“O, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and tongue….please send someone else.” Exodus 4:10 & 13
Moses, probably the greatest leader in the Old Testament recognized his limitations. He admitted that he was not good at everything. He asked God to remove the burden of leadership from him. Instead, God directs him to a helper, someone with the gift he lacks.
“Is there not Aaron, your brother, the Levite? I know that he can speak well. … He shall speak for you to the people, and he shall be your mouth …” Exodus 4:14-15
Later on, Moses encounters a different problem — time management. As leader, he is dealing with so many small problems, he can’t get to the bigger ones. This time, it is his father-in-law, Jethro who gives the advice to delegate.
“Look for able men from all he people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe; and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. And let them judge the people at all times. Every great matter they shall decide themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you.” Exodus 18:21-22
Likewise, in the book of Acts, the twelve apostles found they could not meet all the needs of the growing church. Some widows were being neglected in the daily distribution of food.
“Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and the ministry of the word.”
We can’t expect our leaders to go it alone. Good leaders recognize the spiritual gifts of others and they learn to delegate and train. Maybe the greatest talent of good leaders is to recognize and cultivate the skills of the people around them.
I can see this in my own life. Leadership is not my strongest spiritual gift, but I have found myself in situations when I am called to lead. When this happens I know that I need someone with the gift of administration as a strong #2 — I see the goal, but not always the steps that need to be taken to get there. I also need people with the gift of service — the ones who can just see a task that needs doing, and jump it to take care of it. For me, leadership is all about assembling the right team–a group who can work together and accomplish great things.
What about you? What can you do well, and what do you need to delegate? I’ll be writing more about this in an upcoming post on spiritual gifts.