on discipleship

June 19, 2013

Investing Authority

Numbers 27:18-20 English Standard Version (ESV)

18 So the Lord said to Moses, “Take Joshua the son of Nun, a man in whom is the Spirit, andlay your hand on him. 19 Make him stand before Eleazar the priest and all the congregation, and you shall commission him in their sight. 20 You shall invest him with some of your authority, that all the congregation of the people of Israel may obey.

Was reading thru the book of Numbers and this verse spoke to me in a different way and would just like to share how it is connected to empowering leadership.

Joshua was to be the successor of Moses so before Moses died he endorsed, blessed and commissioned Joshua to lead the Israelites. To commission someone to succeed you is to tell the people that “the same way you have followed my leadership, do likewise to Joshua.”

Moses made a clear transition in front of all the people and not just a chosen few.

In verse 20, something struck me in a new way. God told Moses to INVEST SOME OF HIS AUTHORITY. To invest is to deposit something that is in your possession now. That means God is asking Moses to give up something valuable in exchange for something far more valuable.

In Christian leadership and discipleship – the more empowering you are, the more effective you become. When Moses invested his authority to Joshua, he was continuing his leadership. The movement did not die with Moses – Joshua continued it.

Contrast it to how Joshua did it or may I say did not do. Joshua in the end of his ministry did not invest his authority on someone and another generation of Israelites grew up without the fear and knowledge of the Lord.

How are you building God’s kingdom? Are you investing some of your authority and empowering people to make disciples or does the work of the ministry designed to die with you?