Ex. 18:1-27 Team Ministry (Top. Cat. #22 )

Intro: At this point in our Study of Exodus – the Children of Israel being led by God are on their way Mt. Sinai

  1. They will arrive there in Ch.19 – Camp for several months – time of Instruction
  1. In Ch. 18 – we see two main themes – Reunion of Moses Family / the Establishing of a TEAM MINISTRY


A) Why wasn't Mrs. Moses with Moses?

B) Remember back in Exodus 4 how that after God had commissioned

Moses to go and speak to Pharaoh

  1. But as Moses was on his way to fulfill the calling the Lord met Moses & Pinned him to the ground

C)At that point Ziphora Moses’ wife took a knife and circumcised her

son and said: "You are A bloody husband are you to me"

The lesson to us was this:

A) Before Moses could preach to the house of Pharaoh, he had to have his own house in order/ But it wasn't

B) They weren’t being taught in the ways of God- Evidently Ziphorah was

the one fighting against circumcision

1) Circumcision... which speaks of total commitment to the Lord... was too radical/too extreme for her

  1. It wasn't until the Lord had pinned Moses that she circumcised her son and threw the knife down

  1. From that moment forward, Moses said: "You go home!!"

"You're not ready for what we're going to go through"

It is my opinion that when the Lord calls a man to Ministry – He calls the whole family – wife / the Kids / all are going to be affected.

  1. Ministry is not a 9-5 type of Job / it is 24-7 / not everyone is called to full time Ministry ( need to understand that)
  2. I can honestly say that I have known men –who thought they were called to full time Ministry but who I don’t think they were : Because

  1. Their wives didn’t feel that same calling /It is a CALLING ( Talking Sweet ladies – wonderful sisters in the Body – real blessings)

  1. Who just didn’t have that same sense of Calling to be involved in Ministry full time ( FULL TIME ) Your wife will have that same calling


But I can also honestly say that I have seen men who were held back in being used by the Lord –

  1. Because their wives were not ready or not willing to accept that type of Commitment & Calling

B) Or because the Wife was not willing to simplify their lives & go w/out

some of the Luxuries that a better paying Job – would afford

  1. Or because the Wife was not at a place of spiritual maturity in her walk but needed to grow more ( Holding back )

C)And for some of You who might feel that God is calling you into full time

Ministry – Know this –

  1. The CALLING & the TIMMING will be confirmed in YOUR WIFE

  1. That will be her heart as Well – She will desire that kind of Sacrifice – the loss of Material things won’t matter to her

  1. She will have that same Desire to do that



Now if you have that desire in your heart & you see that right now your wife doesn’t ( Doesn’t mean you are not called / MATTER OF TIMING

A)Don’t force it ! Let the Lord do it / let the Lord work on her & prepare her

  1. Because I think it is rare that the Lord does what he did w/ Moses sending

a man off w/out his family ( this was only for a season)

  1. So at this point Moses’ family is reunited w/ him V.7-12



So Moses starts to rehearse to Jethro all that the Lord had done for Israel / Plagues / Red Sea / Marah / Manna & Quail / Rephidem –rock

  1. Defeating Amalek - Now the Re-telling of what God has done – affected Jethro in 3 very Positive ways

9 Then Jethro rejoiced for all the good which the LORD had done for Israel, whom He had delivered out of the hand of the Egyptians.

  1. And Jethro said, "Blessed be the LORD, who has delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians and out of the hand of Pharaoh,

C) 2nd it brought – CONFIRMATION TO HIS MIND V.11

11 "Now I know that the LORD is greater than all the gods; for in the very thing in which they behaved proudly, He was above them."

D) if there was any DOUBT in Jetrho’s mind – that Jehovah was the true God it was GONE after this

E) 3rdly It Brought a DEEPER DEVOTION in his Walk – V.12

12 Then Jethro, Moses' father-in-law, took a burnt offering and other sacrifices to offer to God. And Aaron came with all the elders of Israel to eat bread with Moses' father-in-law before God.

  1. He takes the time to offer up Sacrifice & to Break Bread w/ the Bros

Listen folks / Church Family – this is why it is so VITAL that we share w/ each other what God is doing in our lives

  1. Love to ask that Question : What is God doing – What is he teaching you / Trial he has brought you through ( next Wed. / also all the time)
  2. GREAT THING : Brings rejoicing to our hearts / Confirmation to our minds / Deeper Devotion in our walks

  4. Meet for lunch / meet for Breakfast – Brag Sessions – What is God doing ( How is he working )
  5. So 1st we see the REUNITING of Moses w/ his Family – 2nd we want to Consider the Establishing of a TEAM MINISTRY v.13-18


So Jethro notices what is going on & says – Moses this is not good – 3 Million people relying on one man

  1. You are going to get burned out - & the people are going to get Frustrated – You can’t do this by yourself
  2. So he gives Moses some very WISE COUNSEL V.19-27


WHAT we have here is the Establishing of a Team Concept of Ministry

You see this throughout the Bible

  1. Jesus in Choosing 12 Disciples - ( Matt.5 seeing the Multitudes He went up on Mt. Disciples came to Him & taught them )
  2. Jesus sees the needs of the Multitude – he realized that he needed to train these men to Minister to those needs
  3. And The Apostles broke it down even more in the Book of Acts when they appointed Deacons – men who could attend to more Practical ministry

This really is The principle of God for ministry seen throughout scripture :

  1. A God-appointed leader following the directives of God surrounded by godly men co-laboring together to serve God's people
  2. Divided into ranks: This case rulers of 1,000’s / 100’s / 50’s & 10’s
  3. 1) In the N.T. where they were not dealing w/ these types of numbers it was simplified even more Elders –spiritual needs / Deacons –Practical

  4. What we see in this set up are the PRIORITIES OF LEADERSHIP & the REQUIREMENTS & THE RESPONSIBILITES of the support team



  1. First thing that Moses is to do is to Stand before God for the People – which speaks to us of Prayer
  2. The greatest thing that a leader can do is intercede for those he is serving

1) Bringing them before the Lord

I read of a western rancher who asked the district superintendent of a certain denomination to assign a pastor to his immediate locality. "How big a man do you want?" questioned the superintendent. "Well, Elder," the rough plainsman replied, "we're not overly particular; but when he's on his knees, we'd like to have him reach Heaven

2ND Priority of a Leader:v.20 And teach them the Statues & laws of God

  1. Teaching the Word – bringing the Word before the People
  2. I know that when you come here – You come expecting to be taught the word of God – ( I don’t take that lightly)
  3. Surely the preacher's greatest sin is to put people to sleep with the greatest story ever told.

  4. For that reason – I study - Read pages & pages of commentaries / research books – I want to be prepared – ( Labor over text )

  1. Then I want to go hear from the Lord – what is the Manna – what is the message or messages for us / I take this very seriously

Now these two things were the Priorities that the Apostles set up in Acts Ch. 6 – Problem w/ the Grecian Widows – neglected

  1. Pick out some men from among you to oversee this – because we need to give ourselves Continually Prayer & to the Ministry of the Word
  2. Now it wasn’t an issue of being above waiting on tables / Issue of Priorities - ( What is the main thing we are called to )

  1. Prayer & studying / teaching / declaring the Word

  1. Oh how the Devil likes to sidetrack us so that those things are not our main priorities

  1. I Counsel / but that can’t be my main Priority / I correspond w/ Missionaries weekly – but it can’t be my main Priority

  1. I walk around the Church pick up trash but that can’t be my main Priority

  1. I visit people in the Hospital…… priority / I pay attention to bills what we are spending on what why? / But Can’t be my main priority

The main Priority has to be Prayer & the Ministry of the Word !!!! – That my calling as the Pastor of CCV .

3rd Priority of LEADERSHIP: v.20 Show them the way in Which they must walk & work they must do !!! This speaks of the leaders example

  1. Show – covers the whole gamut – teaching & Living
  2. The Teaching is no good if it is not being lived out – Practically
  3. 1st Show them the way how to walk – to live

  1. Talk about Faith – need to live by faith – take steps of faith

Love your Wife – Better be loving your wife

  1. People of Prayer : Need to be a man of Prayer !!!!!

So first it is showing them how they are to Walk / 2ndly the Work they are to do

  1. Again – this speaks of the need of Discipleship
  2. Jesus was a Master example – He taught & he did –He Taught but He also TOUCHED / Teaching & Touching

  1. but he also had them do !!! You give them something to eat !!!!!

  1. That is part of the Priority of a Leader is to teach on serving / to serve then to actually – Enlist men & women in Service

  1. I love to ask people – Would you pray about doing this? Would you pray about being involved in this way

  1. Because as I have been praying – The Lord puts them on my heart – And the as they pray – it becomes the Confirmation

4 Priorities of Leadership : Pray / Teach / Live / Enlist

10 Power Principles for Christian Service – Wiersbe


2nd Requirements & Responsibilities of the support team

  1. In order to free Moses up to effectively –carry out those 4 Priorities he needed godly men around him to share the Load –

B) What kind of Men ? - Requirements v.21– 4 things

#1 they need to be Able men : Now this doesn’t speak so much of Ability as it does Spiritual Maturity

  1. Moses needed men w/ Discernment / who had Wisdom – who could handle these delicate matters
  2. In the N.T. – we are given the Definition of an Able Man - Acts 6 deacons – Full of the H.S. & Wisdom

  1. Men who have been Baptized in the Spirit – who Know what it means to walk in the Spirit – what it means to be led by the Spirit

  1. Full of the H.S. & Wisdom – Wisdom is Knowledge applied – Speaks of not just knowing the word – but how to apply it

  1. Gone through some situations where – word has become tried & Proven

  1. Not just a bunch of Principles – learned in a text Book – need to be lived out

  1. Gives Understanding to Paul’s words in 1 Tim.3:6 – Elder not being a Novice – ( Someone who needs practical experience )

  1. So first able men - N.T. full of the H.S. & Wisdom


2nd – Men that fear God : They have a healthy respect for the Lord

James 3:1 My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.

  1. Healthy fear – I am dealing w/ God’s sheep here – My opinion is not what Matters – ( my own personal convictions – Word )
  2. This is one of the things that made Nehemiah – Such a great Leader – He had a Healthy fear of God

  1. Consequently he didn’t fear men / therefore he was distracted from the Work / he was intimidated by the enemy

  1. And most importantly- he didn’t abuse his privilege as Governor like the Previous Governors before him nor did he burden the people

  1. Because of the fear of God !!!!! Neh. 5:15

  1. Whenever I see – men laying heavy burdens on God’s people or abusing their privilege as a leader – Watch out – No Fear of God !!!!!

Story that good view of affect of the fear of God

Syndicated columnist Dale Hanson Bourke writes: "Recently I rode home in a taxi with a driver who prominently displayed the Koran. We chatted briefly about his life and beliefs, and finally I asked him a question that had puzzled me for some time.

"`You seem like a wise and moderate man. Can you explain why the writer Salman Rushdie should be condemned to death for what the Muslim world considers blasphemy?'

"The driver paused and then said, `Yes, I do understand, but I'm not sure I can explain it so you will. You see, in America you seem to believe that freedom of speech is more important than the fear of God. If you are truly a Muslim, you know better.'

"I thought about his words for a long time. As a Christian, I may not agree with pronouncing a death sentence on a man for his writings, but if I believe what I say I believe, the fear of God should be more real in my life than anything else."

The Man that lives in the Fear of God will be a Man – nothing else matters

Charles Bridges

" The fear of the Lord is that affectionate reverence, by which the child of God bends himself humbly and carefully to his Father’s law


#3 Men of Truth – Acts 6 translated Men of Good reputation

Abraham Lincoln said that character was like a tree and reputation like the shadow of the tree. "The shadow is what we think of it," said Lincoln. "The tree is the real thing." Reputation is what people think we are; but character is what God and the holy angels know we are.

D. L. Moody once said that character was "what a man is in the dark";

  1. Men of truth – they could be counted on – Yes / Yes & their No/No
  2. Wiersbe Integrity means inner wholeness; we're not trying to fool others (which is hypocrisy) or fool ourselves which is stupidity.

  3. Being men of Truth also speaks of hating evil - Ps. 97:10). "Let those who love the LORD hate evil"

1)And they're mindful of Solomon’s counsel, "Guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life" (Prov. 4:23).

Again : Wiersbe said It is easier to build Character & guard it than to rebuild it after you have lost it

4th Hating Covetousness : Why in the List ?

  1. Area of temptation for people in Ministry is to want someone else’s
  2. ministry - Not men of Ambition –

  3. See people like this / they also want to be in someone else’s shoes – Look at the People on the Worship team – ( I want that !) Demo tape to
  1. They want to be on the Pastoral Staff – name in the Bulletin
  1. Want a Title : What they are Coveting is Position – They don’t want to be a Normal guy or Gal – want to be somebody
  2. Some people look at Ministry as a Stepping Stone –Worship person for

example Start off in the Children’s ministry : With the kids (Minor leagues

  1. Move to Youth Ministry – Double A / College Ministry Triple A

Jails – Semi Pro ( Sanctuary – Big Leagues )

  1. Then taking it on the Road – All-stars – me & Steven Curtis

How do we know w/ the Lord – Children’s ministry isn’t the Big leagues

  1. Least on earth greatest – I wouldn’t be surprised in heaven if we had it all Back wards ( Tom has best Job in the Church)
  2. But some people really Covet – Ministry or Ministries

  3. Saddest things for me in Ministry is in talking to other ministers who are – Looking for a new Gig – ( Not Content w/ where God has them)
  1. Better than that !!!! – S.S in the Pulpit
  1. A Pastor once complained to Spurgeon about only having a 100 people – Spurgeon’s reply was Classic – that is quite enough to give account of before the Lord on the day of Judgement
  2. Great way to not fall into that Trap – Nehemiah – Ch. 6:3 "I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down.

That is so awesome – Listen if you are doing what God has called you to do – It is a great Work !!!!! See it that way

  1. God wants to Change it or move you or put you in some other position let Him do it – don’t you try to do it !!!!

B) Godliness w/ Contentment is great Gain -

  1. Contentment doesn’t mean inactivity or Complacency – Great to always desire that God would use us to the Fullest extent Possible
  1. Not in Comparison to someone else !!!!

Example : Constantly seeking God for ways to fulfill our Calling as a Church – Our DIVINE MANDATE 3 Fold Point/ Equip/ Send

  1. Exalt – Worship – new songs – Lord we want to grow
  2. Equip : Build up the Body - make Disciples – I think we are pretty Strong in this – 85% of what we do is along these lines
  1. All the studies through the week / all the home groups / all the retreats – our missions support – even aspect of our trips
  1. All of it is aimed at encouraging the Body – uplifting the Body – building up the Body – ( Body Ministry)
  2. But we are also called to Evangelize the Lost – so we Pray – what kind of outreaches – Where / when How – Missions trips – same
  1. Do we do a Crusade / or not Youth Outreaches

Important to be seeking the Lord –Are we doing what you want us to do & can we do it better ?

  1. Content but not Comfortable – ( Never want to be comfortable or be in a mindset of Maintaining –
  2. But there is a Difference between not being Comfortable – wanting to better serve the Lord & be more effective in ministry
  1. And Coveting – Someone else’s ministry or some other type of Ministry because you are not content w/ where the Lord has You

So Requirements : Able Men – Full of H.S. & Wisdom / Men who fear God / Men who Love the truth / Not Covetous or Ambitious

Quickly the Responsibilities : v.22 They were to help judge the people – Basically they were to be extensions of Moses to the people

In the Larger Context of the N.T. Church – some it up in Eph.4 :11-16

  1. Equipping = to make complete / help perfect – Preparing & training to be Ministers ( Home / Work / in the Mission field – signs)
  2. Edifying : Building up / making stronger – growing in 3 areas
  1. Christlikeness v. 13
  1. 2nd Stability v.14 - Knowing what we believe ( Holding fast to truth )

D) 3rd Love v.15,16

So if you are one who desires to be a part of the Ministry team here at CCV –give yourself this test

  1. What am I doing to help others – become more Christlike in their Character – is my life having that affect
  2. What affect is my life having in able others become more Stable in the Lord ?
  3. What affect is my life having in helping others become more Loving in their Conduct -
  1. How can I encourage others in those 3 things –

D) Am I a good example to others in those 3 areas ?