Summary: Nehemiah was a great leader. Everyone else saw obstacles and he saw opportunities. Where many saw problems he saw potential. Link inc. to formatted text, audio/video, PowerPoint.
More Principles of Leadership
God uses human leadership. He gets the glory, but His way to accomplish His work is thru leadership. Would Israel have ever crossed the Red Sea if not for Moses? Would they have taken the promised land without Joshua? Would Jerusalem ever have become what it still is to this day if not for the warrior King David? Would the gospel have ever penetrated to Asia Minor and on into Europe if not for the Apostle Paul? No way!
I love Nehemiah because he is a great leader. Everyone else saw obstacles and he saw opportunities. Where many saw problems he saw potential. Even today engineers marvel at what was accomplished in Jerusalem in just 52 days w/ all volunteer labor and no modern equipment.
This morning we saw the first 4 principles of leadership:
The value of solitude, preparation, seeing the big picture, and choosing their words.
5. Leaders know how to share their vision.
When the time is right, they know how to get people on board.
v. 17a He pointed out what was right before their eyes. They saw it but they didn't see it. They had grown so accustomed to it that they needed their vision restored for how things were supposed to be. Worse, they had accepted that things couldn't be different.
Around here we've gotten so used to parts of our parking lot being rough as a cob that we don't see it anymore. Much like some of you at ADM don't smell it anymore. Lord, help me never to get used to that smell! May it always offend me!
v. 17b "let US" - "that WE"
No matter how great a man Nehemiah was he knew he couldn't do this job himself. There is strength in numbers and he would need a lot of help.
9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.
When God's people work together we can accomplish so much.
ill.--Geese fly in a V formation. And one side is always longer than the other. Know why? There's more geese on that side! Seriously, it's because the lead goose is splitting the air, cutting the wind, making it easier for the others, and when he gets tired he falls back and another takes the lead. People smarter than me have determined that geese can fly 72% further that way than any one of them could have by themselves.
God programmed that into nature, and He wants us to operate that way too.
30 How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had sold them, and the LORD had shut them up?
As I look across our crowd my heart leaps at the thought of what we will accomplish once we all decide to get on board and do it together. Not half of us, or the 20% who do it all. I mean all of us. We are sitting on a spiritual powder keg and I'm just waiting for God to light all the fuses!
The people said, "Let us rise up and build!"
Henry Ford, "Coming together is a beginning, keeping together is progress, thinking together is unity, and working together is success."
Leaders know how to share their vision. Know how to determine if you are a leader? Turn around and see if anyone's following! If not, you're not leading, you're just taking a walk.
6. Leaders know how to strengthen their followers.
Leaders are encouragers by nature. They focus on why it CAN be done. They help people believe in themselves and in what God wants to do thru them.
v. 18a Nehemiah understood that the people were discouraged at an all time low. He knew they had failed at this project before. He gave them a powerful, positive message.
In v. 18 he says, God is in this! And once God's people are convinced that God is in something, they always rise to the occasion and meet the challenge He has put before them. When something fails around here and I know it was God's will, I blame myself. I believe I must not have effectively communicated and sold you on the fact that God is in something or else you would have got on board and made it happen.
Decades ago when this church would step out on faith and get behind something God used them to do mighty things that still stand as a monument today. But God doesn't need a monument. He has left us here at this crossroads, at such a time as this, so we can tackle higher ground and move mountains we've never dreamed...are you with me?
Do you believe God is in it?