share.the.load

When I was pursuing my pastoral ministry degree in Colorado Springs, I interviewed for a job as an Architectural Designer. The boss mentioned how he was so busy and hardly had time to get things done and needed someone to come in and take some of the load off of him. I told him that I would make it my job to make his job easier.

It wasn’t easy. He had worked so long doing most things by himself that he had a hard time letting go. The problem was not with easy tasks – he delegated those easily. But he found it hard to trust people to do the more important things. I was not the first person he hired with the hope of rescue. It made for a very tense atmosphere in the office. Eventually, together, we were able to wrest things from him, and proved we were capable. The difference it made emotionally was incredible, and morale shot through the roof!

10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up—one on one side, one on the other—so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword. (Exodus 17:10-13)

Here we see two people becoming co-laborers with Moses – sharing his load. It is a wonderful picture of the role of fellow Christ-followers, to come alongside one another. It is also a testimony for how we ought to support those in leadership. How might you be able to support your pastor’s ministry? Your youth pastor? Your children’s pastor? Your worship Pastor? Your small group leader? How can you be Aaron and Hur in your church?

This is also a message for leaders. Right after this we are told of Jethro coming to Moses to tell him he needed to share leadership. I’ve often wondered if Jethro was inspired to offer this advice because of this battle. Can we leaders submit ourselves to the ready and able help of our brothers and sisters in Christ? Do we really have to do it all? Are we really the only ones who can do it right? Is perfection really that important?

23 thoughts on “share.the.load”

  1. Good post today Herb. To answer your question: Jim, over at On The Brink of Something Large, wrote this post today: http://j4man.wordpress.com/2010/09/14/well-rounded-leaders/. I think it fits because when we work on our strengths and allow others to compliment our weaknesses with their strengths, it will be amazing what gets done. No pastor should try to get his youth pastor to work like he does, or think like he does, etc. God made each of us differently for a reason. But you know all that. Sorry to ramble. 🙂

  2. I typically do not do this, but… 😛 I left this comment at “On the Brink of Something Large” this morning and I think it applies here too:

    I think a successful paradigm is to use everybody to their strengths. One of the problems of course is everybody being willing to be used…

    1 Corinthians 12:18-19 (New International Version)

    18But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19If they were all one part, where would the body be?

    We each have our purpose in the body…just as God designed it to be. If we could each do all that needed to be done, there would be no purpose for the body.

    Now the trick is enabling and utilizing the individual parts.

    1. “We each have our purpose in the body…just as God designed it to be. If we could each do all that needed to be done, there would be no purpose for the body.”

      Absolutely – well stated Dusty.

  3. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 1 Corinthians 12:27

    To me it’s more than fitting in, it’s joining in! It’s choosing what the Father has declared as good and jumping into what Jesus came to build. Love the post bro’

  4. This is way good. I’ve often asked myself why I can’t do such and such like so and so. The whole reason is because of what you are referring to: We need to support and fill in the gaps.

  5. I struggle with the perfectionism thing, but I realize it’s not really perfection, it’s my idea or version of it. Once I can let that go and just figure out for them and me what it takes for me to be satisfied, everyone is much happier. I’ve worked for bosses like this that are at their end needing help, but pick apart everyone who tries to do much. It’s so frustrating. I don’t want to do that, plus I can’t do it all (and I wasn’t made to).

    Great post. Thanks Herb.

    1. “it’s not really perfection, it’s my idea or version of it” – same here. It’s the reason I do all our web and print graphics (most of it anyway) – I just can’t trust that anyone is loyal enough or has enough understanding of my aesthetic to let someone else do it.

  6. For some helping out is a much easier task than others.

    I worked with the guy who could not delegate because no one would do it as well as him. He then delegated and the only difference was he would redo what you did and tell you that you could not do it as well as him.(Hence the term “worked”)

    Some people lack the humility to understand what you wrote today – I pray I am not one of them!

    Thanks for sharing this – it really does Dovetail very well with what I wrote today.

    1. “He then delegated and the only difference was he would redo what you did and tell you that you could not do it as well as him”

      Jim, I’ve been there, too – in fact I’ve been on both sides of that coin….

  7. This is such a tough thing for me. While I want others to carry some of my load, it often seems easier to just do it myself rather than showing other how to do it or taking a chance they won’t do it with excellence. WE are the BODY. Thanks man!

  8. I’m easy at letting go. I think I had to. It started in my teens. My mum always ill my dad always busy trying to manage everything with work and home it made me accept help from outside and let them do it their way. At the end you have to. And I think as a kid you accept that easier so that is to my benefit now. I’ve been on the other side too. It’s frustrating when people don’t accept your help or the way you do it. And than they correct you. I refuse to help them after that. Oh and delegating. It must be my gift. I love it. I found out at an Italian company I worked that I couldn’t do it all by myself. So when I found out others could do it better I let them do it. And to see them flourish and grow in the work they do is the best reward.

    Wow! you are busy man with your blog!

      1. Herb, you are doing fine at what you are already doing. That I’m easy at this is the other side of the sad story of my life. I had to, you see. If I didn’t have that kind of life I guess I wouldn’t have learned to let go. That kind of life also made me not to be shaken when things don’t go the way I want them to go because it never did in those days. Everyday with my mum was never sure and in between they found out my brother had cancer and he died within a year. But I think you have other talents and gifts I’m not good at. Like writing these amazing posts and being a great guy. Now, there’s a thing I definitely can’t beat you at! hahaha being a great guy! I’m going off line now. Have a hot choco and go to bed. I don’t know if you already know but I started a new job for a week now. It’s far away and I have to take the ferry at 07.00 in the morning. So bye bye, sweet dreams and say ‘hi’ to your Angel.

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