Summary: We have the tendency to be overwhelmed by too much responsibilities in the ministry. We end up exhausted and burnout. In this message, we will learn how to train leaders and delegate responsibilities accordingly so that the load will be lighter.
Exodus 18:17-23 (NIV) "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 his decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave. 21 But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officialsover 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.”
WHEN THE LOAD BECOMES HEAVY
We are now in the 18th chapter of the Book of Exodus.
This is about the time when Moses was overwhelmed by the many responsibilities of Leadership.
It says that Moses served as judge of the people from morning to evening.
Whenever they have a dispute, they brought it before him and he decides between the parties and inform them God's decrees and instructions.
And so, he became so exhausted and overwhelmed by the work of the ministry.
There was no one who was helping him in the ministry.
It was then that his father in law, Jethro visited him and observed all that was happening.
He looked closely at the situation and gave Moses some wise counsel on how to handle ministry properly.
He told Moses that he was wearing himself out with so much responsibility and doing all the work all by himself.
It was too heavy for him and he cannot handle it alone.
Jethro's advice was for Moses to focus on the one task he is called for.
His main responsibility is to be God's representative before men.
To do this, he must spend a lot of time teaching his people God's decrees and instructions.
Then, while teaching, he must be an example to them by showing them how to live and how to behave accordingly.
His life is a living testimony of godly conduct that people must follow.
After some time, he must select capable men from among the people that he had taught.
Not all people who have received the training can be chosen.
Only people who have great fear or reverence for God should be chosen.
They should also prove themselves trustworthy of the job and hate any dishonest gain.
Then, they must be given their assignments over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.
They had to be constantly tried and tested.
They are to serve as judges for the people at all times especially those simple cases.
But the most difficult cases must be brought before Moses.
Once Moses implement this plan, his load will become lighter because it will be shared among the people.
At the same time, the people will be happy and go home satisfied.
At the end of the chapter, we read that Moses listened to the advice of his father-in-law and implemented the plan accordingly.
We can learn a lot of important lessons from this chapter about ministry.
Many times, we are overwhelmed by too much responsibilities at home, at work and in church.
We have the tendency to single handily do everything we could to finish the work.
We thought that we are the only ones who could do it.
We neglect to train others and assign them the work so that our load will become lighter.
And then, we get angry because no one is helping us.
Finally, we go home exhausted and tired.
If only we could escape to the Bahamas and enjoy the beach.
But then we remember, a Christian must persevere and pay the price.
This may sound familiar to many of us.
This is what we call spiritual burnout.
Burnout can affect your emotional state, you physical aspect, your social mechanism and your spiritual relationship with God.
It is the result of carrying too much burden that we cannot handle by ourselves.
Burnout can happen to anyone, anywhere and anytime.
Here are some symptoms of spiritual burnout.
*Loss of joy in serving Christ.
*Feeling of always giving and not receiving.
*Diminishing effectiveness in your service.
*Other people expressing concern for you.
What are the causes of burnout?
Burnout is often the result of self-reliance.