An organization will only be as strong as it’s leadership. This was a lesson that Moses had to learn. As the leader of God’s people, Moses had taken on the super hired holy man syndrome, thinking he had to do everything himself. But as a result, Moses was getting worn out and the people were getting bogged down. It took a visit from Moses’ father-in-law to remind him that the people needed a Godly leader who recognized the talents and gifts of others. Jethro reminded Moses of a number of qualities he must have if he was to be the leader God had called him to be.
(1)Godly leaders don’t lose track of what is important – The primary reason Jethro showed up was to bring Moses family back to him. Moses had become so busy being a “leader” that he forgot that his greatest leadership was in his home. Jethro had to remind Moses that the greatest leadership is through the example of his life.
(2)Godly leaders don’t lose sight of their calling – Moses calling was to stand in the gap for the people with God and teach them the truths of God. But he got so busy dealing with piddly little problems between people that he was no longer spending time doing what he had been called by God to do. Jethro reminded him that he needed to spend the bulk of his time as a leader following the call of God (see Exodus 18:19-20).
(3)Godly leaders know their limitations – Moses was trying to do it all. He spent his entire day dealing with all the problems of God’s people. Jethro noticed that Moses was trying to do too much. (See Exodus 18:18)
(4)Godly leaders use their gifts and talents – We are gifted in different ways. Moses had gotten bogged down in doing things which he was not gifted. It is so easy for someone in leadership to think they have to do everything, but the result will be that the leader will do a lot of things poorly instead of a few things well.
(5)Godly leaders equip others to serve – Jethro reminded Moses that there was a plethora of people around him that were qualified to help him with the people. Moses was failing as a leader because he was not helping those around him develop their gifts and skills. Godly leaders must learn to delegate responsibilities to others. (See Exodus 18:21-22)
(6)Godly leaders leave the results to God – Moses had convinced himself that he was responsible for keeping the people satisfied. He had a level of pride that convinced him that if he didn’t do it all, it wouldn’t get done. As a result, his leadership suffered and the people were frustrated. Jethro helped Moses realize that Godly leaders do what God has called them to do and they leave the results to God.
I’ve seen too many pastors and leaders of organizations burn out, or get so stressed that they make horrible personal decisions that wreck their ministries. Jethro (yeah, I laugh at his name too, all I can think of is the goofy character on the Beverly Hillbillies) spoke into Moses’ life and reminded him that he needed to delegate and hone his leadership skills. What a great example for leaders in God’s church to follow.