Honesty must prevail and a hint of excitement confessed when discussing job design. Previous graduate studies that touched on this area immediately came to mind when considering the approach I might take in linking job design to the Scriptures. However, it quickly became obvious that link had already been established by our Lord in His word. There is nothing fancy here so brevity will prevail. Job design is simply the process of defining job tasks and the work arrangements to accomplish them. The “best” job design is one that meets organizational requirements for high performance, is a good fit for individual skills and needs, and provides opportunities for personal satisfaction.
God’s Design for Israel as Seen in Numbers 1 - 5
In Numbers 1 – 5, the first order of business was to conduct a census to determine how many men there were between the ages of 20 and 60 to determine how many men were available to go to war (Num. 1: 1 – 3). Perhaps Michael Mitchell had this in mind when he was writing of the frequently used metaphors used for ministry context. Still, one must remember the context of Numbers. The Israelites were preparing to take Canaan by force at God’s direction so such preparations were certainly necessary. Thus we see those set aside for the business of conquest.
The Levites were not included in this census. Instead, their purpose was to protect the Tabernacle, transport it and the various furnishings from within, and to set it up when it was to be pitched (Num. 1: 47 – 53). It is interesting that Scripture refers to the Tabernacle as testimony (עֵדוּת) using a word that denotes the activity of God creating the world. The very presence of God dwelled there and protecting it was more important than fighting any war. Though different in the NT, protecting the testimony of God remains vital to the church as will be discussed later.
Also of special importance is maintaining the purity of the church. It was important that the place where God dwells not be defiled. Effective ministry requires the presence of God. Of course, the sin of adultery is given lengthy consideration but the overriding theme here is that God cannot dwell where there is impurity and it must be dealt with.