The next day Moses took his seat to serve as judge for the people, and they stood around him from morning till evening. When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, “What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?” Moses answered him, “Because the people come to me to seek God’s will. Whenever they have a dispute, it is brought to me, and I decide between the parties and inform them of God’s decrees and instructions.” Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him. Teach them his decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave. But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you. If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.” (Exodus 18:13-23)
We can learn three lessons from the above verses. When Jethro, priest of the Medians and father-in-law of Moses, visited Moses, he made an observation which helped him to become a great leader of the Israelites in exile. In this encounter, Moses allowed the following to take place.
- Allow yourself to be inspected.
People will do what you inspect rather than what you expect. Nobody likes to be told what to do, but we need to have open minds and humble hearts, willing to improve. We must allow godly people to, in business terms, evaluate our performance. Great companies are successful because they have audits to improve their areas of weakness.
- Allow people to identify your faults.
Jethro identified Moses’ problem: He was getting burnt out in his management of the Israelites. Like Moses, we must learn to accept criticism.
- Allow yourself to be investigated.
Jethro investigated Moses’ way of doing things and taught him the art of delegation. Moses was doing everything on his own. Delegation of responsibilities is difficult because you may not want to let go of your own authority and power.
There are four ways to build yourself and the Church:
You need to intercede through prayer, praise and worship.
Following Jethro’s advice, Moses instructed the people on what to do.
Invitation to Serve
Following Jethro’s advice, Moses delegated responsibility.
Make sure that plans are implemented through delegation to dedicated people. Choosing the right people is just as important as the implementation itself.
With these four principles in place, you will definitely see the impact of all your hard work. A growing church is a happy church.