Exodus 18 A Leadership Crisis


As we have been moving through the Exodus story, we have seen over and over how many times the stories of our own lives as Christians parallel the stories contained in this book. We have seen how those of us who are believers in Christ have our own Exodus stories. We were all in slavery to sin at one time in our lives and were graciously rescued by God through Jesus Christ. We have seen how just as the blood of the lamb covered the doorposts, and took the punishment that was due the idolatry of God’s people, so also the blood of the perfect lamb Jesus is the substitute for our sins and is the grounds by which we are spared. We have seen how often it is difficult to trust God for our provisions for our future. We saw how easy it is to quarrel and forget His loving kindness towards us. All of these things are challenges that we all face as believers. Today we are going to look at a very practical, but extremely important truth that is found in this book. Today we see Moses has a leadership crisis. And his father-in-law helps him to understand his crisis, and work towards the solution to it.

Now, as I often like to do, let me ask you a question: How important is a leader’s understanding and application of the Gospel? Does it matter? Why?


Moses’ Leadership crisis:

Moses is Sitting Alone: “The People come to me” The main issue is this:

1. There is one leader.

2. People come only to him.

He is filling two main roles: settle disputes, and teaching.

Jethro Saw it and said, it was not good:

You will wear yourselves and the people with you out… Leadership is meant to be shared, reason number one, no one person can do it alone and survive.

the weight of this role is too heavy… the duties of settling disputes and teaching the people was too heavy for one person to handle.

Jethro’s solution: Look for able men from all the people…Trustworthy, hate a bribe…

Delegate authority to them…

Let them bear the burden with you…


God will direct you… The act of releasing authority to others is the means that God often uses to lead people.

Load is Lighter… Obvious

You will be able to endure… Sharing the load protects from burnout and provides longevity.

All the people will have peace… Ultimately the greatest benefit to Godly leadership will benefit the people they are leading.

Why does understanding the gospel matter for a leader?

See your Sin = See your limitations

Recognize your need for a savior = Acknowledge you need help

Receive Christ’s work for you = Allow others to shoulder some responsibility

Trust the God is at work in others = Trust God to work through the leaders over and under you

Give God the Glory = Give God the Glory

Without a clear understanding and application of the gospel in someone’s life, they may never understand these leadership principles. They will continue to try to carry the load on their own, never admit their need for help, trust in their own effort, take credit for what has been done, eventually burn out and not make it. If you have a problem delegating authority, or responsibility, or receiving someone else authority, you don’t have high standards, you have a gospel problem. You aren’t a perfectionist, you are self righteous. You aren’t noble, you are arrogant.

If you struggle in this area, it may be for a few reasons:

  1. You have tried to delegate before and it didn’t work; probably because the people weren’t trustworthy. “if you want it done right, do it yourself.”
  2. You are not able to release authority to someone else and trust that they will be used by God.

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