Passage: Exodus 18:1–18:27
Community Group Questions: Exodus 18:1-27 "Better Together"
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- Read Exodus 18:1-12. After being joyfully reunited with his father-in-law, Jethro, Moses takes time to thoroughly share the “gospel” (i.e. the good news) of God’s salvation that he had accomplished for his people in delivering them from Egypt. As you analyze the story, how is Moses an especially faithful and effective evangelist? What lessons can we learn from Moses that we can apply to our own efforts to share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ with friends, neighbors, and colleagues?
- From a human perspective, one might think that Jethro would never convert to Israel’s faith. He was an “impossible case” because he was the premier religious leader of his community, immersed in a pagan religion. However, Jethro converts! He declares, “Now I know that the Lord is greater than all gods,” and then he participates in worship before God, together with the leaders of Israel (vs. 12). How does the story of Jethro’s conversion encourage us to never stop praying for, witnessing to, and serving those we hope to reach for Christ? Is there anyone in your life that you would consider to be your “Jethro”? Someone you’re actively praying for, that they might come to faith in Christ? How can the community group join you in your efforts to pray for, share with, love, and serve that person?
- Read 18:13-27. After seeing how exhausted Moses was from trying to serve as the only judge of Israel, Jethro urges him to develop a system of delegation whereby multiple leaders could judge various cases at various levels, so that Moses could stay focused on the most important, precedent-setting cases. Jethro’s system would wisely support Moses as the leader, and give the people more helpful and speedy justice. Remarkably, Moses listened to and obeyed Jethro’s advice, even though Jethro was such a recent convert! Do you think being “teachable” is a virtue of good leadership? How have you seen this virtue play out in everyday life? How have you seen it play out in the church?
- According to this passage of Scripture, “diversified leadership” is a good and biblical model for God’s people. Moses was not to do everything alone, but he was to appoint competent men of character to help share the load. We see this pattern play out in the New Testament as well, where Jesus appointed 12 Apostles (not just one human successor). The Apostle Paul always established a “plural” group of pastor-elders to lead, teach, and govern each local church (Acts 14:23, Titus 1:5). Furthermore, Ephesians 4:11-12 tells us that pastor-teachers in each church are to “equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” So, there is a sense in which every Christian should be a part of leading one another in ministry, building up the body by using their various gifts. In what ways are we “better together” as a church, when there is a plurality of leaders, and ministry is shared among the members of the body? What dangers do we face when leaders try to do things all alone?
- In your everyday life at home and work, as well as in your ministry roles in and through the church, how can you actively give responsibility away to others, and raise up others to cultivate their leadership gifts?
- Prayer suggestion: Along with the other requests that are shared, pray for the various “Jethros” that the members of the community group are actively trying to share the gospel with. Pray as well for our church’s leadership at various levels, that God would guard, protect, and bless our church in such a way that we would be “better together.”