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Summary: The danger to every leader is the adherance to the lie, "I must do everything..." Delegation is critical to a leader’s success.

LESSONS IN LEADERSHIP – PART FIVE

“RUNNING ON EMPTY”

GENESIS 18:13-26 (quickview) 

©Larry L. Thompson (2003)

“The next day Moses took his seat to serve as judge for the people, and they stood around him from morning till evening. [14] When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, "What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?"

[15] Moses answered him, "Because the people come to me to seek God’s will. [16] Whenever they have a dispute, it is brought to me, and I decide between the parties and inform them of God’s decrees and laws."

[17] Moses’ father-in-law replied, "What you are doing is not good. [18] You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. [19] Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him. [20] Teach them the decrees and laws, and show them the way to live and the duties they are to perform. [21] But select capable men from all the people--men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain--and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. [22] Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you. [23] If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied."

[24] Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said. [25] He chose capable men from all Israel and made them leaders of the people, officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. [26] They served as judges for the people at all times. The difficult cases they brought to Moses, but the simple ones they decided themselves.”

INTRODUCTION:

It was sometime in 1984 that I made this statement from the pulpit, “I just want all of you to know that I am available to you 24 hours a day.” Shortly after the service Fred Bostian, a saintly gentleman with beautiful white hair asked if he could speak with me in private. We stepped into an office and he said, “So you’re going to be available to me 24 hours a day?” I smiled with a pious and contented grin while humbly shaking my head in the affirmative. There was a long pause followed by, “Then I have but one question for you. If you are available to me and all the other people in our church 24 hours a day then WHEN DO YOU EVER HAVE TIME TO MAKE YOURSELF AVAILABLE TO GOD? TO CYNTHIA? TO YOUR DAUGHTERS? If you are running 24 hours a day then you stop to be refilled and we all know that it is impossible to run on empty. If you fail to make yourself available in those areas then you will be no value to me even if I can reach you 24 hours a day. It was a great sound bite from the pulpit but that is all it was, a sound bite spoken for the sake of your own pride and not for the people.”


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