God also provided the Church with His Word – the Bible – so that we would know what God expects of us. Jesus also gave us the Holy Spirit! Now every believer in Jesus Christ can and should pray directly to God. Each believer can be led by God, hear answers from God and receive power from the Holy Spirit for Christian service.
However, it can take time for new believers to mature to the point that they can receive what they need from God on their own. That is why God raises up and appoints leadership in the Church (Eph 4:11-16). Leaders need to disciple young believers, teaching and equipping them in the Scriptures and the ways of the Lord. Immature believers need help to know how to obey God, walk with Him and be led by Him.
It is necessary for you, as a church leader, to stand before God and pray for your congregation. You must pray for them in order to effectively minister to them! But you must also teach people how to go to God in prayer on their own, how to hear His voice, and how to search His Word for the answers they need from Him.
It is wrong for you as a church leader to think that you alone must have all the answers and solve all of the problems for people. If you do, the needs of the people will begin to occupy most of your time. This serious mistake can quickly misalign your ministry priorities – and lead you into the common leadership trap of pride and self-reliance!
TEACH THE PEOPLE (Ex 18:20)
Jethro then gave Moses another point of instruction for the people – “teach them” .
Moses was responsible to lead a great multitude of people. These people had been slaves in the sinful culture of Egypt all of their lives. They were pagan and superstitious, ignorant of God and His ways.
When they left Egypt, the people brought idols with them (Ezek 23:7,8). They fell into such severe idolatry along the way (Ex 32) that God judged them harshly. God is a jealous God (Ex 20:5; 34:14; Jas 4:4,5) and will not long tolerate the affections of His people being set upon worthless idols or other gods. We are to worship God alone and serve Him only (Ex 20:2,3; 1Sam 7:3).
God told the people how to live when He gave them commandments to guide them (Ex 20:1-17). However, the people needed additional instruction to help them apply these commandments to their daily lives. Thus, Moses was to “teach them” (Ex 18:20) both the commandments and how to walk in obedience to those commandments.
This same situation exists in many countries and cultures even today. When people are saved and come out of a pagan religious background, they do not know how to live in a way that is obedient and pleasing to God.
SEARCHING OUT TRUTH
Through Jethro, God gave Moses three general areas for teaching in order to help the people live in faithful covenant relationship with a holy God.