Thursday, May 14, 2015

A Biblical Example of Delegation

This post is inspired by the first chapter of Building Leaders That Build A Church 
by Casey Treat

Moses became leader of the entire nation of Israel with very little prior leadership experience so naturally he needed some direction. In Exodus 18:13-16 we see how Moses initially was leading the people:

And so it was, on the next day, that Moses sat to judge the people; and the people stood before Moses from morning until evening. So when Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he did for the people, he said, “What is this thing that you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit, and all the people stand before you from morning until evening?” And Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God. When they have a difficulty, they come to me, and I judge between one and another; and I make known the statutes of God and His laws.” 

Moses was judging every issue that came up in the nation! Imagine thousands of people living together in the desert and they only have one person to judge any conflicts. As his father-in-law, Jethro, said:

"This thing that you do is not good."  
Exodus 18:17

Jethro then goes on to give advice to Moses:

And you shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do. Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. And let them judge the people at all times. Then it will be that every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they themselves shall judge. So it will be easier for you, for they will bear the burden with you
Exodus 18:20-22

Looking back it seems obvious that Moses would need to delegate tasks when leading a nation. After all in the United States we don't send every dispute to the Supreme Court. We have the city courts, county courts, state courts and so on however on a smaller scale leaders still tend to make the same mistake that Moses did. Whether in the church, in business, or even in the home leaders tend to think that they have to do everything themselves. This is a problem for two major reasons:

1) It causes the leader to eventually burn out and become ineffective.

2) It limits the possibility of growth in that organization.

If you insist on doing everything then you can't grow past what you are capable of handling yourself. You will also overextend yourself to the point that you eventually collapse in utter exhaustion. It is important to learn to delegate.

Another important point in delegation is that when you delegate you must allow that person to "judge". In other words you have to allow them to make choices and decisions within the realm of the authority you delegated to them. A lot of times leaders feel that they have delegated but then they are constantly watching and monitoring that situation to make sure it happens the way they would want it to. This is not true delegation as you are still holding the burden of the situation. Of course there should be some level of monitoring but you need to let go and allow them to make their own decisions even if it means allowing them to make some mistakes along the way.

This will not only allow you to preserve your energy for the more important things but it will also open the door for more growth. 

"God wants your church to grow more than you do! If God want it to happen and it's not, it could be you're the only one in the way." - Casey Treat


  1. Very good points on leadership, I've studied leadership every now and then and I sort of feel like a leader, if there are situations where there isn't a leader in rare cases I would step up and take matter into my own hands but also it works well to work in a team and not the only leader maybe that's what delegating is all about, for everyone involved to know that one has something to contribute with. Although you used a biblical example good points were made. Well done. :)

    Greeting from blogcatalog.

    1. Thank you Gabriel, I'm glad you took the time to stop by! I find that the Bible has examples that we can learn from for just about every situation we encounter in life. I do think everyone has potential to lead in some way and it is the job of a true leader to bring that potential out and delegation is how to do that.