Overextended leaders not only find themselves in line for potential burnout, but also promote underuse of others. When a leader does too much of the work, it tends to stifle others from getting involved. Even when you are doing it because nobody seems to be stepping up, you will enable people to stay where they are if you jump in too quickly and do it yourself. You are sending out the wrong message:
They don't have to do their part because you will pick up the slack.God's design, however, is that everybody has a part. Hence, as a leader you need to learn to delegate and function in ways that promote interdependence. Teaching about God's design for the body will do little if they observe you doing otherwise.
The professionals can take care of what needs to be done.
Moses learned this lesson when his father-in-law came to visit and saw how overextended Moses was in his leadership role.
Read: Exodus 18:13-27
The Leader's Practice: did it all himself
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?" (v.14)
- Ask Yourself: In what ways do you do too much?
Moses answered him, "Because the people come to me to seek God's will." (v. 15)
- Ask Yourself: What needs are you trying to meet?
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." (vs. 17-18)
- Ask Yourself: What signs do you see that your practice of doing too much is hurting the ministry?
"Select capable men from all the people. 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." (vs. 21-22)
- Ask Yourself: How can you find and disciple capable people to do their part?
"If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied." (v. 23)
- Ask Yourself: In what ways would your church or ministry benefit if you promoted a more interdependent culture?
Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said. (Ex. 18:24)
- Ask Yourself: Are you ready to act on what you know your practice should be? What immediate steps will you take? What steps will you take next?
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