Nehemiah: Studies on Leadership | Week 10

inTerpret: The Hand-Off

Once his successors were chosen, Nehemiah’s astute leadership caused him to look at other areas that needed to be developed. Some lessons that arise from these actions are: 1) Nehemiah knew when to step down and delegate responsibilities and duties to others; 2) true leadership transcends a position, but looks for any area that needs to be cultivated.

One area of concern was security. Nehemiah 7:1 records that he set up porters and Levites over the walls and doors. Possibly still wary of Sanballat and his friends, the threat of invasion, spies, and other breeches of security were a present reality. His vigilance and watchfulness is something to be emulated.

In verse 3, Nehemiah continued to create a system of subordinates and subsystem of security, in that the Levites were to open the gates at daytime (for surprise attacks could have occurred at dawn or dusk), while the inhabitants of Jerusalem were responsible for the walls at other times.

In verse 5, Nehemiah was impressed by God to take “inventory” of the people. Nehemiah’s scrupulous attention to detail shows the ideal meticulousness Christian leaders must exercise in their finances, social relationships, and responsibilities. The list from verses 6–73 contains names, families, hometowns, positions, goods, supplies, livestock, and finances. Good leadership includes organization skills, paying attention to fine detail, and accurate recordkeeping. The best leadership knows that the important factor is the people behind these facts.