Look for those who are willing to take on these kinds of responsibilities. Give them the training they need to do the work, and then release them to do it.

2) Sharing the burden of spiritual responsibilities (Num 11:14-17)

The spiritual burden for leading the people was also too much for Moses to carry alone. Therefore, God had Moses select 70 spiritually mature men from the total leadership group to be elders. Their ministry was to help bear the spiritual burden of leading the Israelites (Num 11:17).

Pastors need the help of mature leaders to share in the burden of prayer, vision and ministry to the church. Their responsibilities can include: prayer and vision; teaching classes; preaching; leading worship; leading evangelism teams; praying for the sick; counseling; discipling new believers; and many other spiritual responsibilities.

A wise pastor will also form an intercessory team, led by him or someone else. The primary focus of this team is to pray for the leadership and for the church. The appointed elders of any given church should participate in some way in this spiritual burden of intercession.

Some people may carry both types of burdens, both practical tasks and spiritual matters. Or they may function better in just one area. But both kinds of “burden-bearers” are necessary to the healthy life and development of the church.

        b. The Role of the Senior Leader

The primary responsibility of the senior leader is to train others for the work of ministry, then release them to do it. As Jethro told Moses, “and let them judge the people…” (Ex 18:22).

Some misguided people think that a great leader is someone who does everything himself. That may be true from a worldly way of thinking. But in God’s Kingdom, just the opposite is true.

A truly great and godly leader will train, equip and release others to do the work of ministry! He will fulfill the scriptural directive, “…equipping the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ” (Eph 4:12).

This means the releasing trainer must trust those he has trained; trust God to help them; and trust the Holy Spirit to anoint and empower them! New leaders will probably not do everything correctly, especially at the beginning. But as they apply themselves, they will grow in ability and faithfulness.


Some of those we train may do a better job than we do in some things. That should never be a problem for us. Release and encourage your students to be the best they can be, for the glory of God!

The only reasons we might have for not fully releasing those we train are our own pride, insecurity or fear. None of those reasons is godly; it is much better for us to crucify those fleshly motives anyway (Rom 13:14)! Our goal should be to raise up leaders who can stand upon our shoulders, and go further in God than we ever could have. That takes humility; but God takes pleasure in, and promises to bless, the humble!