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3 Keys to Become a Better Leader
When it comes to studying leadership from Biblical characters, Moses certainly stood out as one of the great leaders given his monumental task of leading a large group of Israelites out of Egypt. As incredible as his feat of escaping an army of Egyptian chariots was, what was even more overwhelming for Moses was the tedious task of managing a group of hungry and disgruntled people wandering in the desert wilderness.
Moses was managing the daily affairs and issues for everyone (upwards of over 2 million people according to various Bible historians) and every problem was brought to him to judge and resolve. When his father-in-law, Jethro, visited the wilderness where he observed Moses being overworked, he asked Moses why he does this all by himself and Moses replied:
“Because the people come to me to seek God’s will. Whenever they have a dispute, it is brought to me, and I decide between the parties and inform them of God’s decrees and instructions.
Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good. 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.” (v 15-18)
Moses needed to modify his leadership approach and Jethro’s advice is a model (also known as The Jethro Principle) that we can all use in our own ministries and organizations.
KEY #1 – Teaching Others to Do
Up until then, Moses was the only one who knew the laws that the Israelites were to follow. Therefore, Jethro advised Moses to document these laws and teach them to the people.
“Teach them His decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave.” (v 20)
A practical leadership tip is to put together instructions or an operational manual, so people know exactly what to do in your ministry or business.
A common mistake many leaders make is to continue doing simple tasks by themselves because it takes less time to “do” so compared to teaching the task to someone else. The leadership reality is that even if it takes 20x longer to teach others to do something, it is worth it because you will gain that time back within a month if this was a daily task and gaining the same amount of time every day from then on.
KEY #2 – Delegate Others to Lead
Many leaders fail to delegate or outsource tasks because they are unsure if others will do it with the same excellence that they do. Other leaders struggle with losing control if excessive authority was delegated to someone else.
Jethro instructed Moses to “select capable men from all the people – men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain – and appoint them as officials … have them serve as judges for the people at all times.” (v 21-22).
We see from Jethro’s instructions on leadership selection what is sometimes referred to as the 3 Cs of Leadership: Competence, Commitment, and Character. Good leaders are always on the lookout for followers who are capable for the task, committed to Christ, and demonstrate integrity in their daily lives.
KEY # 3 – Focus on the Important Tasks (Not the Urgent)
One reason for delegating tasks to others is to free ourselves up from the urgent (but less important) matters to focus on the important tasks that only we can do. Jethro’s instruction for Moses was to delegate the simple cases to his team, while he takes on the difficult cases only. (v 22)
Can you imagine if our Lead Pastor answered every single email from every church member? Most of us already have a hard time clearing our email inboxes quick enough to find time to connect with our team members to provide support, guidance, and encouragement. The inability to create space to manage our own leadership load will hamper the growth of the organization that we lead.
Jethro Principle at Coastal Church
The span of care needed to sustain a healthy church must also follow the Jethro Principle. This is modeled in the Life Group Ministry at Coastal Church where Life Group leaders are responsible to disciple and coach the group members under their care. Every leader has a coach, who is either a staff pastor or supported by one, that connects on a regular basis with each other. Life Group leaders are entrusted to share in the caring role, but heavier matters are brought to a coach, or a pastor, to respond and support so that no one is overloaded or overlooked.
Span of care at Coastal Church LG system
If you are not yet part of a Life Group at Coastal Church, my encouragement for you is to JOIN a Life Group so you can go deeper in your faith walk.