1.0 Developing a Team
The Bible not only provides us with the Standard of Christian character and lifestyle, but it also provides us with examples of ministries working together (“yoked together”) as a Team. We could gleam this truth from the advice given by Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law in Exodus 18:13-27. This advice is called the “Jethro’s Principle” (Exodus 18:13-27; Deuteronomy 1:9-17):
About 3 million Israelites followed Moses out of Egypt (Exodus 12 to 13) into the Wilderness of Sinai (“the Church in the Wilderness” – Acts 7:38, KJV), heading towards the Promised Land (Canaan Land). Moses alone takes on the task of hearing the people’s grievances (Exodus 13:13-22); this method of dealing and carrying the burden of the people alone is called “clericalism:” Clericalism defined:
- Clericalism is doing God’s Work by oneself, without the counsel or help of others – Exodus 18:14,18 (KJV) “And 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 evening?…….Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou and this people that are with thee; for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone.” This is never the biblical method; God’s method is of Leadership is Team-Ministry (Ephesians 4:11-13).
- Clericalism is placing yourself over others instead of seeing yourself as the Servant of others – “And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your Servant: But he that is greatest among you shall be your Servant” (Matthew 20:27; 23:11, KJV).
- Clericalism is the Leader who stays in the “trap” of clericalism; he will fail to fulfil God’s Purpose in his life and in the life of others – Exodus 18:18 (KJV) “Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou and this people that are with thee; for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone.”
- Clericalism can only be solved by using the Principles of Multiplying Ministries demonstrated by Jesus and Apostle Paul in the New Testament – 2Timothy 2:2 (KJV) “And the things that thou hast heard from me among many Witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also.”
The solution to clericalism is to build a Team; invest our time and resources in the Team. Let the Team helps us with God’s Work has called us to do – Exodus 18:21 (KJV) “Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.”
1.2 The Six Principles
Exodus 18:19-23 (KJV) “Hearken now unto my voice; I will give thee counsel, and God shall be with thee: Be thou for the people to Godward, that thou mayest bring the causes unto God. And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt show them the way wherein they must do. Moreover, thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. And let them judge the people at all seasons; and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge; so, shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee. If thou shalt do this thing, and God command thee so, then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace.” Team building could be successful if we follow the Principles given to Moses by God, through Moses’ father-in-law, Jethro. Without these supporting Leaders, Moses will suffer the Leadership breakdown, causing the people of the “Church in the Wilderness” (Acts 7:38) to suffer – we will study the Six Principles given to Moses and in so doing find a solution to clericalism:
Principle 1 – Men Of Character
- Able men (Exodus 18:21; Matthew 25:14-30; 1Peter 4:10, 11). God gives various abilities to men and the Leader needs discerned and recognised the abilities and potential of the people under his shepherding. The potential Leaders must be proven; they also are required to work hard; he needs to learn the discipline of strenuous productive labour – Luke 10:2 (KJV) “The harvest truly is great, but the Labourers are few pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that He would send forth Labourers into His harvest.”
- Fear God (Exodus 18:21; Proverbs 3:7; 9:10; 24:21). The potential Leaders must learn not to fear of men, as the fear of men is a snare (Proverbs 29:25; Saul – 1Samuel 15:24). Fear of God is the constant awareness that God is Sovereign and that our constant desire is to please Him.
- Men of Truth (Exodus 18:21; Psalm 51:6; Zechariah 8:16; Ephesians 4:15) – Honest, transparent, men of integrity. No hypocrisy, no deception.
- Hating Covetousness (Exodus 18:21; Proverbs 28:16; Romans 7:7; Ephesians 3:3-5; Ezekiel 33:31; 1Timothy 6:9-12) – Covetousness is the root sin. People will covet position, power, glory, money, etc., but the Potential Leaders are Persons of character that could not be bribed.
- Men of Wisdom, Knowledge and Understanding (Deuteronomy 1:13; Proverbs 1:1-6; 1Kings 3; Ephesians 1:17, 18):
- Knowledge = The possession of facts.
- Understanding = The interpretation of facts.
- Wisdom = The application of facts.
- Known by the people (Deuteronomy 1:13; 1Timothy 3:6; 1Thessalonian 5:12-13). Not Novices but knowing those who labour among us (Acts 6:3).
These qualifications remind us of the experience of the Early Church in finding people to be Elders (1Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; 1Peter 5:1-4) and Deacons (1Timothy 3:8-13; Acts 6:1-6), to assist the Apostles in the Oversight of the Church:
- In Deuteronomy 1:9-18, Moses shared Jethro’s Counsel with the People, admitted his own weakness and weariness, and asked them to select Leaders to assist him. The People approved of the plan and selected the Leaders whom Moses then charged (commanded) them with the responsibilities of their Offices.
- When Israel moved into the Promised Land, they appointed Officers in each town to assist in the settling of cases (Deuteronomy 16:18-20).
- Numbers 31:14 indicates that the Army is organised on a similar plan (1Samuel 22:7; 1Chronicles 12).
- Whenever ministry and structure collide, and ministry is being hindered; God’s people must adjust the structure so ministry can grow (Acts 6:1-7). In this rapidly changing world, Christian Ministries must remain flexible; if they are to solve problems and seize opportunities. A self-defeating Church embalms its structure and refuses to be flexible to changes. The Ministries that God blesses are open to change, so long as the Principles of God’s Word are not violated.
Principle 2 – Trains Others
Exodus 18:18 (KJV) “Thou wilt surely wear away, both thou, and this people that are with thee; for this thing is too heavy for thee; thou art not able to perform it thyself alone.” Numbers 11:14-15 “I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me. And if Thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray Thee.” Moses asked God to kill him because of the problems, the result of clericalism. Clericalism is killing Moses and will kill any Leader who operates in that sphere, alone:
- In order to help him (Moses) God through Jethro (Moses’ father-in-law) gives him the Principle – Exodus 18:21-23 (KJV) “Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. And let them judge the people at all seasons; and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge; so, shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee. If thou shalt do this thing and God command thee so, then thou shalt be able to endure, and all this people shall also go to their place in peace.”
- God Himself also spoke to Moses – Numbers 11:16-17 (KJV) “And the LORD said unto Moses, gather unto Me seventy men of the Elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the Elders of the people, and Officers over them; and bring them unto the Tabernacle of the Congregation, that they may stand there with thee. And I will come down and talk with thee there, and I will take of the Spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them, and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone.”
The solution to Moses’ problem is to seek out and train others to bear the burden with him (Moses) because God has given both Leadership Gifts (Ephesians 4:11 – Fivefold Ministers of Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers) and Spiritual Gifts to Members of the Body of Christ (Romans 12:3-8; 1Corinthians chapters 12 to 14; 1Peter 4:9-11); the Leader’s job is to train and equip the Members of the Church, so that these Members then do the Work of the Ministry (Service) – Ephesians 4:12 (KJV) “For the perfecting (equipping) of the saints for the work of the ministry for the edifying of the body of Christ.”
- Each Leader – Teach One – 2Timothy 2:2 (KJV) “And the things that thou hast heard from me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also”– Apostle Paul explains to Timothy, his son in the faith, in 2Timothy 2:2 that the training he has received from him (Paul) must be pass on to other faithful men. It involves three levels: (1) Paul to Timothy; (2) Timothy to faithful men; (3) Faithful men to train others. The primary responsibility of the Leader is to train others. If the Leader takes one person and train him for one year; and on the second year, the Leader, and the trained person each takes one person and train them; if this training is kept, in 33 years the Church would have a pool of 8,589,834,592 (8+ billions) trained persons. The whole Earth would have been reached (Acts 5:14; Revelations 7:9; 2Peter 3:9).
- Fruit that Remains – John 15:16a (KJV) “Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain.” The Lord Jesus has “ordained” others – appointed, set apart for special services – in order to go into the world and bears fruit. The evidence of true Discipleship is “fruit.”Where there is true “fruit,” it will remain; fruit has in it the seed for more fruit, so the process goes on and on. Whatever is born of the Spirit of God has the mark of eternity on it, and it will last:
- Find Potential Leaders – Numbers 11:16-17 (KJV) “And the LORD said unto Moses, gather unto Me seventy men of the Elders of Israel, whom thou knowest to be the Elders of the people, and Officers over them; and bring them unto the Tabernacle of the Congregation, that they may stand there with thee. And I will come down and talk with thee there, and I will take of the Spirit which is upon thee, and will put it upon them, and they shall bear the burden of the people with thee, that thou bear it not thyself alone.”
- A lot of time and effort is wasted training those with no Leadership Gift. The LORD’s instruction to Moses was: “Gather….seventy men…..whom thou knowest to be Elders (Leaders)…..”
- Look out for a person with a “Servant-heart” – “And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be yourSservant: But he that is greatest among you shall be your Servant” (Matthew 20:27; 23:11).
- Jesus invested most of His time in 12 Disciples who later became Apostles – Matthew 10:1-2a “And when He had called unto Him His twelve Disciples, He gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. Now the Names of the twelve Apostles are these:” Jesus followed this principle of training others – who would teach others also. That is the Ministry of Leaders – finding more Leaders and training them.
Principle 3 -Teaches the Word
Exodus 18:20 (KJV) “And thou (Moses) should teach them Ordinances and Laws, and shalt show them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do.” Moses has threefold responsibilities:
- Teach them Ordinances and Laws – Theory (Exodus 18:20; Philippians 4:9).
- Show them the Way to Walk – Lifestyle (Exodus 18:20).
- The Work to do – Practical (Exodus 18:20; Isaiah 2:1-5; 2Timothy 2:2).
The Potential Leaders should be taught God’s Word (“Ordinances and Laws”) – 2Timothy 3:16-17 “All scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for inspiration in righteousness. That the man of God may be perfect thoroughly furnished unto all good works.”
- For “doctrine” (what is right).
- For “reproof” (what is not right).
- For “correction” (how to get right).
- For “instruction in righteousness” (how to stay right).
- The Doctrine of the Inspiration of Scripture is important; the Doctrine that Satan attacked since the beginning (“Yea, hath God said?”– Genesis 3:1). God’s Word is Infallible and Reliable because:
- God is the God of Truth – Deuteronomy 32:4 “He is the Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice; a God of Truth and without iniquity, just and right is He.”
- Jesus is “the Truth” – John 14:6 “Jesus said unto him, I am the way the Truth, and the life; no man cometh unto the Father but by Me.”
- The Holy Spirit is “the Spirit of Truth” – 1John 5:6b “And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is Truth.”
- The Scripture is “the Word of Truth” – John 17:17 “Sanctify them through Thy Truth; Thy word is truth.”
- The Holy Spirit used men of God to write the Word of God – 2Peter 1:20-21 (NKJV) “Knowing this first, that no Prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation. For prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” The Spirit of God does not erase the Personality of the Writers. In fact, God in His Providences prepared the Writers for the task of writing the Scriptures. Each Writer has his own distinctive style and vocabulary. Each Book of the Bible grows out of a special set of circumstances. In God’s preparation of men, in His guiding of history, and in His working through the Spirit, God brought about the miracles of the Scriptures:
- Revelation is the communicating of truth to man by God.
- Inspiration is the supernatural influence of the Holy Spirit on the Bible’s Writers, which guaranteed that what they write is accurate and trustworthy. The inspiration is the recording of the communication in a way that is Infallible.
- 2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for inspiration in righteousness. That the man of God may be perfect thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” The Word of God is profitable:
- For “doctrine” (what is right).
- For “reproof” (what is not right).
- For “correction” (how to get right).
- For “instruction in righteousness” (how to stay right)
A “born-again” Christian who studies God’s Word and applies what he learns will grow in holiness and avoid many pitfalls in this world.
- The Word of God equips us for service (2Timothy 3:17). A person can become “a man of God” if he studies the Word of God and applies it to his life. Men of God named in the Bible were basically men of God’s Word. God’s Word:
- Perfects – Complete, in fit shape, in fit condition. It is implies being fitted for us.
- Furnished – Equipped for Service. In other words, God’s Word furnishes and equips the Believer so that he can be effective in God’s Work (Ministry).
The Jethro’s Principle of the Purpose of Bible Study (not Academic – Bible School for diploma/degree) is to understand Doctrines and to Equip of the Saints for the Work of the Ministry (Ephesians 4:12), so that others can come to the Knowledge of the Truth (Ephesians 4:13-16). Training based in intellectual achievements with emphasis on academic diplomas/degrees, is good and may be necessary, in the longer term, but for the current Jethro’s Principles, situations, may/may not produce the Leadership needed to win lost souls to Christ or build Growing Churches. Teach the Potential Leaders from God’s Word and Guide their lives in living out God’s Word.
To be continued….. Stay Tuned…..