Moses had one of the most daunting jobs ever. Not only did he lead nearly two million people out of slavery, but also he led them spiritually, governed them, feed them, and protected them. Add to that challenge that they were completely homeless and wandered from place to place in the wilderness for 40 years! He was overwhelmed with his job even though it was a job given to him by God.
Moses was near complete burnout when his father-in-law, Jethro, taught him a lesson that saved his life. He taught Moses about teamwork. Moses’ leadership grew in leaps and bounds when he began to practice the lessons that a simple shepherd taught him.
Teamwork is huge if you plan to last at your job and be a good leader. It is crucial for your job, your family, and your spiritual life. God never designed us to live life alone but in a community.
Exodus 18:13-23 The next day, Moses took his seat to hear the people’s disputes against each other. They waited before him from morning till evening.
14 When Moses’ father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he asked, “What are you really accomplishing here? Why are you trying to do all this alone while everyone stands around you from morning till evening?”
15 Moses replied, “Because the people come to me to get a ruling from God. 16 When a dispute arises, they come to me, and I am the one who settles the case between the quarreling parties. I inform the people of God’s decrees and give them his instructions.”
17 “This is not good!” Moses’ father-in-law exclaimed. 18 “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. 19 Now listen to me, and let me give you a word of advice, and may God be with you. You should continue to be the people’s representative before God, bringing their disputes to him. 20 Teach them God’s decrees, and give them his instructions. Show them how to conduct their lives. 21 But select from all the people some capable, honest men who fear God and hate bribes. Appoint them as leaders over groups of one thousand, one hundred, fifty, and ten. 22 They should always be available to solve the people’s common disputes, but have them bring the major cases to you. Let the leaders decide the smaller matters themselves. They will help you carry the load, making the task easier for you. 23 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.”
Teamwork is essential in any job. While we may not always have the greatest leader as a boss and we may not always be responsible for leading a team, we can always learn to be a good teammate. Here are three powerful principles that will help you become a better teammate at work and at home.
1. Remember that it is not about you.
This is an important biblical principle that applies to every part of life. Jesus said that he came to serve, not to be served. He said that we must learn to put aside our own agenda and serve others. He even served Judas, the man who would hurt him most.
Jesus used many paradoxical statements that turned our earthly thinking upside-down. He said that if we want to be first, we must be last; if we want to gain our life, we must lose it; if we want to get, we must give; if we want to lead, we must serve. Being like Christ means that we must put our own agenda aside and serve others. This truth is at the core of being a team player at home, at work, and at church. Moses had to learn that he was better with a team. He had to learn to delegate and trust others.
2. Learn to share.
Moses learned that he had to share the work and the vision in order to be successful. He had to share the glory. Sharing is essential for a team whether it is in a game or in the game of life.
3. Learn to listen.
Moses listened to wise counsel and it saved his sanity, his job, and his life. When we fail to listen to godly counsel we set ourselves up for failure. But when we work like a good teammate, we get better at our job and start on the pathway to success. Ask yourself these questions and evaluate your participation as a team player.
Do you think you have a good team at work? What could you do to make the team better?
Do you struggle with sharing? Do you feel like you carry the load by yourself? Are you afraid to ask for help?
Has there ever been a time when you could have avoided a bad situation if you had listened to wise counsel? How can you avoid that outcome in the future?