Much is made of Leadership in the Church nowadays, what it is and how it is accomplished. It seems there is always a new book on the bestseller list, designed to help you become the best leader you can be with just 12 easy steps complemented by 24 easy diagrams and 48 forms. Obviously, I am exaggerating here, but unfortunately, only a little. Far more time is spent following the latest trends or the latest trendsetters than is spent seeking God’s will and ways in His Word. So with that in mind, I would like to offer these 4 quick thoughts on Leadership… and no there are no diagrams of forms.
First, we see from Nehemiah 1:1-4 that Leadership always begins with a burden. God gets our attention and gives us a burden for the need which He desires for us to address. With this initial burden, God invites us to get involved with His work. We respond to that invitation by praying into the burden He has given. The act of praying into the burden which God has given puts us into a place of openness to God’s providential leading.
Second, we see from Nehemiah 2:1-5 that Leadership seizes upon the opportunity to deal with the burden God has given. Just as Nehemiah was the king’s cupbearer, placing him in the most opportune spot to gain the king’s favor, so also God will providentially orchestrate the opportunity for anyone whom He has called upon to step out in faith. However, the opportunity to join God always comes with a cost.
Third, we see from Nehemiah 2:11-12 that Leadership takes responsibility. In Nehemiah, we find that he thought through the work to which God had called him. He researched and planned out how he would go about dealing with the burden God had given him. Far too often Christians act as though having a great Vision precludes the need to think about organization or goals; as though there was some inherent sacredness in sloppy work.
Fourth, we see from Nehemiah 4:19-23 & 6:1-11 that Leadership faces opposition. Any time that God is at work in His people’s lives there will be opposition from the Enemy. Satan desires to destroy that which God loves, and he will use any means he can to do it. Nehemiah and his men were dedicated to the task of rebuilding the walls even in the face of opposition from those around them and it was because of that commitment that the walls were able to be rebuilt in a mere 52 days. We must likewise be steadfast in the face of opposition from the Enemy because greater is He who is in us than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4).
My point is this: If the Church in America is going to survive we will need more than Leaders who are clever or coy. We will need leaders who are after the heart of God, who look to Him for direction, who are absolutely convinced of their call and who are willing to walk by faith in the One who has called them.