Archive for August, 2012

A Leader’s Responses

If you want a study in the fundamentals of leadership, Nehemiah is a good place to start. Nehemiah was of Jewish descent but was serving in the palace of their captors. One day as he was going around his day to day chores, he heard a report from his motherland that things were not good. In fact things were really bad; the high walls that surrounded Jerusalem were still in ruins (and that for more that 70 years), neighbouring nations made a mockery of those who called themselves Israelites, and those from nearby cities and towns made life difficult for the Jews in that city.

With this picture etched in his mind, he went to God, weeping and praying that God would in one way or another turn around the situation. God furnished Nehemiah with a God-sized vision. And that was to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem!  God did several other things in answer to Nehemiah’s requests in prayer. However I would like us to look at how Nehemiah responded and see if we as leaders, called by God, can learn some principles for our own leadership.

1. Inward Response. (Nehemiah 1:4) This refers to what motivates a person to action or inaction in a given circumstance. It speaks to the motives of our hearts. Without the proper motives, it is easy for the ministry or service that we are engaged in to turn and be selfish. When faced with a need, we should always evaluate our motives for our response and seek to bring our motives in-line with God’s motives.

2. Upward Response. (Nehemiah 2:4b) This should speak to where we get our instructions from. Without God, our ministry or service can be geared towards the wrongs tasks being accomplished. When we see a need around us, we should evaluate our position to see what type of influence and opportunity God has put before us. It is as we interact with God and have an encounter with Him, that we can truly start serving others.

3. Forward Response. (Nehemiah 2:7-9) Although Nehemiah felt the weight and importance of what was facing the people of Jerusalem, he did not make a rash decision. This should speak to our effectiveness. Without planning, our ministry or service can lead to chaos and lack of accomplishment. We need to assess our current realities and be clear on what resources we need to accomplish the task at hand.

4. Outward Response. (Nehemiah 2:11-12) Once Nehemiah received permission from the King , he sets out to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Just like in the three previous types of responses seen above, he does not act rashly. Instead, Nehemiah is thoughtful and measured in how he starts to implement his plans. This should speak to our mobilization of team members. We must recruit others to join us in meeting needs having cast a vision of where we all need to go. Without others, our ministry and service can be prevented from meeting God-sized needs. Eventually we wont have the next crop of leaders to carry on the work to bring in the desired reality.

As I looked at these responses, I realized that their order is important. As for Nehemiah, he put in a lot of hard work into realizing the God-sized vision  that was laid in his heart. Without great leadership and careful planning, I don’t think that the walls of Jerusalem would have been rebuilt. But even with that said, I believe the responses of his heart had everything to do with his success.

Stay blessed.


Great Leadership Quotes

“Leaders aren’t born, they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that’s the price we’ll have to pay to achieve that goal, or any goal.” – Vince Lombardi