“The Jethro Principle”
In our text this morning, we are introduced to a great leader who led the Hebrews out of Egypt, but not one who was a great administrator. Moses was a gifted start up pastor, but was not necessarily equipped to ensure sustainability. After the Exodus from Egypt’s tyranny, Moses’ role expanded into making daily judicial decisions. Jethro, his father-in-law, witnessed what Moses was doing to address the growing infrastructure and he said, “What you are doing is not good.” Moses argued that he had no choice, that he was all alone, but what he was doing was creating an unrealistic dependence on his own leadership. The consequences could lead to leadership burnout, or equally disturbing, the danger of systemic burnout. A system based on mass participation and the utilization of spiritual gifts engages many in leadership and creates a more sustainable model.
Jethro proceeds to give Moses some helpful advice:
- Have the courage to change, and God will be with you.
- Stop getting stuck in the weeds. Pastoral leadership is not about solving everybody’s problems, it’s about equipping them to address their own.
- “Teach them the statutes and instructions and make known to them the way they are to go and the things they are to do.” (v. 20) In other words, give them vision of where to go and give them tools to help them get there.
- “Look for able men who fear God, are trustworthy, and hate dishonest gain. Set them as officers over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.” (v. 21) This central principle is called delegating opportunity.
At GBPC, our model displaces the former traditional approach in two principles ways. One, we believe that discipleship happens in LIFE groups. Two, we believe that congregational care best happens in LIFE groups as well.
As you think about your relationships, what are your relationships within the local church? Where might God be urging you to engage so you can grow in your relationship with Him and with others?