The Moses Model

We have an amazing example of an effective leader in Moses. One of the great leaders in the Bible, he demonstrated how effective leadership embraces the team concept that develops the team members into visionaries.

But Moses had to learn a few lessons before he attained “great leader” status. His original concept of leadership was that he was to do everything himself. But his father-in-law, Jethro, challenged him to change his thinking. When Moses incorporated the three components of effective leadership and applied them, he attained the marks of a great leader.

Effective leadership requires the leader to be facilitative, collaborative, and directive. These three management styles differ in approach.

Facilitative leaders smooth the path and encourage. These leaders enter into meetings with an A agenda. However, they come out of meetings with B solutions.

Collaborative leaders join forces with the team. These leaders participate in meetings with an A agenda but come out of the meetings with an AB solution.

Directive leaders dictate or instruct. These leaders participate in meetings with an A agenda and come out of meetings with an A solution.

Moses employed these three components in his spiritual leadership. And centuries later, Moses’ leadership strategies remain current. You can incorporate his approach in Sabbath School Council meetings and teachers’ meetings.

Here is how he accomplished the seemingly impossible mission God had chosen for him to do:

Moses prayed. Moses modeled the importance of communicating with God and relying on His strength and ability. As the most essential part of his ministry, this connection enabled Moses to be faithful and to give God the glory for his success.

Often we claim the credit for our success. We rob God of the glory. In order to maintain focus on the fact that we are leaders in God’s ministry and business, we must make prayer not a part of our lives, but life itself.

Moses facilitated. Moses communicated God’s will and plans to the people. However, his communication was a two-way channel. He did not just hear the people; he listened to them and included them in accomplishing God’s plans.

Moses motivated. Despite great challenges Moses motivated the people and encouraged them to think big, to think outside the box. He was a visionary leader who set the mission by revealing God’s vision for the people.

Moses strategized. Moses implemented God’s will by developing clear goals and objectives and by following a game plan. The people clearly understood the strategies and executed them as members of the team.

Moses equipped. He developed his workers. He detected those who had a desire to serve and who were committed to God. He equipped these persons to become leaders who supported the mission.

Moses empowered. He shared his authority, his power, with his team. This encouraged and enabled them to be self-motivating.

Hierarchical church leadership can plan and strategize fulfilling the gospel commission given in Matthew 28:18-20; however, it takes people to accomplish it. Success requires investing time, resources, and training in a team of committed and dedicated people. As Dan Reiland said, “The journey is not easier when you travel with others, but you can travel so much farther.”


Sung Kwon
© 2014 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists