Gift of Administration

Exodus 18:17-21

Moses’ father-in-law replied, “What you are doing is not good.  You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone.  Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people’s representative before God and bring their disputes to him.  Teach them the decrees and laws, and show them the way to live and the duties they are to perform.  But select capable men from all the people—men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain—and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens.

Moses was a talented leader.  He confronted Pharaoh boldly and led the Israelites out of Egypt.  He was also a wise counselor, settling disputes among the Israelites.  One thing he was not was an administrator.

It took the insight and gift of his father-in-law Jethro to see that what he was doing was going to burn him out.  He needed to be more efficient.  Administration guys are the ones that repeat the “Work smarter, not harder” mantra.  Sure, it’s cliché’ but there is truth to it as well.

While leaders can lead a group of people to accomplish a certain task or realize a certain vision, administrators are the ones who visualize the details that will get it done.

I can recall organizing a Sunday school class picnic.  My idea of organizing was setting a time, place, and date.  Show up then with food and we’ll eat.  Then the administrators (the women in this case) all start asking “will there be drinks provided?” “Who’s bringing what so we don’t have duplicates.”

I was happy to just show up and have food, regardless whether there were two potato salads.  But administrators saw the little things that made the difference and took care of details I may have overlooked.

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