Leaders Lessen Loads

19 12 2007

by Pastor Norman S. Lao

Introduction

A brief backgrounder. Israel just got out of Egypt. There were between 600,000 and 2 million of them. Moses was the leader who wanted to solve the problems of all the people. Sometimes pastors have this mentality where they think they need to do everything themselves. When Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses heard what he was doing, he gave Moses very good advice for more effective Ministry.

Israel was God’s congregation in the Old Testament. The Church is God’s congregation in the New Testament. We can get some needed insights from this passage this morning especially this Sunday when we are about to elect our church officers who will lead our different departments and ministries in 2008.

I. The Need for Assistants: The Necessity.

Jethro told Moses, “The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone” (v.18)

A. God has so designed the church that it cannot be run by just one man. I read an article where an ex-pastor wrote: “Pastoral work is inhuman.” Then he proceeded to talk about the extreme pressure, the unpredictable hours, relational tensions, problems with family relationships, physical and mental health, etc. To some extent I agree. This leads us to the fact that God has so designed the church that it can only be run effectively by a Team.

If a pastor dies or goes away and the church dies or goes away with him, then that church failed to be the church. We are trying to build a church where even when the pastor is gone it is still doing what it is supposed to be doing.

B. We recognize that we cannot do it alone. We need help. We need assistants. Moses, with the help of Jethro, recognized this.

In the New Testament we find that mighty men of God had assistants:

  • Even the Lord Jesus Christ had twelve and seventy two.
  • Peter had John.
  • At different times and in different circumstances the mighty apostle Paul also had assistants. Paul and Barnabas. Paul and Silas. Paul and Timothy.

In Church Reformation history this is also true:

  • Martin Luther had his Melanchthon.
  • John Calvin had William Farel.

In the Animal kingdom this is also true

  • The most effective hunters are wild dogs. They hunt in packs.
  • Lions hunt in groups (pride)

II. The Assistants We Need: Their Qualifications.

We find five qualifications in our text.

  1. (v.20) They must be trained people. People who have undergone some kind of training. People who have developed skills overtime. People who have experience.
  2. (v.21) They are capable men – persons with good reputation. They must be known to be good people. People with a clean life. Not perfect, just above reproach.
  3. (v.21) They fear God – that means they are spiritual, godly. (Pastor Seo’s deacon who was holding a cigarette in his hand.)
  4. (v.21) They are trustworthy. Not only trustworthy with money, but trustworthy to get the job done.
  5. (V.21) They are not driven by money or greed or something else except their love for Jesus.

These kinds of leaders will share the load, not add to it. They have a burden for ministry. They are not selfish.

III. The Blessings of Assistants: The Benefits

There are three blessings we find in the text:

  1. (v. 22) They will lighten the load because they will share it. Church work/ministry will become easier because of them, not harder. When church work is easy then we can do more work.

  1. (v.23) The leader can stand the strain and the stress of ministry. One of the problems of pastors is burnout. Burnout is long term exhaustion and diminished interest in the context of work. This is marked by: depression, confusion, discouragement, irritability, etc. Good assistants release the leader from burnout.

  1. (v23) The people will go home satisfied.

Conclusion

Today, as we elect our leaders, leaders who will help the Pastor carry the load of the ministry, remember these three things: 1. We need assistants or helpers, 2. We need qualified assistants, 3. If we choose correctly, then we will be satisfied.

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