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How To Work Better Together


Numbers 4

When’s the last time you were handed a big assignment? Maybe it was a group project in college or a work presentation. Now, imagine your assignment had not included specific instructions or responsibilities, and you did not know who you were to report to. Chaos erupts without clearly defined boundaries and roles.

In Numbers 4, God tells Moses and Aaron to take a census of the men who are 30- to 50-years-old (Numbers 4:3). Then three clans — the Kohathites, Gershonites, and Merarites — were assigned special tasks and given detailed instructions about their role in transporting the tent of meeting.

Moving God’s meeting place was no small task. But God explained everything, from the color of the linen they were to use to where the utensils go to who is responsible for moving what. Each clan was responsible for carrying different items under the direction of a specified leader. The clans were expected to wholly participate and know their roles; their job responsibilities were not taken lightly. The lines of authority and accountability were clearly communicated and understood, which eased the burden for everyone.

God values clear communication and as His people, so should we. This is essential in our roles as volunteers, parents, employees, church members, and students. Whether we are the ones assigning tasks or receiving tasks, how well we communicate will directly affect how well we work together.

When we function with others in clearly defined roles and in harmony, God is pleased and goals are met. That’s what happened in Numbers 4: "Each man was assigned his task and told what to carry, just as the Lord commanded through Moses. And so the census was completed" (Numbers 4:49).

The principle Israel experienced still holds true today: When faced with a God-sized endeavor, the best thing we can do is hear from God and communicate clearly with each other.


  • What’s one way you can improve the way you communicate with people at work, at home or at school?
  • Do you have a different standard for yourself than for your leaders?
  • What’s one way you can hold yourself better accountable when working on projects or tasks handed to you?

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