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Along the Journey  |  

What the biblical characters Jethro and Moses can teach us about leadership

Moses is a significant figure in the Bible; an important lesson we can learn from him is leadership delegation. Exodus 18:13-22 highlights how his father-in-law, Jethro, helped Moses see he couldn’t do everything related to the Israelite people alone.

Jethro observed Moses’ dealings with the people. He rhetorically asked, “Aren’t you trying to do too much for the people?” Jethro told Moses he would not last if he continued to lead the people this way. Jethro encouraged Moses to delegate some of his tasks to trustworthy people, who would only come to him with significant issues that may be “above their pay grades.” This strategy would allow Moses to focus on the bigger picture and ensure everything ran smoothly.

In congregational ministry, pastors wear many hats: chief executive officer, chief operating officer, human resources manager, pastoral counselor, teacher, and, let’s not forget, preacher. Of all their responsibilities, pastors must learn the art of delegation to reach their version of success. Everything a pastor hears doesn’t require their personal or intimate involvement.

It is okay to have a high-level awareness of what is happening in the congregation without feeling the need to be in the middle of everything happening in the church. Creating teams of ministry leaders is a great way to ease the burden, especially if the pastor is bi-vocational. 

Moses and Jethro’s encounter also teaches us that delegation requires trust. When Moses delegated responsibilities, he trusted that the leaders he assigned would carry them out effectively. He didn’t micromanage or second-guess but gave his team the freedom to do their jobs. His trust allowed the team to thrive and succeed.

Have you evaluated your leadership style? Are you delegating tasks for more effective results? Do you have trouble letting go? To summarize Jethro’s words, seek divine guidance and do what is necessary to empower people to handle internal problems themselves. This will free up your time for more pastoral work versus putting out small fires all day.

Want to learn more about honing your skills as a leader? Register for a Leadership in Ministry Workshop today!

Rev. Corey L. Brown, MDiv

Pastor, Hush Harbor Ministry

Moultrie, GA

Facebook: @hushharborministry

YouTube: @hushharbor


Along the Journey