Rebuilding Mode

Are you aware in the coming months and years, the world will be in rebuilding mode? We will be rebuilding churches, communities and economies but most importantly, we will be rebuilding lives.
Leadership is critical to any rebuilding effort, and Nehemiah is my favorite leader in the Bible. Jerusalem had been in shambles for more than a century when he arrived, yet he led the effort to rebuild it.
Nehemiah gives us a great example of leadership as we enter into a time of rebuilding.
What made him such a great leader?
Nehemiah really cared about people. Just four verses into the book and you’re confronted with his compassion. Nehemiah 1:4 (NLT) , “When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven.”
Nehemiah had an easy job with the king of Persia. He didn’t have to care about the problems in Jerusalem, where he had never been, but he cared anyway. Love is the foundation of Christian leadership.

People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Leadership without love will just become manipulation.

Great leaders instinctively know they need to balance the time they spend with people and the time they spend alone with God. Leaders need a time of contemplation.

The effectiveness of your public leadership is determined by your private life.

Nehemiah was a man of prayer. Nine times in this short book, Nehemiah prayed. He prayed about every decision he made, every crisis he faced and every criticism he endured.
A great leader should possess a positive attitude. Nehemiah was evidently a highly cheerful, positive person. “Early the following spring, in the month of Nisan, during the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes’ reign, I was serving the king his wine. I had never before appeared sad in his presence” (Nehemiah. 2:1).
During all the time Nehemiah had been serving this guy, this was the first time he had gone in to see the king while wearing a frown.
In Jerusalem, Nehemiah stayed focused on the project before him. He didn’t worry about anything else.We see this focus in how he handled opposition in Nehemiah 6:2-3  So Sanballat and Geshem sent a message asking me to meet them at one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But I realized they were plotting to harm me, so I replied by sending this message to them: “I am engaged in a great work, so I can’t come. Why should I stop working to come and meet with you?”
Sanballat and Geshem sent a message to Nehemiah asking for a meeting. Knowing they wanted to harm him, Nehemiah told them he couldn’t see them. He needed to focus on the task at hand.
When you lead, you must keep the main thing the main thing. The more you stay focused in life, the more effective it will be. Nehemiah didn’t let anything distract him from the work God gave him. You shouldn’t either.
Many people believe you are either born with creativity or you are not, but creativity is something that can be developed. It’s like any other skill. Nehemiah showed us several times how he creatively solved problems. One example happened in Chapter 4 when those who opposed rebuilding the wall threatened to come back and attack. Nehemiah divided the people by families and put them each by their own house to build the closest portion of the wall. Then he split the men into two shifts. One shift focused on the work, while the other shift protected the wall. That’s creativity at work. Nehemiah 4:15-17 When our enemies heard that we knew of their plans and that God had frustrated them, we all returned to our work on the wall. But from then on, only half my men worked while the other half stood guard with spears, shields, bows, and coats of mail. The leaders stationed themselves behind the people of Judah who were building the wall. The laborers carried on their work with one hand supporting their load and one hand holding a weapon.
Nehemiah showed courage when he expressed sadness to the king in Chapter 2 (which could have ended up in his execution). He showed it when he encouraged the people as they faced attacks in Nehemiah 4:14 Then as I looked over the situation, I called together the nobles and the rest of the people and said to them, “Don’t be afraid of the enemy! Remember the Lord, who is great and glorious, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes!”
Nehemiah left a well-paying job at the peak of his career to go to a place he had never been and to do a job he had never done. The entire book highlights Nehemiah’s courage. At its core, courage is simply another word for faith. It’s being willing to take a risk.
7.Clear Conscience:
Nehemiah knew how to handle success. He was a man of integrity.One of my favourite passages in the book is Nehemiah 5:14-19, For the entire twelve years that I was governor of Judah from the twentieth year to the thirty-second year of the reign of King Artaxerxes neither I nor my officials drew on our official food allowance. The former governors, in contrast, had laid heavy burdens on the people, demanding a daily ration of food and wine, besides forty pieces of silver. Even their assistants took advantage of the people. But because I feared God, I did not act that way.I also devoted myself to working on the wall and refused to acquire any land. And I required all my servants to spend time working on the wall.  I asked for nothing, even though I regularly fed 150 Jewish officials at my table, besides all the visitors from other lands! The provisions I paid for each day included one ox, six choice sheep or goats, and a large number of poultry. And every ten days we needed a large supply of all kinds of wine. Yet I refused to claim the governor’s food allowance because the people already carried a heavy burden.Remember, O my God, all that I have done for these people, and bless me for it.
Nehemiah described his commitment to not use his power to enrich himself (unlike the previous governors). For 12 years, Nehemiah could do anything he wanted to do. He chose to honor God and lead the people to complete the task the Lord had given them.
When you find success, you will be tempted to abuse your power, prestige and privilege. Nehemiah didn’t do those things. The key is in verse 15c: “Because I feared God, I did not act that way.” He was a leader with a clear conscience.
Throughout the book, Nehemiah faced great opposition, yet he never gave up. He moved forward based on conviction. Eight times people tried to stop him from building the wall. He just kept going.Great leaders have strongly held beliefs. An opinion is something you would argue about but a conviction is something you would die for. Nehemiah was a man of conviction. He believed strongly that God had called him to this job, and nothing could stop him from doing it.
Article by Pastor Rick Warren.
Previous Post


Next Post

The strength of any Nation