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.