes and speaks widely about issues related to finance, wealth, and generosity, and is the author of The Money Challenge: 30 Days of Discovering God’s Design for You and Your Money. Art lives in Wake Forest, North Carolina with his wife, Sarah, and their three children.

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