The First Management Consultant

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The next day Moses took his seat to serve as judge for the people, and they stood around him from morning till evening. When his father-in-law saw all that Moses was doing for the people, he said, “What is this you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge, while all these people stand around you from morning till evening?”

Moses answered him, “Because the people come to me to seek God’s will. Whenever they have a dispute, it is brought to me, and I decide between the parties and inform them of God’s decrees and instructions.”

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 his decrees and instructions, and show them the way they are to live and how they are to behave. 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. Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you. If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied.

Exodus 18:13-23

Now this man was called Jethro. In the Bible he is also called the priest of Midian as well as being the father-in-law of Moses. He visited Moses and he could through observation that the work Moses was doing was too much. Moses could only do so much – he only had so much bandwidth – to put this in modern terms, and he was failing to scale. Moses was a bottleneck. The organization was failing it’s mission so to speak. Jethro told Moses to delegate, and told him how to delegate. In this way Moses was able to scale, and have time to spend on the more difficult problems.

Jethro ministered to Moses in a way that Moses did not expect. Good advice is a ministry.

So if I offer advice in my secular job is that a ministry? If it brings relief in any form then perhaps it is.


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