Criteria for Leaders
When he had Egypt in his rearview mirror, Moses soon discovered that he had an overwhelming task of leading a large group of people – millions, by most estimates. Daunting, indeed. Was he up to the task? It quickly became apparent that he could not singlehandedly provide leadership for all those who needed his direction.
His father-in-law made a suggestion that has been considered a classic from that time to this: break up into companies – thousands, hundreds, fifties, and even tens – and provide leaders for each group who would be answerable to Moses. If they couldn’t handle some major situation, they could bring it to Moses. In this way he could “multiply” himself.
But who? On what basis would leaders be chosen? Jethro was ready with an answer: “Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people…
- “Able men…”
- Men were selected who were strong in body and mind, men of ability, men who were capable of handling responsibility.
- “[Men who] fear God…”
- Spiritual leaders must be men who understand spiritual principles, who value sacred things, who are sensitive to God and what He requires.
- “Men of truth…”
- They must not be given to prevarication, exaggeration, or misleading, deceptive statements or reports.
- “Hating covetousness…”
- Leaders have to be men who are not for sale. If men hate covetousness, they are not going to sell out for favors. Impartiality is a hallmark of such men.
Simply adopting Jethro’s concept that would enable Moses “to endure” was not the most difficult thing – it was finding the men to serve in those positions. Doubtless not everyone fit the mold. Likewise, if we elevate to positions of spiritual authority only those whose lives match the criteria Jethro laid out for Moses that day, we will never lack for dynamic and effective leadership at all levels of the body of Christ.