Leadership Learnings from Nehemiah ch. 8

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.

As leaders have success in what they do, it’s easy to get pulled into thinking “I did it” or “I’m great” or “Look at me for what I’ve done.”  Nehemiah points directly to God as the source of their success in rebuilding the wall.

Leaders always have something they can learn; if they look for it (8:14).

The family leaders, priests and Ezra (who did most of the Biblical teaching at that time) met to discuss the laws.  These leaders gathered together and made a new discovery.  They were supposed to be the most intelligent of all men at that time.  What impressed me is that:

  1. They sat down to study the Book of the Law
  2. They learned something new

Being that they were supposed to be the most intelligent men at that time, they still found something new to learn.  I think this is true with leaders.  The more we learn about leadership, the more we realize we still have to learn.

People aren’t grateful for until the job is finished.

It took Nehemiah and the people 52 days to rebuild the wall (6:15), and many times the people working on the wall complained.  However, the people didn’t feel grateful for the amazing thing that had been done by rebuilding the wall until it was finished.  It wasn’t until the wall was completely finished, did the people realize how great God is and how ungrateful they had been up until that point.

Sometimes the people who follow leaders don’t always understand and see the big picture of what is going on.  Sometimes they can only see what is in front of them.  They don’t see the big picture until everything is completed.  Then their eyes are opened and they can now see the great things that have been accomplished.

By Christopher L. Scott

Christopher L. Scott serves as senior pastor at Lakeview Missionary Church in Moses Lake, Washington. Through his writing ministry more than 250,000 copies of his articles, devotions, and tracts are distributed each month through Christian publishers. Learn more at