THE LEADERSHIP SECRETS OF NEHEMIAH
08 Jan 2014
The words of Nehemiah the son of Hacaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace, that Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem.
And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.
And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven, And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments: Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father’s house have sinned.
Nehemiah, whose name means “The LORD comforts”, was the son of a man named Hacaliah (vs. 1) and was born into captivity in Babylon as his grandparents were likely taken as prisoners in the fall of Jerusalem. Beyond that, very little can be known about the man’s background.
Despite his Jewish ancestry, Nehemiah rose to a position of prominence in the Persian government. He served the position of cupbearer (vs. 11) to the king of Persia (i.e. Artaxerxes).
Although the name of this task certainly sounds menial, the position was one that yielded a great deal of political sway. As a cup bearer, Nehemiah was never to come before the king with a sad face but he did and the favour of God upon his life made the king ask what the matter was instead of putting him to death and after hearing what Nehemiah had to say, the king granted him his wish (Nehemiah 2:i1-8)
Nehemiah is viewed as one of the great leaders and managers of the Old Testament.
He led a group of Jews living in Judah to accomplish in Israel, in 52 days (by God’s grace and power), what was a problem for 141 years.
Ancient Secrets on Leadership for Modern Men
Leadership Is Providential
Heb 5:4 And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron
Leader, yield to the unseen hand guiding the way and humbly walk in such recognition.
God raised Nehemiah up to accomplish an important mission. God is the active agent leading and directing. He moves in the king’s heart and elevates people to do his bidding.
Knowing that it is God who has called us, it is advisable to follow his lead as it makes the work much easier than relying on our own intellect and ideas.
“Leadership in the Bible is framed within the overarching context of divine sovereignty.” A.D. Clarke
Leadership is Hard Work
Leader, be prepared to work hard at leading. Leadership is challenging. Leadership is Hard Work
Nehemiah exemplifies the interplay between the following:
Heart Work: Conscience & Conflict: Opening up to the Spirit
Head Work: Planning & Decision making: we ought to make plans that follows the God’s leading
Eyes Work: Visioning & Navigation
Leg Work: Meetings, Execution freshness & Consistency
Kneel Work: Prayer
There are no shortcuts in leadership.
As leader we must be willing to undergo these things as they will not only help us in leading but help us to grow. God will not use a lazy person but one who is willing to work and improve on himself
Leaders Fight to Keep Priorities Straight
Leader, fight to keep your priorities straight: God, people, project.
A leader must always keep in mind that God is ALWAYS first on the list, not mixing this up makes the work easier, i.e. not switching God’s place for the people or project, there is a sequence to the work.
As long as the Leader remains in his calling, the vision remains fresh. The Vision is what brings the people not location. Activity is not what keeps the people.
Leaders Remain Standing
Leaders Persevere: they don’t give up or give in. Leadership has weight. You either keep going or you give up. When you give up, you end up losing ground. When you keep going, you keep gaining grounds
The seat of leadership gives you 2 things:
Influence gives you an opportunity to affect other people’s thinking or actions
Affluence refers to privileges of office and rewards of actions
• Influence can bring envy, jealousy and hatred
• Affluence can cause pride and distraction
For a leader to remain standing, he must manage his influence and affluence well. Leaders, persevere through the changing seasons of leadership, remembering the call to long-term faithfulness.
Leaders Maintain Focus
Distractions Abound in Our Journey in Life. Distractions come in various Shades:
• Cares of this world
• Deceitfulness of riches
• Lust of other things
Leaders, do not at any time take your eyes off of God, it is easy to get distracted when this happens
Strength of character
Sense of duty to our audience
Above all, your trust in God
Great Leaders are resolute despite challenges
Leaders GIVE UP To GO UP
Sacrifice is the name of the GAME. Even though Nehemiah had the authority, he and his family did not extract taxes from the people; neither did he acquire real estate for his personal benefit and use. Rather, he focused his attention on completing the work on the wall (5:15-16). It is remarkable that he also provided food for people who gathered at his table (5:17-18).
Nehemiah showed concern for others: “Yet in spite of this I did not demand the governor’s provisions, because the bondage was heavy on this people” (5:18).
If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple Luke 14:26 -27.
There are a lot of things we need to give up for the work. Like Nehemiah, his personal interest was sacrificed so that he may attain his goal. What are those things we hold too dearly that are hindering the work which God has called us to do? It is either we let go of those things or risk failing God, remember, you cannot serve two masters.
Leadership Is All About Meeting NEEDS
When you stop meeting needs, your leadership ceases. A leader has a clear recognition of the needs of his people: Involved in government himself, Nehemiah fully understood that no city could rise to any position of prominence without secure walls.
There is a need God has SHAPED you to meet
S: Spiritual gifts
Leadership can be lonely, build a healthy Self-Honour
The book of Nehemiah concludes with a prayer regarding the leader’s legacy: “Remember me, O my God, for good” (Neh. 13.31)