There is so much to learn from the way Nehemiah approaches his job.
First, he addressed the powers who might potentially oppose his work. They weren’t all that happy but he did his part to make it known he had permission to be there.
Next, he took a tour of the job site – alone. He wanted to evaluate the work ahead for himself without politics or fanfare. Plans on the drawing board aren’t much good until you see the actual space to be renovated. 🙂
After he felt confident in his planning he addressed the people. These were people who had been in Jerusalem a while, living in the broken down ruins. I’m sure they were not all that interested in some new guy showing up and giving them a new project. This is why Nehemiah’s words to them were so brilliant.
First, he points out the trouble “we are in”. He owns the problem with them.
Next, he reminds them that the destroyed wall is a sign of derision and mockery upon them as a people. He appeals to their desire for dignity.
Then, brilliantly, he reveals how God is leading the way, even in granting them favor from the king! This is not something they need to make happen under their own steam. They simply need to partner with God.
The people respond in excitement and willingness which is another sign that God is in the whole thing.
Of course, 5 minutes of victory is followed by discouragement blasting from STG Undermining Inc. This could be crushing to a brand new venture except that Nehemiah, as their leader was well prepared and confident. He boldly shields his people with words of confidence and God given authority.
“The God of heaven will make us prosper, and we his servants will arise and build, but you have no portion or right or claim in Jerusalem.”
Nehemiah’s leadership qualities: Prayer, preparation, planning, partnership, diplomacy, confidence, God given authority.