We’re in a good season at the moment as a Church. It’s only the beginning of March and yet we’ve see a team prepare to plant a Missional Community, 5 people baptised, 6 kids commit their lives to Jesus at Kidzone, numerical growth in our services and people stepping up to serve.
One of the outcomes of all these good things happening for me is that I love being active in it – almost every meeting feels positive and there’s lots going on so I fill my diary with more meetings. Additionally, my health is in as good a place as it has been in 5 years so I have a lot more energy than I have had in a long time.
So, I get busier and busier, enjoying ministry and life. That was, until Catherine and the kids sat me down to say, “You’re never home and when you are here, you’re head’s not.”
We all know the dangers that arise from tough times – when we feel beaten up and tired. But there is every bit as much danger when things are going well. It’s easy to get so busy doing good things that we lose perspective and miss out on the most important things.
2 things can happen:
- We can be so busy pressing on that we miss the more important imperative to press in.
- We get so busy doing everything that we don’t prioritise the most important things.
As we look at the life and leadership journey of Moses, we can see a trend where he was so busy that he missed the most important things. God had called Moses to lead Israel out of slavery, he’d dealt with moaning followers, led through wilderness, beaten the Amalekites and when his father-n-law (Jethro) comes to him, we read, “Jethro was delighted to hear about all the good things the Lord had done for Israel in rescuing them from the hand of the Egyptians.” (Exodus 18:9)
But then, we read what happened next,
The next day Moses took his seat to serve as judge for the people, and they stood around him from morning till evening. 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?”
Moses answered him, “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."
I don't think Moses was a bad leader. He had just become overwhelmed by everything needing to be done. What he was doing (judging disputes) wasn't bad work – it was necessary and good. But it wasn't the most important work for him to do, which was to lead the nation as a whole before God. He needed to delegate some tasks so he could deal with the most important ones.
Craig Groeschel puts it this way, “Have the courage to say no to many "good" things so you can say yes to the most important things.” Or to put it another way, “Every time you say ‘yes’ to something, you are saying ‘no’ to something else.” You may be saying ‘no’ to something more important or to having a rest or to family time. Or perhaps you can be delegating more.
So, here’s the question, “What do you need to say ‘no’ to, so that you can say ‘yes’ to the most important things.”
The people we lead need us to know how to say “yes” and “no.”
“Everyone really does win when a leader gets better.” (Bill Hybels)
God said to the Israelites, “Then I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will lead you with knowledge and understanding.” (Jeremiah 3:15)
Heavenly Father, thank you for the good season we’re in at the moment. We acknowledge it’s only by Your hand that these good things are happening. We’re overjoyed that we get to join you on your mission but we know we can get things out of balance. Help us to listen to you well so that we know when to say, “yes” and when to say, “no” because it’s all to Your glory. Amen.