The Friday morning guys and I studied chapter 7 of Nehemiah last week looking for some leadership principles.
We see a shift in Nehemiah and his leadership in chapter 7. The first six chapters have focused on Nehemiah rebuilding the wall. Now in chapter 7 Nehemiah makes a shift from Building Mode to Maintaining Mode. He seems to realize it's now time to find out how to keep things to stay as they are. Up to this point he was always so consumed with getting the wall built, now he seems to be focused on keeping the wall built and teaching the people to live Godly lives.
Here's three points I believe are important:
There are people who initiate – In anything there are always two types of people: people who initiate and people who follow through. In Nehemiah's case, he was the initiator. He received the vision from God to rebuild the wall and re-establish Jerusalem as a holy city the Jews would be proud of.
There are people who follow through – After you've got the initiator who has initiated and gotten things rolling, now you need the follow through person. This was Nehemiah's men Hanani and Hananiah (v 7:2). These were the men who "feared God more than most" and who Nehemiah asked to govern and manage the city now that the wall was completed.
Leaders give responsibility, not work – In verse 7:2 Nehemiah states, "I gave responsibility." (NLT) He didn't give a "job" or "role" or "work," Nehemiah gave Hananiah and Hanani a responsibility to govern and lead the city. This reminds me of how leaders we delegate work to people to be completed, but the responsibility still rests with the leader (at least most of the time). Successful leaders don't just give tasks to others, they also give responsibility.