As ministry leaders, we often feel alone. We sit behind our computers and write. Alone. We study God’s Word looking for direction. Alone. We watch our budgets and pinch the pennies. Alone.
But God clearly did not intend for us to do this alone. Throughout the Bible, He surrounded leaders with strong people to share the load. Paul had Silas, Barnabas, and a host of others who shared his missionary journeys. David had Jonathan, his best friend and covenant brother. Even Jesus was given twelve (mostly) faithful men to serve with Him.
These close associates were not meant to provide only companionship, although that was an important part of the relationship. The people surrounding these Biblical leaders each served a specific purpose in the ministry. They had a role to play that was built on their personal strengths and passions, and they filled a gap that the ministry leader could not fill on his own.
If you are straining under the load and feeling isolated and alone, maybe it is time to look around and find the people who can fill your gaps. And while your specific needs may be different, there are four types of people that most leaders need on their team.
Moses had them all. If Moses needed them, I figure I need them too. During this four-part series, we’ll look at the 4 People Every Leader Needs.
When God came calling at the burning bush, Moses gave Him a long list of excuses and limitations. Among them, “Who am I to do this big thing? Who do I say sent me? What if they don’t believe me? What if they don’t listen?” God patiently answered each question and gave Moses powerful signs to display to the people.
Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” Exodus 4:10 (NIV)
(Funny …. Moses seemed to speak pretty quickly when was listing his excuses, don’t you think?)
God gave Moses a partner in Aaron. And whether Moses really was not eloquent or it was just his perception of himself, Aaron filled a specific gap for Moses.
In the next several chapters of Exodus, Aaron was by Moses’ side for every meeting with the Israelite elders, every visit to Pharoah’s court and most of his encounters with the Lord. He started out as Moses’ mouthpiece, but along the way, things changed.
Over time, Aaron became recognized as Moses’ partner. Not only did he speak for Moses, he also shared the responsibility of leading the Israelites. Those whiny, cranky, never-satisfied Israelites. Imagine if Moses was bearing all of that negative feedback alone?
Often, when we are following God’s leading in our ministry, other people may not like it. They may disagree with the direction we are taking. So a partner who has our back is a critical member of our team.
As you are building your ministry, a partner does not necessarily have to be part of the day-to-day operations and activities. It can be an accountability partner, a critique partner or someone that you collaborate with regularly. It is helpful to have someone else who knows your ministry at a deep level and will give you honest and meaningful advice and feedback.
Do you have a trusted ministry partner? If not, what type of partner could benefit your ministry?