Moses on Leadership
It's not uncommon to appeal to Old Testament figures when coming to the topic on church leadership, of which Moses is used frequently as an example of one who leads the Israelites and stands between God and Israel. Numbers 11, which tells us about the setting aside of the seventy elders, is one such passages concerning the delegation of authority often quoted.
On a cursory look, it may seem that God does sanction and dictates the delegation of church authority, notoriously known otherwise as the Jethronical Principle (Exodus 18:17-23), which Moses' father-in-law suggested to Moses. (Alright, I confess I coined that term, but that shouldn't distract you from the point made.)
The essence of the Jethronical Principle is then to install a system whereby someone actually appoint another person over a group of people officially and be responsible for the dealings with them. In other words, when the group of people has any problem, they will look for the person in charged of them. And if that person is unable to resolve the issue, he will go up to the person who appointed him in the first place. It's essentially a hierarchical model of governance.
But what did Jesus said in Matthew 20:25-26? He said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them but not so with you." This alone strikes a deadly blow on the delegation of church leadership, and the doctrine of "Thou shalt not touch God's anointed".
While I was reading Numbers 11, God spoke and impressed in me with Moses' reply to Joshua in verse 29, after the latter told Moses to stop Eldad and Medad from prophesying. Moses had this to say, "Are you jealous for my sake? I wish that all the LORD's people were prophets and that the LORD would put His Spirit on them!"
What Moses wished for in the Old Testament, has now become a reality in the New Testament! No longer will the Lord's people need turn to appointed leaders/prophets, because all have direct and unlimited access to the Throne of Mercy. Church leadership does not reside in one or a small group of people, but in the Church as a whole, which is why it's so important that the Church comes together often to express the mind of Christ.
And if you haven't known Moses' heart, he does not desire to be a superhuman or a superstar church leader where everyone look upon. As a matter of fact, he wished that all were leaders like him and he longed to share this burden with everyone, because he truly understands how difficult it is for one to carry the burden alone.
Today, are we exercising our priesthood as believer? Are we shunning what God has called us to? Are we neglecting our responsibilities and happily relinquished them to one or a small group of people? Are we also rightfully treating the "Moses-es" in our church landscapes nowadays?
Pray that we will not fall in the trap of wanting to become a super church leader because of the attention we will get. But instead ask God to grant us a humble and willing spirit, and as one body carrying the burden of leadership together, we will fulfill the purpose of God for the Church. To God be all glory.
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