Moses said to the Lord, “Why have you dealt ill with your servant? And why have I not found favor in your sight, that you lay the burden of all this people on me? …Then the Lord said to Moses, “Gather for me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them, and bring them to the tent of meeting, and let them take their stand there with you. …And I will take some of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them, and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you may not bear it yourself alone. (Numbers 11:11, 16-17)
I would guess that most of us have had times where we are overwhelmed with the duties before us. You don’t have to be the leader of Israel to have that experience. You don’t even have to be a leader to have that experience. The important lesson for Moses, and for us, to remember is that we are not in this alone. We shouldn’t try to do God’s work alone.
In our September meeting, the Council of Presidents elected Missouri District President Lee Hagen as Chairman of the Council. I was re-elected Vice Chair. It is a tremendous honor and responsibility as we work with President Harrison and the rest of the Council to lead the Missouri Synod into the future, under Christ. None of us are meant to take on this task alone. One brain, no matter how smart, is not enough. This is the Body of Christ. We need one another and the guidance of the Holy Spirit to lead our Church.
There are certainly many challenges that are ahead of us. Church worker shortages, cultural changes and challenges, clergy dependency, worker fatigue, lay involvement, and relational health, just to name a few. It would be easy to cast a cloak of doom and fear over everything. It is tempting to think that we as leaders are here to save the Church. While we have responsibility to lead, the Church already has a Savior. And it will take the whole Body of Christ as we face the challenges ahead. Thankfully, in Christ, we have grace and truth. Joyfully, we live in hope.
Missouri District President Hagen is a great leader. I am honored to serve with him. We are prioritizing the issues the Council needs to address as we move forward. We are not here to work alone or to save the Church but we are called to serve the Church. We are humbled to do so.
I am honored to be a leader in the Nebraska District, but I do not and cannot lead alone. We are the Body of Christ. We have important work to do. Each one of you has an important part to play. None of us are meant to go it alone.
Together we work to disciple the saved and reach out to the lost. Together we proclaim God’s truth and grace. Together in Christ we can do immeasurably more than we thought or imagined. Together in Christ we have the victory.
Christ be my Leader by night as by day;
Safe through the darkness, for He is the way.
Gladly I follow, my future His care,
Darkness is daylight when Jesus is there.
Rev. Richard Snow, President, Nebraska District LCMS
This devotional was originally printed in the September/October Nebraska District Reporter