Ministry Involvement
Lesson 1

Lesson One

Problem One: The Continuing Difficulties of Over Commitment


Exodus 18:13-27

It came about the next day that Moses sat to judge the people, and the people stood about Moses from the morning until the evening. Now when Moses' father-in-law saw all that he was doing for the people, he said, "What is this thing that you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit as judge and all the people stand about you from morning until evening?" Moses said to his father-in-law, "Because the people come to me to inquire of God. When they have a dispute, it comes to me, and I judge between a man and his neighbor and make known the statutes of God and His laws." Moses' father-in-law said to him, "The thing that you are doing is not good. You will surely wear out, both yourself and these people who are with you, for the task is too heavy for you; you cannot do it alone. Now listen to me: I will give you counsel, and God be with you. You be the people's representative before God, and you bring the disputes to God, then teach them the statutes and the laws, and make known to them the way in which they are to walk and the work they are to do. Furthermore, you shall select out of all the people able men who fear God, men of truth, those who hate dishonest gain; and you shall place these over them as leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens. Let them judge the people at all times; and let it be that every major dispute they will bring to you, but every minor dispute they themselves will judge. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you. If you do this thing and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all these people also will go to their place in peace." So Moses listened to his father-in-law and did all that he had said. Moses chose able men out of all Israel and made them heads over the people, leaders of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties and of tens. They judged the people at all times; the difficult dispute they would bring to Moses, but every minor dispute they themselves would judge. Then Moses bade his father-in-law farewell, and he went his way into his own land.

  1. What did Moses do? (verse 13)

  2. How long did he do that? (verse 13)

  3. What questions did Jethro ask? (verse 14)

  4. What answer did Moses give? (verses 15, 16)

  5. What critical evaluation did Jethro make? (verses 17-20)

  6. What solution did Jethro advocate? (verses 21, 22)

  7. What would be the result? (verse 23)

Practical Application Questions

  1. When Moses implemented the suggestion, who obviously benefitted? (verses 24-27)

  2. Why was what Moses did 'not good?'

  3. Do you think Moses' intent was to do something 'not good?' Discuss your answer.


Acts 6:1-14; 8:4-13

Now at this time while the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint arose on the part of the Hellenistic Jews against the native Hebrews, because their widows were being overlooked in the daily serving of food. So the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, "It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables. Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word." The statement found approval with the whole congregation; and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch. And these they brought before the apostles; and after praying, they laid their hands on them. The word of God kept on spreading; and the number of the disciples continued to increase greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith. And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people. But some men from what was called the Synagogue of the Freedmen, including both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, and some from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and argued with Stephen. But they were unable to cope with the wisdom and the Spirit with which he was speaking. Then they secretly induced men to say, "We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and against God." And they stirred up the people, the elders and the scribes, and they came up to him and dragged him away and brought him before the Council. They put forward false witnesses who said, "This man incessantly speaks against this holy place and the Law; for we have heard him say that this Nazarene, Jesus, will destroy this place and alter the customs which Moses handed down to us."

Acts 8:4-13

Therefore, those who had been scattered went about preaching the word. Philip went down to the city of Samaria and began proclaiming Christ to them. The crowds with one accord were giving attention to what was said by Philip, as they heard and saw the signs which he was performing. For in the case of many who had unclean spirits, they were coming out of them shouting with a loud voice; and many who had been paralyzed and lame were healed. So there was much rejoicing in that city. Now there was a man named Simon, who formerly was practicing magic in the city and astonishing the people of Samaria, claiming to be someone great; and they all, from smallest to greatest, were giving attention to him, saying, "This man is what is called the Great Power of God." And they were giving him attention because he had for a long time astonished them with his magic arts. But when they believed Philip preaching the good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were being baptized, men and women alike. Even Simon himself believed; and after being baptized, he continued on with Philip, and as he observed signs and great miracles taking place, he was constantly amazed.

  1. What was happening? (6:1)

  2. What complaint surfaced? (6:1)

  3. Who did the apostles call? (6:2)

  4. What did the apostles say was not proper? (6:2)

  5. With what responsibility was the congregation charged? (6:3)

  6. In what would the apostles specialize? (6:4)

  7. What did the congregation do? The apostles? (6:5, 6)

  8. What two of the seven became evangelists?

Practical Application Questions

  1. Who was more qualified in meeting spiritual needs than the apostles? Did their qualifications justify their being in charge of everything? Discuss this matter.

  2. What impact on spiritual service will sharing the responsibility of leading have?

  3. How do Christians place God and His power in charge of what occurs in all involvements?

  4. Who does not grow spiritually if one person does everything?

  5. Why is it demanding to trust others in matters of responsibility?

  6. How can it be easy to trust others in matters of responsibility?

  7. Why do you think the approach in Acts 6 worked?

Link to Teacher's Guide Lesson 1

Copyright © 2006
David Chadwell & West-Ark Church of Christ

1 | 2 | 3 | 4

next lesson