Leading Like Nehemiah

By Dave Benner

In our Wednesday night leadership class, Steve used Nehemiah as a good example of leadership. Let’s consider his actions when leading the effort to rebuild Jerusalem’s wall. This is found in Nehemiah 1-6.

He secured resources from Artaxerxes, king of Persia. Nehemiah was thus able to make safe passage to Jerusalem and get wood for the gates to the city.

He surveyed the needed work with some trusted advisors. He motivated the Jewish leaders to tackle the job. They agreed to “rise up and rebuild”

(Nehemiah 2:18). He refused to be intimidated by their enemies who sought to kill him. He developed and implemented a plan of shifting workers and guards to carry out the


As a result of Nehemiah’s leadership, the people completed Jerusalem’s wall in 52 days (Nehemiah 6:15)!

The pattern of Nehemiah’s actions can be seen in great leaders everywhere in pursuing a job or other enterprise. However, what stands out in Nehemiah’s actions is that he prayed every step of the way. He prayed when he heard that the wall protecting Jerusalem was not rebuilt even though the first wave of returnees had been there for 94 years. Nehemiah prayed for guidance when the king asked what he should do. He prayed several times for safety from the enemies who wanted to block the rebuilding of the wall. Finally, he gave God the glory!

Nehemiah’s example of leadership is directly transferrable to any Christian leader like elders and deacons. However, I think families and individuals can use these steps to promote spiritual growth in 2023. We can assess our needs and make a plan for spiritual growth. We can look for outside resources to help us. We can make plans to spread God’s word to our neighbors and friends. We must not be deterred by Satan and his influences and distractions. And most certainly we can pray every step of the way for ourselves, our families, our congregation and the Lord’s church throughout the world.

Let’s have a “mind to work” this year (Nehemiah 4:6).