Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Delegating Responsibility

And when Moses' father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even? And Moses said unto his father in law, Because the people come unto me to enquire of God: When they have a matter, they come unto me; and I judge between one and another, and I do make them know the statutes of God, and his laws. And Moses' father in law said unto him, The thing that thou doest is not good. Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone. – Exodus 18:14-18

Moses was spending the whole day trying to solve everyone’s problems, and his father-in-law, Jethro had to point out to him that it just wasn’t sustainable in the long term. Leaders need to delegate--not so we can sit around and do nothing--but so we can be freed up to do other work. We will get burned out if we try to do everything, so the easier, simpler things should be delegated to someone else.

As a pastor of a growing church, I don’t have time to handle every e-mail and every phone call, so I let other people handle some of those things, and it frees me up to work on other projects. It’s like that with other jobs too. People who own businesses or are in management positions have to delegate the more menial tasks to their employees in order to make time to do what only they can do.

Letting go of control is difficult for a lot of us. We think that if we want something done right, we have to do it ourselves. I’m sure Moses was better at judgment than most of the people he appointed as judges, but it just didn’t make any sense for him to do it all himself. We all need to know our limitations and prioritize accordingly.

This concept was also addressed in the New Testament in Acts Chapter 6. The apostles didn’t have time to take care of some of the daily ministrations, so they appointed deacons to take care of those other responsibilities. The result of the church getting more organized was that the Word of God increased. Just like in the book of Acts, our church can grow and accomplish more if we are able to keep up with everything we need to do at our current size.

There are always going to be critics. Absalom stole the people’s hearts by pointing out the fact that David didn’t have time for them, but one man couldn’t possibly be expected to personally deal with that many people. Martha criticized Mary for listening to Jesus instead of helping her serve food. We don’t have time to do everything in life, so we have to prioritize.

If you aren’t in a leadership position, you can be a blessing to someone who is by taking on some of the workload. Whether you are a child, an employee, or a laymen in the church, don’t always invoke the higher authority to take care of every little thing that you can do yourself. If you are in some kind of leadership position, don’t be afraid to delegate. When we delegate responsibility we aren’t just helping ourselves. We are teaching others learn how to do the work, so that they can move up the ranks and continue the work after we pass on.

"And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also." - 2 Timothy 2:2

Here is a sermon on delegating responsibility.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Teaching Children to Work

Raising children and keeping house is a lot of work, and a lot of ladies are getting burned out because they are doing too much. They are struggling with the demands of running a household when they could be delegating a lot of it, and I don’t mean they should be delegating it to their husbands. If my wife asks me to do something like take out the trash, I tell her to have one of the kids do it. I didn’t sire nine children, so I could take out the trash or pick up after the family dog. I did my time shoveling dung and mowing the lawn. It’s not that I’m lazy. I just want to do other more important work. Not only that, but children need to get used to working.

A lot of people today look down on the idea of giving children household chores. They act like it is some terrible thing when older kids are expected to help care for their younger siblings. People think children should have a childhood of just playing, but what they don’t realize is that doing work actually makes people happy. Kids think that they would rather play all day while their parents wait on them hand and foot, but in the long run, learning to be productive will lead to a more satisfying life.

At first, we have to do everything for our children, but as they get older, they should be given some responsibilities. Even a toddler can be taught to start helping out with small tasks around the house. Yes, it’s easier to do things ourselves sometimes, but it is important that kids are learning how to work. In the beginning it’s harder, but in the long run, it will make your life easier. If your children are 10 and 12 years old, and you are still doing all of the laundry, dishes, and yardwork, I say to you what Jethro said to Moses in Exodus 18:

“The thing that thou doest is not good. Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that is with thee: for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone.”

A household runs more smoothly when everyone does their part. Dad works a job to support the family, but Mom shouldn’t be wearing herself out by doing all of the housework herself. An older child with a younger sibling should be taught to get his little brother a drink of water or tie his shoes when needed instead of always expecting the parent to do every little thing.

It’s not that parents should sit around and do nothing, but we need to prioritize. There are certain things that only we as adults can do, and we ought to do those things and delegate the rest. Like Moses, a lot of us have a tendency to take too much on when we really could use a little help.

Here is a sermon on “Delegating Responsibility.”