Archives For Bible leadership

Today’s post is the final of 4 blog posts from the book of Philemon about how a leader extends his or her influence for the benefit of his or her follower.

A Leader Extends His Influence for the Benefit of His Follower

Photo Credit: chimothy27

Similar to Paul, I can utilize my influence among others based on what I have done for the community as a whole (serving the needs of families, similar to Paul serving the church). Continue Reading…

Today I'm finishing up a blog from yesterday titled, I'm Doing a Great Work, so I Can't Come based on Nehemiah 6:3.

Nehemiah was the cup bearer and servant to King Artaxerxes of Persia. While the cup bearer to King Artaxerxes, Nehemiah receives a report from his brother about the Jews who have returned to the city of Jerusalem after being exiled to the land of Bablyon.

The report Nehemiah hears is not good.  Nehemiah hears that the walls of the city had been torn down, that the gates of the city had been burned down, and the people there were troubled and disgraced.  Not a good thing for Jews at that time.  This was devastating because it meant that God was not alive.  The culture at that time believed that God needed a place to dwell, and if there was not place for God to dwell, then there was no God present. 

Nehemiah responds to this news by praying to God that the king would be kind to Nehemiah and somehow and someway, to rebuild the wall in Jerusalem.  Nehemiah gets a lucky break and his boss (King Artaxerxes) gives him permission and resources to go to Jerusalem and rebuild the wall. Nehemiah gets to Jerusalem, they begin rebuilding the wall, and everything is going great. They are making progress, the people are excited about the work being done, and the wall is starting to come together.

But, as the wall was half-way finished, Nehemiah and the Jews encounter some strong opposition from three powerful political leaders named Sanballat, Tobiah, and Geshem.  These men had tremendous power and influence over the city of Jerusalem at that time, and they did not like Nehemiah rebuilding the wall.  Those three leaders start to threat Nehemiah and the people rebuilding the walls saying they are going to kill them, start a war, and destroy the work that they had done so far.

However, Nehemiah and his people press on. They complete the walls, the only thing remaining to be done is finish setting up the doors and the gates to the city. Then, those same people who were trying to kill and prevent the wall from being build heard that the walls of the city has been rebuilt and finished.  So two of the three enemies, Sanballat and Geshem sent a message to Nehemiah saying the they wanted to meet with him. And that's the context for the verse below where Nehemiah says:

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?
Nehemiah 6:3 (New Living Translation)

There are several principles and lessons about leadership and time management that we can take from this verse from Nehemiah.  Do any come to mind?  Here are a few of mine:

  • We need to stand up against opposition. Even if the opposer is more powerful and influential than we are.
  • We cannot crumble under the pressure of other men who are more powerful and influential than we are. If there is something we are working to do, we cannot back down to anyone.
  • We need to stay focused on doing God's work, not on keeping evil people away. No matter what you do, there will be people who disagree.  We can't stop the good work we are doing for God to try and make the unhappy people happy.
  • There are times when we need to just say "no." Sometimes, you just need to say "no" to the request of people who are attempting to use your time.
  • If God has put a vision and calling on your heart, do not yield to anything else.  Nehemiah had prayed, wept, and worked so hard to rebuild the walls around the city of Jerusalem, and he never yielded to that vision even though he faced extreme pressure and threats from other powerful political leaders at the time.

Question: What other insights do you have on this verse, Nehemiah 6:3?

In chapter 8 of Nehemiah we continue to see the progress of Nehemiah’s focus from Building Mode to Maintaining Mode. Here are a few key thoughts the guys and I learned this past Friday:

Nehemiah directs the recognition towards God (8:9-10) – The people had seen how God had been rebuilt the wall, they began to feel guilty and weep.  Nehemiah reminded them that it was a glorious and awesome thing that God had done for them, and they should celebrate it.  He mentions the words “Lord” or “God” four times in verses 9 and 10 (NLT) showing the people that God was surely in charge of this great work which had been accomplished.  Continue Reading…

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.

Last Friday the guys and I studied chapter 6 of Nehemiah looking to learn some leadership principles.  Here’s the links to what we learned in chapter 4 and chapter 5.

Protect Your Time – In verse 6:3 (NLT) Nehemiah says, “I am engaged in a great work, so I can’t come.  Why should I stop working to come and meet with you?”  Man, I love that statement.  The evil political leaders of the land are trying to meet with Nehemiah because they claim to want to work out their differences.  But Nehemiah refuses, he was a busy man and didn’t want to stop what he was doing.  The work he was doing was the most important thing, and meeting with political leaders who had their own personal agenda didn’t match up with his vision. Continue Reading…

Friday's leadership focused bible study was a little different than normal.  We took a break from studying the book of Nehemiah (you can read my notes from Nehemiah chapter 4 and chapter 5) to have one of our guys tell us about some Lead Like Jesus
content that he learned.  Much of the Lead Like Jesus content has been developed by well known management expert, Ken Blanchard and Phil Hodges.

Here are a few take away's from the teaching given by my friend Rick and some discussion topics we spent time on:

  • Most leadership today is driven by ego – Very true.  Leadership these days is driven by leaders who want the benefits of being the leader.  They want to reap the rewards of being a leader for their own benefit, instead of seeking to be a leader to reward others.  The goal of a leader should be to make the lives of other people better.
  • Jesus led out of a relationship of love but with a really clear purpose – It was clear that Jesus really loved the people around him.  The 12 disciples, his family, lepers, tax collectors and anyone else.  He loved them all, and that love was the basis for his leadership with people.  It's what drew people to him and allowed them to follow him.
  • Jesus sought to honor God and advance the kingdom – While here Jesus did everything he could to honor God in everything he did (which he succeeded in by living a perfect life).  He advanced the kingdom by preaching and laying the ground work for Christianity to be created and led after his death.

Note – Special thanks to Rick Fritzemeier for sharing his thoughts for this post.

Last week some guys and I studied leadership from chapter 5 of Nehemiah (a book in the Old Testament of the Bible).

Here’s some of our thoughts and leadership principles we learned from the chapter:

  • Great leaders ask for sacrifices from their people – This became obvious when the people cried out to Nehemiah because they had mortgaged their land and sold their daughters into slavery. Nehemiah was making a great sacrifice by feeding over 150 men a night at his dinner table, and was also asking the people to make great sacrifices too. Great leaders ask for great sacrifices, but only after they’ve first sacrificed themselves. Continue Reading…

Here’s a few thoughts I learned from my weekly bible study focused on learning leadership from the Bible. Last Friday we studied chapter 4 of Nehemiah. The book of Nehemiah is the story of how a cup bearing servant to a King led men, women and children to rebuild a massive wall in the Holy Land of Jerusalem.

Here’s what I learned:

We can do everything we can, but ultimately God is the one doing it – We might give our best effort as leaders, but we need God’s help too! Continue Reading…