Summary: God is looking for men who are willing to help the Pastor carry the load.
On one occasion a man was coming out of church one day, and the preacher was standing at the door as he always was to shake hands. He grabbed this guy by the hand and pulled him aside. The Pastor said to him, “You need to join the Army of the Lord!” The guy replied, What do you mean? I’m saved!” “I’m already in the Army of the Lord, Pastor.” The Pastor questioned, “How come I don’t see you except at Easter, Mother’s day and Christmas?” He whispered back, “I’m in the secret service.” But do you know what Dottie Peoples said? She sings a song entitled “Closet Religion.” Dottie says, “I don’t have a closet religion, I can’t hide the God I serve, I’ve got to let the world know, wherever I go, I’ve got to praise and serve the Lord!” Dottie says I don’t have a part-time religion, but I want to let the world know wherever I go, I’ve got to praise and serve the Lord! God has not called us to be secret service leaders, but servant leaders who live for him openly and without shame. Did you notice how Jesus performed his ministry? Mostly outside or in public view. When he healed the sick, most of them were healed outside. When he raised Lasarus from the dead, that was done outside. He performed miracles outside! When he died on the cross, it was done outside. Even though they buried him in a borrowed tomb, He rose on the world’s first Easter Sunday morning, outside! So where should your ministry be performed, privately, no, outside. People should see the resurrected Christ in your life in public view, outside. My friends, God is looking for men who do not make excuses about being drafted into his Army. He is looking for some men who are willing to come along side the Pastor of this church, or wherever you membership may be. Men who are willing to come along side their Pastor and help lighten the load. The text that we will study for just a few minutes is Exodus 18:13-21. Reading from the New Century Version, it says: “13 The next day Moses solved disagreements among the people, and the people stood around him from morning until night. 14 When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he asked, "What is all this you are doing for the people? Why are you the only one to solve disagreements? All the people are standing around you from morning until night!" 15 Then Moses said to his father-in-law, "It is because the people come to me for God’s help in solving their disagreements. 16 When people have a disagreement, they come to me, and I decide who is right. I tell them God’s laws and teachings." 17 Moses’ father-in-law said to him, "You are not doing this right. 18 You and the people who come to you will get too tired. This is too much work for you; you can’t do it by yourself. 19 Now listen to me, and I will give you some advice. I want God to be with you. You must speak to God for the people and tell him about their disagreements. 20 Warn them about the laws and teachings, and teach them the right way to live and what they should do. 21 But choose some capable men from among the people -- men who respect God, who can be trusted, and who will not change their decisions for money. Make these men officers over the people, to rule over groups of thousands, hundreds, fifties, and tens. That is my subject, “Leaders who help lighten the load. Up to this point, the children of Israel, who are known as God’s chosen people have been delivered out of Egypt from the bondage of Pharoh. God had taken them through the Red Sea on dry ground, fed them manna and bread from heaven, allowed them to be victorious in the fight against the Amalikites, and now they are camped in the Sinai desert next to Mt. Sinai. This chapter is prior to Moses’ receiving the ten commandments from God. When we catch up with Moses in verse 13 we see Moses settling the disputes and counseling the people from morning to evening. Moses’ father-in-law saw this and pulled him aside and asked why was he doing this job all alone. Jethro, who by the way is a Midianite Priest, gave Moses precise instructions in this matter. The first thing he told him was “this is too big for you to handle by yourself. Secondly, you are going to wear out both yourself and the people. First of all I have to commend Moses and Jethro. Why? First because Moses could have easily been intimidated by his father-in-laws’ counsel. For example in our day, you can’t give this kind of advice to the average old-school preacher. Because he would have been intimidated. He would automatically think you are trying to take over. When the Pastor is gone the roaches can’t move until he returns. Let me tell you something, that kind of old school mentality will not grow a church. Because if the Pastor dies, he is no different from the queen ant. You’ve seen the commercial, when the queen ant dies the whole mound dies. If that Pastor dies, the whole church dies. Why, because it was all about him and not about God. His attitude is don’t bring in any new ideas, just do what I tell you to do. But when you reverse this attitude of making the Pastor big to making the people big, then you will have growth. In other words, build into the lives of the people and allow others around you to help you carry the load. This is called discipleship. I commend my Pastor for allowing men to come around him and help him carry the load. He recognizes,like Moses, that he can’t do it alone. How many of you remember Earl Campbell? Earl Campbell was one of the greatest running backs in the game of football. Earl Campbell played for the Houston Oilers in the late seventies and early eighties. Earl could run the ball better than just about any running back to this day. He would simply run flat over you if he could. Earl ran for more than 10,000 yards in his career. Bum Phillips believed in one play, give the ball to Earl and let him take care of the rest. But, that was the problem. Bum ran Earl so much that his career as a professional football player was short-lived. He only played for about 6 or 7 years. It just goes to show you, one man can’t run the entire show. For every batman, there is a robin. For every Green hornet, there was a Cato. For every Lone Ranger, there was a Tonto. Superman was not too super when you put some Criptinight next to him.