If you are the kind of person who needs a detailed shopping list before you set foot in the store, then you will probably appreciate the content of Numbers 7. But what about the rest of us? What do we do with a chapter like this?
I think that perhaps the key (and also the underlying leadership principle) is found in verse 5, words that are spoken to Moses: “Accept these from them, that they may be used in the work“. In other words, everyone’s contribution is important. This is true whether the contribution is an idea, a resource, or even a critique.
Take a minute and think about your own leadership style. How do you respond to other’s contributions? Do you welcome them, dismiss them, put up with them, promote them? Going one step further, do you actively request other people’s contributions to the team? I’m not limiting this to only contributions that help you achieve what you want to do, but I am also thinking of contributions that are new ideas, different ideas, and maybe (hopefully?) even ideas that you would never think of yourself.
I find it intriguing that God felt it was necessary fro him to actually tell Moses to “Accept these from them.” Does that mean that Moses was not going to accept them unless he was told to? Who knows. But think of the message that his acceptance sent to the other leaders of Israel. Your contributions are important. Your contributions are necessary for the success of the mission. Your contributions are welcome.
What a powerful picture of empowering leadership! In your context today, whose contribution do you need to accept?