“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.”
When confronted by his father-in-law about the work he has taken on, Moses responds very much like most of us would have responded.
Moses’ answer is: They come to me. They need me. They want me. They expect me.
It’s a trap we fall into, that people want and need just us. I’m God’s agent. I’m God’s anointed leader. I’m the one called. I’m the one who was equipped. I’m the one who was supposed to lead. It’s ME.
Jethro responds with common sense saying that Moses has to give some of his work to others or he’ll wear himself to the ground. So Moses finds capable, qualified men to take some of the burden off of his shoulders.
Most of us respond to the interactions between Jethro and Moses in Exodus 18 with relief saying, “Yes, I need to delegate more. The burden is too much. I can’t handle it. It is overwhelming. I need help.” You’re reminded once again just how frail you are and, yes, you need to delegate.
But I want to draw a distinction between delegation and equipping.
Delegation is when I can’t do something because it’s too much or I can’t do something because I’m not gifted in that area. That is different than the call of God on a leader which is to equip people.
Equipping is when I can do it just fine and choose to entrust it to another person. Equipping says, I’m not giving it to you because I’m overwhelmed, I’m entrusting it to you because I believe God is working in you. I see and I know that they don’t need me.
You see, no one needs you.
No one needs Joe Henseler.
No one needed Moses.
No one needs you. And until you get to the point where you realize no one needs you, you will always fall into the trap of thinking they need and want “me.” I am the one who must. I am the only one who can visit. If I don’t come it doesn’t count. I have to be the one who preaches. I have to lead this kind of music. I have to be the one who administrates, leads, casts vision, fill-in-the-blank. It has to be me.
We feel that way because we don’t see that people don’t need us. People need capable, qualified men and women who the Holy Spirit indwells, who have character and integrity and you’re able to say – you can do it!
You’ll get work done for you if you delegate, but you won’t have the joy of unleashing equipped leaders. You won’t experience that joy unless you’re willing to say, “They don’t need me. They need Jesus. And I see in the hearts and minds of the men and women around me that they are capable, qualified, and the Spirit of God dwells in them, TOO. They don’t need me, they need Jesus. And Jesus can come through many men and many women.”
Your church doesn’t need you. Your church needs you to identify in other people the Spirit of God and the gifts of God. They need you to entrust to others the things you do really well.