1 Chron 11:1-3 All Israel came together to David at Hebron and said, "We are your own flesh and blood. In the past, even while Saul was king, you were the one who led Israel on their military campaigns. And the Lord your God said to you, 'You will shepherd my people Israel, and you will become their ruler.'" When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, he made a compact with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel, as the Lord had promised through Samuel.
1 Chron 12:18, 38-40 Then the Spirit came upon Amasai, chief of the Thirty, and he said: "We are yours, O David! We are with you, O son of Jesse! Success, success to you, and success to those who help you, for your God will help you." So David received them and made them leaders of his raiding bands...
All these were fighting men who volunteered to serve in the ranks. They came to Hebron fully determined to make David king over all Israel. All the rest of the Israelites were also of one mind to make David king. The men spent three days there with David, eating and drinking, for their families had supplied provisions for them. Also, their neighbors from as far away as Issachar, Zebulun and Naphtali came bringing food on donkeys, camels, mules and oxen. There were plentiful supplies of flour, fig cakes, raisin cakes, wine, oil, cattle and sheep, for there was joy in Israel.
David began his reign over Israel with a core team of committed leaders who were all highly trained and skillful in warfare. He had his Three and Thirty, plus a host of other men who defected from Saul to join rank with him. What 1 Chronicles 11 & 12 detail for us is the inner core of David's leadership team (Three & Thirty) and an army of skilled warriors who were all "armed for battle" (1 Chron. 12:23), a total of about 340,822 men.
What is leadership? I think John Maxwell's definition of a leader as someone who has followers is very helpful. Not a great definition, but a practical one. If we don't have followers, we can't call ourselves a leader, no matter what titles we hold. Employees are not strictly followers because are not volunteers--they go where the pay is good. The real test of leadership is people following us voluntarily: "All these were fighting men who volunteered to serve in the ranks." (1 Chron 12:38). No one can exercise real leadership (spiritual or otherwise) without followers.
What motivated the Three & Thirty plus the rest of the 340,822 warriors to follow David is their recognition that David was not a self-appointed leader but a God-anointed one: "When all the elders of Israel had come to King David at Hebron, he made a compact with them at Hebron before the Lord, and they anointed David king over Israel, as the Lord had promised through Samuel" (1 Chron 11:3). The test of a God-anointed leadership is there will be followers. If we are God's men and women of the hour, we do not worry about followers -- God will bring them to us.
Father, thank You that You call, anoint and appoint Your shepherds over Your people. But You also direct Your sheep to follow Your anointed shepherds whom You have appointed over them. Amen.