Leadership by Example (Nehemiah 3:1)
My dad had this rule growing up that he wouldn’t watch something on TV that we weren’t allowed to watch. It made it safe to watch TV in our house. I could wakeup at 10pm from a nightmare and run into the living-room without fear that there would be a different nightmare unfolding on TV. I took that for granted when I was a child, but realize that when my dad did something to intentionally put himself on my level for the sake of the family, he was leading by example. When I installed software and parental protections on my kids electronic devices I didn’t want them to see it as a punishment, but as a way of being diligent and so I installed the same stuff on all of our electronic devices. I wanted them to know that I wasn’t asking them to do something that I wasn’t also willing to do.
I think it’s great that when it comes to the record of how the wall was going to be rebuilt and strengthened that we find the high priest and the other priests mentioned first! They could have sat back and offered a prayer or thought of this kind of work as beneath them, but they chose instead to roll up their sleeves and not only build the wall, but lead the way in rebuilding the wall. This was leadership by example!
Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brothers the priests, and they built the Sheep Gate. They consecrated it and set its doors. They consecrated it as far as the Tower of the Hundred, as far as the Tower of Hananel. (Nehemiah 3:1 ESV)
Far too often it is too easy to sit back and try and bark orders at folks. I remember one time I had a conversation with a young man about some frustration he had with his youth group. “They just aren’t telling others about Jesus like they are supposed to! It’s like they don’t even care!” He commented. Then I asked him, “Who did you tell about Jesus this week?” and he didn’t have an answer. That’s leadership from the rear and it’s not leadership it’s just whining and complaining about what other people should do. These priests didn’t have time to complain about who should fix the wall on their side of town because they were too busy fixing the wall themselves.
Too often in our churches and ministry organizations we hear people whine and complain rather than invest and lead. Imagine what your little corner of the world would look like if those who profess to be Christians were known for making a difference rather and lack of critical attitude. Take time today to evaluate your actions. Be sure your prayers for God to move don’t become complaints. Make sure you are ready to move as soon as God does.
Lead by example today! Don’t wait!