“This is not good!” Moses’ father-in-law exclaimed. “You’re going to wear yourself out—and the people, too. This job is too heavy a burden for you to handle all by yourself. (22)Let the leaders decide the smaller matters themselves. They will help you carry the load, making the task easier for you. If you follow this advice, and if God commands you to do so, then you will be able to endure the pressures, and all these people will go home in peace.” Ex 18:17-18; Exodus 18:22b-23 (NLT)
I recently spearheaded a committee that was putting on a volunteer appreciation event at our church. Because of the nature of the event, we didn’t want any volunteers to help with planning, setup or cleanup. We succeeded in this task, minus a couple key people. This event was planned for two hundred. The day came for the event and our staff of five and their families along with our head of decor got to work transforming our sanctuary and lobby into a fiesta. As the hours passed, I began to appreciate more and more the work of our volunteers. By cleanup time, I was convinced that our volunteers are, indeed, rockstars! It’s so much work to put on an event of that size without the people you usually depend on the most!
I loved the fact that we were honoring them, they deserved it. But, the old saying is true, “sometimes you don’t know what you have till it’s gone.” While our few staff worked feverishly to make this event happen, the phrase “volunteer appreciation” took on a whole new light. These are the people that make the church tick. Every week they are putting in time and effort; giving of themselves to make ministry a reality.
It was another reminder of how much we all need each other in life. Just because you are capable of doing things alone, doesn’t mean you should be. Moses’ father-in-law’s advice in the verses above still ring true today. Whether you are leading a team for a huge event, or just trying to manage your household through the toddler years, we NEED each other. Somewhere within the years of trying to prove that we are all equal and can all accomplish anything we put our minds to, we’ve lost sight of the fact that maybe we aren’t supposed to. God designed us to need each other. Why was Eve created in the first place? God said it was not good for man to be alone, so he created a helper. Genesis 2:18 (emphasis mine)
I’m just as stubborn as a toddler at times. “I do it my own self!” It’s hard to ask for help and depend on other people. They might not even do it how you would! GASP!!! Accepting that God has designed us to be on a big team is sometimes hard. Accepting someone doing things a different way then what you would have done is a tough pill to swallow at times. But, I’m convinced now more than ever that mentoring others, training leaders, enabling people to be all that God has for them is one of our highest callings. If leaders in my life hadn’t entrusted me with small, gradual places of leadership, I wouldn’t be who I am today. If I hadn’t had people who encouraged me through my kids’ early years, I wouldn’t have made it.
No matter where you are in the circle of life, seek out someone that can encourage and speak life over you. I recently read this post on Facebook. I don’t know who said it, but I think it’s good advice, “Be who you needed when you were younger.” In every stage of life think about your last stage, who did you have or wish you would have had? Be that person for someone else.
Father, thank You for putting us all on one big team. Open our eyes and heart to those around us that we can empower and encourage. May we always be seeking out people who can help us carry the load of life You’ve given to us. Amen.