MONDAY MINISTRY LEADERSHIP DEVOTION – YOU ARE A MESSENGER

READING Exodus 19:1-20

MEDITATION – Moses acted as a mediator between God and His people. He had the opportunity to relay powerful and precious truths from God to Israelites. These include His care (verse 4), His covenant (verses 5-8) , and His commands (verses 19-20 and chapter 20 and following).

Our mediator today is Christ. God uses pastors and others in ministry, however, to provide leadership to His people and to communicate His Word to them.

God uses beautiful imagery, a mother eagle bearing a young eagle on her back as it leaves the nest and learns to fly (verse 4), to remind the people of His care for them as they escaped Egypt. As ministry leaders we remind our people of God’s caring involvement in their lives. He delivers them from sin’s bondage and carries them along as they learn to live for Him.

God reiterates His covenant, calling the Jewish people His “treasured possession” and promising to make them “a kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (5-6). But the Israelites could not uphold their part of the covenant. Jesus Christ came to fulfill the terms that sinful humans cannot. Today we preach the promises of the New Covenant, conditioned only on faith in Jesus.

Through Moses, God delivered a long list of commands for His set apart people to follow. Today we teach God’s instructions, guiding people how to live a life transformed by Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit.

No new mediator is needed today. But Christian leaders are the messengers of the grace and truth found only in Jesus Christ. “For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ” (John 1:17).

Paul’s testimony is our model: “For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time. For this I was appointed a preacher and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth” (1 Timothy 2:5-7). We are messengers of the blessings mediated by Jesus Christ.

PRAYER
Thank you that the one perfect mediator has come. Help me faithfully proclaim the grace and truth found in Him.

MONDAY MINISTRY LEADERSHIP DEVOTION – DOING TOO MUCH?

READING – Exodus 18

MEDITATION – God was doing good things! When Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, visited him and heard of the spectacular works of God in their behalf, they thanked God with sacrifices and held a celebratory meal (vv. 10-13).

But God’s appointed leader, Moses, was doing too much. Notice the description, “all that he was doing for the people” (v. 14). Moses was busy doing good work and apparently it was not selfishly motivated. We might even say he was practicing servant-leadership. But one man was doing too much.

Would Jethro’s evaluation of Moses’ work be similar for you – “What you are doing is not good”? A leader doing all the work will eventually wear out. And he is actually hurting the people he is trying to help.

One of the most important responsibilities of leadership is identifying, enlisting, and equipping people qualified by ability and character to share the work (19-22). An effective leader proactively determines his role and primary responsibilities and prioritizes them. He enlists qualified people and equips them for additional roles and responsibilities that help the group fulfill its purpose. The result of working this way is an enduring ministry and an effective ministry.

A lot of emphasis is placed on servant-leadership in Christian teaching, and rightfully so. But this can lead to a misperception of how one leads effectively according to a biblical pattern. Serving others does not mean doing everything yourself. Leading effectively includes knowing one’s role and discerning the responsibilities and tasks necessary to fulfilling that role, then enlisting and equipping others to fill roles, take responsibilities, and complete tasks that fulfill the purpose of the group or organization.

PRAYER – Father, thank you for endowing your church with people who are gifted so together we can build up the body of Christ. Give me wisdom to discern my role and primary responsibilities so I can enlist others in fulfilling theirs.

Humble my heart so I will be open to the constructive advice of outsiders.

Enable me to distinguish between pragmatic business models and efficient ministry practices. Guide me in implementing practices that are truly good for all – both the leaders and the rest of the people.

Lift my head from existing day to day. Open my eyes to a long-term view of ministry. Deliver me from unwise practices that wear me down or burn me out.

By your grace, make my ministry both effective and enduring.

Keeping Your Voice Strong for Lifelong Ministry

Have you heard of glottal fry? Should you preach with a sore throat? Want to nerd out with a speech pathologist on vocal mechanics? What are some bad speaking habits you should avoid? Should you use amplification even in smaller settings?

Every trade or profession has its tools. A carpenter uses a saw, a surgeon uses a scalpel, a graphic artist uses design software, and so on. As a minister of the Word you have several instruments you use to do your work. One that is very critical is your voice.

You need to take care of your voice, use it correctly, and protect it from damage. A strong voice is essential to long term ministry of the Word.

Episode 19 of the Shepherdology Podcast is an interview with Speech-Language Pathologist Elena Kimbrough. She has a passion to help communicators develop and protect their voices. Listen and learn how to keep your voice strong so it will last as long as your ministry. This info applies to online preaching too!

Click here to listen to Shepherdology Podcast Episode 19 – Keeping Your Voice Strong for Lifelong Ministry.