Have you ever wanted to be a leader? Or be better at being a leader? Other than the ultimate example of leadership in the person, life, and teaching of Christ Jesus, I would suggest reading the book of Nehemiah. The core steps of being a leader are 1) identifying a problem, 2) accepting responsibility for correcting the problem, 3) mobilizing the resources necessary to solve the problem. In reading Nehemiah, we see these played out so well.

1) Identifying the problem

“…It came to pass in the month of Chislev, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the citadel, 2 that Hanani one of my brethren came with men from Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews who had escaped, who had survived the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. 3 And they said to me, ‘The survivors who are left from the captivity in the province are there in great distress and reproach. The wall of Jerusalem is also broken down, and its gates are burned with fire.’

4 So it was, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned for many days; I was fasting and praying before the God of heaven” (Nehemiah 1:1-4).

2) Accepting responsibility for correcting the problem

5 And I said to the king, ‘If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, I ask that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, that I may rebuild it’” (Nehemiah 2:5).

3) Mobilizing the resources necessary to solve the problem

17 Then I said to them, ‘You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire. Come and let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer be a reproach’” (Nehemiah 2:7).

Nehemiah heard of the situation in Jerusalem and took the responsibility to rebuilt the city, got the Babylonian kings permission, and then mobilized the inhabitants of the country to rebuild. But will it always be smooth sailing? NO! There will always be the “naysayers” in a crowd that don’t share the leaders vision, but we have to be ready to counter their actions and keep the projects moving forward.
One other thing I liked about the way Nehemiah undertook the rebuilding of Jerusalem, is how he used people according to their gifts and stamina. “13 Hanun and the inhabitants of Zanoah repaired the Valley Gate. They built it, hung its doors with its bolts and bars, and repaired a thousand cubits of the wall as far as the Refuse Gate” (Nehemiah 3:13).28 Beyond the Horse Gate the priests made repairs, each in front of his own house. 29 After them Zadok the son of Immer made repairs in front of his own house. After him Shemaiah the son of Shechaniah, the keeper of the East Gate, made repairs” (Nehemiah 3:28-29).
In this example, we see how people had been motivated by Nehemiah to solve a problem, they came together, and each did according to their skills and abilities. While Hunan and those living in Zanoah rebuilt 1,000 cubits of the wall (1,500 feet), Zadok made repairs in front of his own house. Each did what they could to help. We may not have followers who are as committed as we are to a project, or as motivated to help, but we can use everyone that wants to help in one way or another.

The New King James Version. (1982). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.

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