This is the first chapter in which it seems Nehemiah goes from the leader to the follower. Why? What has changed that now makes him a passive part of the story, and not the primary or leader of the charge. The 2 times he is present in this chapter you see him parroting the words and/or sentiments of other characters, namely Ezra. What's going on? That has been my question this week.
Yesterday the reality of this portion of the Nehemiah became very clear. Nehemiah is leading through supporting and relying on others. He is showing his willingness to recognize his strengths and weaknesses! You see, Nehemiah was a great leader; that is when it came to systems, procedures, tasks and people. He, in fact, may still be the best to have ever lived in my opinion! But, he knew he was not as strong a leader when it came to the spiritual side. He did not have the thorough and extensive knowledge of the scripture that Ezra did. When the time came to teach and disciple the people, He knew there was a better equipped leader. For that reason, he stepped aside to let Ezra lead.
So, we see Nehemiah leading in his strengths and in his weakness. He relies on others to lead in areas where he is not as strong. A true and effective leader knows well his strengths and weaknesses. Knowing those very things makes one a better and more efficient leader. When we lead in our weakness, we lose effectiveness and even credibility. But, when we lead in our strengths and rely on others in our weakness, we truly lead.
The same idea is shown in 1 Timothy 3. The relationship here is between Elders and Deacons. Elders are the spiritual leaders/teacher, and Deacons are the support team. In other words, Elders are the spiritual leadership team and Deacons are the executive leadership team. Both rely on the other to compliment strengths and weaknesses. Again scripture shows it is synchronous! It is our responsibility to be the mirror of scripture and do as God has directed.
I am amazed at Nehemiah and his greatness. What an amazing leader and Godly man.
How do you lead? Do you lead from strengths, weaknesses or both? Can you imagine leading from your strengths alone and relying on others to lead in your weakness? Give it a try. It is liberating and invigorating. Is your life, your leadership or your organization set up to support this idea? Why? Why not?
What are your thoughts?