Moses went from leading hundreds of sheep to millions of people. His burden was great, and Jethro was concerned he would wear himself out. Therefore, at the appropriate time, Jethro gave him so advice:
Exodus 18:17-23 … What you are doing is not good. You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out, for the thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it alone. Now obey my voice; I will give you advice, and God be with you! You shall represent the people before God and bring their cases to God, and you shall warn them about the statutes and the laws, and make them know the way in which they must walk and what they must do. Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. And let them judge the people at all times. Every great matter they shall bring to you, but any small matter they shall decide themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. If you do this, God will direct you, you will be able to endure, and all this people also will go to their place in peace.
Months later, when the Lord witnesses the ministerial frustration of Moses, similar advise came forth from his mouth:
Numbers 11:16-17 … Gather for me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them, and bring them to the tent of meeting, and let them take their stand there with you. And I will come down and talk with you there. And I will take some of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them, and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you may not bear it yourself alone.
Fellow ministers, elders, deacons, and ministry leaders, are you sharing the burden? Are you willing to equip the saints for the work of the ministry? Will you endeavor to:
- Lead leaders and not merely followers?
- Find capable, willing, passionate, and ever-learning leaders?
- Slow yourself down and reorganize in order to model and train leaders?
- Give these leaders their sphere of responsibility?
- Give these leaders adequate authority to fulfill their responsibility?
- Give these leaders loving accountability, support, and improvement?
- Trust the Holy Spirit to use these imperfect leaders as he is using you?
Fellow parishioners, are you willing to share the burden? Your minister may have broad shoulders and a big battery. He may have some skills in many areas and special skills in a few. He may pretend like he is able to be both a C.E.O., a Shepherd of Souls, and that he has got it all together. However, the truth be known, he is longing for more people to step up, spend themselves, become leaders, and be used mightily by the Holy Spirit. Therefore, will you make it easy on him today? Will you:
- Get on your knees and talk to the Lord?
- Get on your phone and talk to your ministry leader; set an appointment?
- Together, find some area of ministry where you are willing to serve?
- Be willing to practice and be trained in an area of ministry?
- Be willing to take charge of an area of ministry at the proper time?
- Be willing to be continually taught, improved, supported, and loved?
- Trust the Holy Spirit to use you as he already is your very imperfect leader?
Friends, formal clergical ordination has nothing to do with the falling, filling, gifting, and fruiting of the Holy Spirit. As a Christian, you are a saint of God; you are priest of the Most High, and you have work to do. You have a leadership mantle to take, and don’t let this scare you, but you have leaders of your own to make. Therefore, it is time for you to cease being merely the consumer or the critic. You are not to young, old, or disabled. You have not the wrong gender or ethnicity. You need not more energy, more time, more skills, or more money. No, you have not done your job, and it is not time for you to retire. And your sin, well run to the cross and forget about it; you have not sinned away your ministerial calling. Friends, it is time for you to be a producer, a manager, and a leader in the household of faith. The Lord’s business is calling you. Come on my friends and fellow servants, many of your leaders are wearing out, and they are waiting for your phone call and renewed passion.
For those at Horizon Church, my mobile number is (864) 434-3326. Seriously, please, give me a call. For those of you at other churches, I am sure you can find the proper number to call your minister, elder, deacon, staff member, or ministry leader. They should be incredibly excited to hear your voice and your interest.