“Moses was settling disputes among the people, and he was kept busy from morning till night… Jethro said, ‘You are not doing it the right way. You will wear yourself out… Choose some capable men and appoint them as leaders of the people”.

Ex 18:13, 17, 18, 21 GNB

Good managers delegate responsibilities Part of their task is singling out those to whom they can delegate duties – and what duties can be delegated.

Not many in Israel walked as closely with God as Moses did and it was natural that the people sought his counsel. In inter-personal disputes they wanted to know what the will of God was, and Moses had to draw on all his wisdom and experience. There were many people with many problems. No doubt there were legal disputes, as well as personal problems. Some were conflicts, some were personal jealousies. Jethro, an older man, could see immediately that Moses needed to share the load with others as he had to macro-manage the whole community’s well-bring and direction. And there was much stress, given the privations of the desert and the constant travelling. So Moses chose some “God-fearing men who could be trusted and could not be bribed” (v.21) Needless to say, some of the cases were more difficult than others and the “judges” had to refer the more tricky ones “up” to Moses.

Jethro’s advice was wise. And Peter and the other apostles did the same thing in the early days of the Christian church when they appointed seven deacons to relieve themselves of the financial administration in the Jerusalem church. Christ can use many people’s skills and wisdom in the overall ministry of the church. Spreading the load relieves the top leaders of pressure – and promotes growth in those who are brought in to help.


Lord, use my gifts wherever you can.