By Robert E. Guinn
Many times, the human part of us feels inadequate or overwhelmed by the responsibilities assigned to us by God. The commands such as reaching the entire world with the Gospel (Mark 16:15-16) and bearing one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:1-2) can easily seem beyond our ability when we buy into the belief thinking that we have to do it alone. God, however, never intended for us to complete His missions solo.
In Exodus 18:13-27, Moses’ father-in-law gives him some advice that we should listen to today. After Moses sat to judge the people of Israel from morning till evening, Jethro encouraged Moses to rethink his methods saying, “What you are doing is not good. You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out, for the thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it alone,” (v.17-18). Jethro instructs Moses about the importance of delegation. By doing this, Moses establishes an atmosphere of trust among God’s people, equips others for the ministry, lightens his personal burden, and brings peace to the people. In other words, Moses helped himself and others bring glory to God by turning a solo ministry into a group effort.
We see a similar circumstance in the New Testament. In Acts 6, the Apostles are approached with the issue of certain widows being neglected and overlooked. Rather than over-burdening themselves by taking on a new task, they encouraged the congregation to choose six spiritually qualified men who could handle the task. As a result, the people were pleased, a congregational issue was resolved, the word of God increased, and the number of disciples increased. Once again, God is glorified when people work together to accomplish His will.
There is godly wisdom and power in the model of enabling and equipping others to work together in the Lord. Elders, preachers, teachers, and every servant of God is to work toward this end (Ephesians 4:11-16). Many times, the lack of proper delegation often causes burn-out as Bible class teachers, preachers, elders, deacons, and other servants of the Lord receive little or no relief from that one ministry or that one class. Delegation is a two-way street requiring a willingness to delegate and people willing to help. Some people burn out because they never ask for help; while others burn out because no one is willing to help. The beautiful truth is that delegation promotes a “we/us” mentality over an “I/me” mindset that encourages leaders to inspire others to serve within their abilities toward a common goal that brings glory to God.
When Jesus issued the Great Commission to His apostles and disciples, He did not commission one person, but all His followers (Matthew 28:18-20). Additionally, He explicitly stated, “Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age,” (v.20). The next time you feel burdened and overloaded in servicing God, remind yourself that you are not alone and seek out someone who is spiritually qualified to help you carry on in the Lord. Great is the task, but the reward is even greater.
- Robert Guinn preaches for the Central Church of Christ in Paducah KY. He may be contacted through the congregation's website: http://www.centralchurchofchrist.org