Summary: Message 11 in our journey through Exodus exploring the counsel to Moses to prevent burnout.
Chico Alliance Church
Pastor David Welch
"Preventing Burnout” Exodus 18:1-27
I. God Provided Deliverance from Egypt 1-15
II. God prepared for the Development of trust 15-18
A. Bitter water made sweet by the tree 15:22-27
Consistently embrace the cross and brokenness
B. Hunger Satisfied by manna 16
Continually interact with the Word of God.
C. Life and refreshment generated by water from the Rock 17:1-7
Ceaselessly draw refreshment and enabling power from the Holy Spirit
D. Victory secured by intercession 17:8-16
Constantly pray for one another.
Moses had not really been on the job as shepherd of this church for that long and yet was about to fall victim to leadership burn out.
It didn’t take long for his father-in-law to observe a huge problem.
"You will surely wear out, both yourself and these people who are with you, for the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone. Exodus 18:18
Moses was on track to completely burn-out.
E. Burden of leadership eased by sharing the load 18
Consciously share the load of ministry
1. Facilitate family life 1-6
We are not sure the reasons surrounding the separation. Some think the rift regarding circumcision of the boys (Ex 4:26) caused Moses to “send her away”. Perhaps it was to protect his family from assignation by a perturbed Pharaoh. Whatever the reason, Jethro brought the family back together having heard of God’s deliverance from Egypt. It is interesting to note that the events of our life not only affect us but also affect our children. Moses’ journey even showed up in the names of his children.
The sorrow of a sojourner and castaway.
The delight of a delivered child of God.
A pastor’s ministry is intricately tied to his family. Some churches have the same mentality as the Navy. “If we wanted a pastor with a wife and kids we would have issued one with the parsonage.” Pastor’s wives and kids must endure a great deal at the hands of a church and at the mercy of an absent husband and father. I must declare on this our 29th Wedding anniversary that Chico has consistently cared for our family. I bless you for the support, prayers, love, generosity, patience, compassion, kindness, gentleness you have demonstrated for my family these 15.5 years. The best thing you can do for a pastor is to do all you can to help him maintain healthy relationships with his family. Time off, retreats, prayer
2. Encourage deeper relationships 7-9
Everyone needs human connection. Pastors are notorious isolationists.
Moses and Jethro embraced one another.
Moses and Jethro went into the tent where they talked about what was going on in their life.
Moses shared all the Lord had done to Pharaoh, and the hardships they had endured on the way.
Moses shared how God had miraculously delivered them.
The pastorate can be a lonely place. Where does a pastor go where he can be himself?
Where can a pastor share about his welfare? “Welfare” = completeness, soundness, welfare, peace
Pastors need meaningful touch. Pastors need a chance to share what is going on in their life.
Pastors need a chance to share their stories with others. Complete transparency is a risky venture for a pastor. Developing intimate friendships among the congregation can be a frightening thing.
3. Rejoice and affirm God’s work among His people 10-11
Moses must have been encouraged to hear his father-in-law, a priest of the polytheistic Midianites, acknowledge the superiority of Yahweh over all the gods. What a delight to hear him bless the LORD. Pastors need to be around people who will affirm the hand of God in their life and ministry. Pastors need to hear people rejoice at what God is doing.
4. Participate in corporate celebration and worship 12
It is important for a pastor to join with people gathered to worship God. Pastors draw encouragement when people lift their hearts to God. Pastors need to fellowship before God’s presence with others committed to God.
5. Offer wise counsel 17-27
a) Identify the problem 17-18
Ask clarifying questions. (What are you doing and why?) Offer reasoned opinion.
• Not a good thing.
• You will wear out -- to sink or drop down, languish, fade
• The task is too heavy.
• You can’t do it alone.
Pastors need those who will help see problems more clearly. Pastors need those who will not just point out problems but logically explain why they think it is a problem. Pastors face a task that is too heavy for one person to bear without severe wear and tear.
b) Propose a solution 19-22
It is always important when approaching leadership with solutions to present suggested solution not demands. Help direct not dictate.
“God be with you” “If God so commands you”