The next day Moses took his seat to serve as judge for the people, and they stood around him from morning till evening. When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, “What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?” Exodus 18:13-14
Early in the Exodus journey, after escaping Egypt and witnessing God’s deliverance from Pharaoh and the chariots of Egypt through closing up the Red Sea after Israel passed through, Moses is visited by his father in law, Jethro of Midian. Mount Sinai where Moses and Israel are headed, is near Midian, so Jethro who heard of all the Lord did for Moses and the people of Israel, sets out to visit Moses. Witnessing what Moses goes through as judge for the people’s disputes, Jethro offers Moses some sage advice. The advice can be summed up in one word, delegate. Moses can’t do it all himself. He needs help. He also needs time to be the nation’s leader, but he can’t do that more important job if he’s tied down, and tired down, being a judge for the people. Jethro’s advice is timeless, whether you lead a family, a small group, a church, or a business. Even though it’s summed up in one word, there are three principles involved. First, you need to learn to delegate responsibilities. Jethro’s advice included a key second step: teach them so they know the way to live and what is expected of them. Moses had to teach the people God’s laws, so it is with delegating, there needs to be instructions, directions, so they understand what is expected. Finally, to those who you delegate responsibilities, you also have to give them authority to carry out those responsibilities. The officials under Moses had the authority to judge the cases brought before them. Take the load off yourself, become a better, more efficient leader, delegate, teach, authorize.