Speaking to the Soul – September 19

Christian leader

Moses said to the Israelites: “You are such a heavy load to carry! How can I deal with all your problems and bickering? Choose some well- respected men from each tribe who are known for their wisdom and understanding, and I will appoint them as your leaders.” Deuteronomy 1:12-13

Moses was a great man. He had been appointed by God to lead the people out of Egypt, but there was no way in which he could do this by himself. He needed lots of help, particularly from wise people who could help to resolve all the difficult issues that arose. From all the very honest accounts we have of those 40 wilderness years, we know the people were often in a bad mood. They frequently complained about the harsh conditions and often wished they could turn the clock back and return to slavery in Egypt. But what we read about was probably just the tip of the iceberg. Grumbles were part of daily life, and it simply wasn’t possible for one person to handle them all. The appointment of well-respected people from each tribe was a wise way forward.

Although it is sad to hear that there were so many problems during those wilderness years, this story should offer us a degree of reassurance. We shouldn’t be surprised when we face problems and bickering. It’s sad, but it’s often a fact of life. We need to ensure we have effective ways of handling these challenges. Every leader needs to be able to share their concerns with others. The load needs to be spread.

This is precisely why the New Testament teaches us that the Church is the body of Christ, made of people with very different gifts. If one person thinks that they can run the church all by themself, they are deeply mistaken. We need a wide range of gifts and abilities to do God’s work. That’s what Moses discovered and it’s still true today.

If you are Christian leader, how do you share the load? If you are not a Christian leader, please pray that your leaders will find effective ways of sharing their responsibilities.

Loving God, I thank you for the gift of leadership and pray that those whom you call as leaders will work effectively with others. Amen