In my last blog I wrote about Moses pastoring a mega church by himself. Moses was on a course to wear himself out and frustrate the people of Israel. His father-in-law gave him some great advice to help him stay focused on what God called him to do. Jethro told him that he should focus on three key things as a pastor in Exodus 18:19-21.
First, Moses was to be the “people’ representative before God”. That’s what pastors do, right? They interface with the people in the church and interface with God. Whenever God called Moses to the mountain top to speak with him and give him direction for the people (vision), he went alone and brought the vision back to the people. In fact the Israelites even told Moses to do this. They didn’t want to go meet with God face to face and told Moses to go see what God says and come tell them. (Exodus 20:18-19) Pastors are primarily vision casters and carry the responsibility of leading the local church. There is a lot of responsibility that comes with this position. But just because you shoulder the responsibility doesn’t mean you must do all the work. We often get that confused.
Secondly, Moses was to teach them God’s laws and “show them the way to live”. Pastors are called to communicate God’s Word and cast the vision. This is one of my primary focuses. That is why I spend about 20-25 hours per week at least working on what I’m going to communicate with the church. I’m one of those people who would spend 40 hours if I had the time. I believe in the importance of preparation. A pastor should remain focused on teaching how to be a follower of Christ.
Thirdly, Moses was challenged to “select capable men” from within the church, men who are trustworthy and fear God, to be leaders over thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens. Even in the first real church of the Bible we see a model of tiered leadership. Pastors aren’t supposed to do it all. (Eph. 4:11-16) I know this is a paradigm shift for many people, not just pastors. But it’s biblical. I think many pastors know this, but honestly few are willing to let go of the control. Every time that feeling of control comes up in me, I realize that the people and myself will be better of if I’m not trying to do it alone. I know that I can be more effective and focused on what I need to do when I delegate areas of ministry to people I trust.