Here at GLAM we base everything around the four main principals, Godly, Leadership, Advancement and Mentoring. A few blogs ago I touched on being a Godly woman here and today I want to jump to the next principal of Leadership!
Leadership is something that makes the world go ‘round. If there were no leaders in this world it would be a total disaster. Leaders, good leaders, are a necessity to make day to day life function. Unfortunately, a lot of leaders today cannot fall under the “good leader” category. Many leaders today are leaders so they can make a name for themselves or get their way or some other self-centered reason. This is not leadership.
So what is leadership? It’s simple. Leadership is the act of leading. I know, you’re thinking to yourself, “No duh!” OK, it is simple, but yet it is not easy. It is a BIG job that God has planned out for each one of us. You might not think of yourself as a leader, but I believe everyone is. Yes! You ARE a leader!!! You might not be a mighty leader that will lead thousands of people, but you are a leader. Whatever size group you are leading or whatever size mission you are leading them in, I believe there are six qualities every leader should have. Six qualities that not only help us lead, but make us more like Christ. These six qualities can be seen in one of my favorite men from the Bible, Nehemiah.
Nehemiah was your average guy. He was not a big shot among his people, he was not a wealthy man, he was just Nehemiah. He was an average guy that God used to lead a LARGE group of people in a very non-average task. He was a great leader that possessed six qualities that we all should have.
1) He was a FOLLOWer- I know you’re thinking, “Wait, I thought this was about leadership. How can a good quality of a leader be a follower?” Before, and even while, Nehemiah was a great leader, he was a faithful follower. Nehemiah was a great leader because he was a loyal follower. Nehemiah was a follower of the king. As a matter of fact he had one of the most loyal and trusted positions that anyone could hold in the kings court. He was the cup bearer. Nehemiah was the ginne pig, if you will. He was the one who tried the kings wine just to make sure it was not poisoned. If Nehemiah did not fall over dead after drinking it, the king knew it was safe. Not only was this risky job, but also it was a trusted job because the king trusted Nehemiah not to poison the wine after he tested it. Nehemiah was not only a servant and follower of the king, but he was a servant and follower of the King of Kings. He was a committed follower of God who was willing to go wherever He leaded. Nehemiah was a successful in leading because he knew how to follow.
2) He was PASSIONate- Nehemiah was a passionate person. His passion can be seen all throughout the book of Nehemiah. He had a passion for his people, the Jews. As you begin reading the book of Nehemiah you see Him learning that his fellow Jews that escaped captivity are in great distress and that the wall of Jerusalem is being torn down. This crushes Nehemiah. Immediately Nehemiah sat down and began to weep, pray and fast. This went on for days. He cried out to God on behalf of his people because he loved them so much and had an undying passion for them. He took and bore their burdens because of his passion and love for them. His passion was so great that he was willing to risk his life and ask the king not only for the time off to repair the wall, but also the materials. The king saw his passion and allowed him to do so. Nehemiah was successful in leading because of his passion.
3) He was a VISIONary and a PLANner- Nehemiah saw the problem that his people were facing. He saw the problem and he could have not done anything about it. He was safe and protected in the court of the King. However, because of his passion he longed to fix the problem. He saw an issue and he has a vision to fix it. He longed to do whatever it took to restore the wall and his people. He had a God sized vision. How was he able to see this vision come to past? Planning. Nehemiah formed a step by step plan to accomplish his vision. He had a plan and the plan was a good one. I believe that Nehemiah knew it was a good plan. I think he knew that it was more than attainable. However, we see in chapter two of Nehemiah that as he was putting his plan into motion, he did not share it with anyone. I think he did this for two different reasons. First of all, I think he kept the plan silent because he did not want the enemies to interfere and mess it up. Secondly, I think he kept it to himself because he was humble. He did not parade around town and tell the world that he had an incredible plan to fix all their problems. No, he kept quite and worked diligently to make the plan happen. He enlisted the people he need to make the plan happen. He formed a team that he could trust and who could trust him. He did not do it all himself, but he worked with his followers to accomplish his plan. Nehemiah was successful in leading because of his vision and plan.
4) He was FOCUSed- Nehemiah refused to be distracted. He refused to let people get in his way. He knew what God had called him to do and he was not going to let anything stop him. In chapter six of Nehemiah we see him on the wall working. He enemies were not a fan of him doing this and they wanted to stop him. As a matter of fact, they wanted to harm him. They formed a plan to distract him and stop the work. They sent a messenger to him and told him they wanted to meet with him and chat about the work he was doing. They planned to hurt him when he got there. Nehemiah was focused, knew his work was important and knew his enemies were out to get them. He denied their request. He pointed out how important the work was that he was doing and refused to get distracted. Three more times they sent the same message, but Nehemiah stayed focused. The fifth messenger came to Nehemiah with a claim that he and the Jews were trying to raise up and rebel. Nehemiah was frustrated with this claim, but still refused to loose his focus. He prayed and ask God to strengthen his hands and keep him focused. Nehemiah was successful in leading because he refused to be distracted and he chose to focus.
5) He was an EXAMPLE- The whole time Nehemiah was working on the wall he was an example to those around him. He was a huge example and encourager to the Jews. He was able to take them from distress and rubble and give them confidence, bring them together as a team and rebuild a wall. I am sure that those who were following him closely watched everything he did and said. Nehemiah did everything he could to live his life as a Godly example to those around him. Not only was he an example to his followers, but he was an example to his enemies. Chapter six of Nehemiah tells us that when his work was done and the enemies saw the completed wall they lost their confidence in stopping Nehemiah because they realized that the work that was accomplished was an act of God. Their lives were changed forever because of it. Nehemiah allowed God to work through him and shine through him. Nehemiah was successful in leading because he was an example to everyone around him.
6) He was THANKFUL- After everything was said and done Nehemiah gathered everyone together. There was some scripture reading, celebrating and confession of sins from the Jews. After they had confessed their sins he called the people to praise God. He called them to thank God for the worked they had been able to accomplish. Nehemiah did not stand on top of the wall and demand the people to praise him for the great work he did as a leader. He did not ask for a round of applause or a pat on the back. He called the people to thank and praise God. Nehemiah knew he was just the instrument in which God used. He knew God was the one worthy of the thanksgiving and praise. Nehemiah was successful in leading because he was thankful.
You might be thinking that this does not apply to you because you do not have a wall to build or thousands of people following you. However, it does. We are all called to be leaders no matter how big or how small the task is. It might be to start a Bible study with people at your school. It could be to lead a project at work. It might be to lead a team or squad as the captain. It might be to lead your children as they grow. Whatever leadership role you are in, lead like Nehemiah. Know how to follow, be a person full of passion, know your vision and build a plan. Keep your focus no matter the distractions, be and example and always give thanks. Be a leader worthy of following. I dare you.