Example of a Good Leader
Nehemiah had a burden on his heart to rebuild the walls and gates of Jerusalem. At this point in time I think he was not thinking of cost or people to carry out the work he only wanted God to move by bringing all the players into their right position.
Nehemiah 1:3 And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire.4 And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven, 5 And said, I beseech thee, O LORD God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments: (KJVA)
Nehemiah demonstrated towards the King an attitude of submission and the King responded by giving Nehemiah the leadership for this project.
Nehemiah 2:2 And the king said to me, Why is your face sad, since you are not sick? This is nothing but sorrow of heart. Then I was very much afraid. 3 And I said to the king, Let the king live forever. Why should not my face be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ tombs, lies waste, and its gates are burned with fire? 4 And the king said to me, For what do you ask? So I prayed to the God of Heaven, 5 and I said to the king, If it please the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, I pray that you would send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ tombs, so that I may build it. 6 And the king said to me (the queen also sitting by him), For how long shall your journey be? And when will you return? So it pleased the king to send me, and I set him a time. (MKJV)
Nehemiah travelled to Jerusalem and stayed there for three nights before he made a move. He rose at night keeping his thoughts to himself until the time was right to tell the others. Then he found the right people and took them around the city.
Nehemiah 2:11 And I came to Jerusalem and was there three days. 12 And I arose in the night, I and some few men with me. And I did not tell to a man what my God had put in my heart to do at Jerusalem. And there was no animal with me, except the animal that I rode upon. (MKJV)
A good leader knows the right time to release the vision. The method Nehemiah used was a question. “Do you see this?” The chosen servant of God will see the need and recognize that something needs to be done, even though not knowing precisely everything that needs to be done at the time.
Nehemiah 2:17 And I said to them, You see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem is wasted, and the gates of it are burned with fire. Come and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, so that we may no more be a reproach. 18 And I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me, and also the king’s words that he had spoken to me. And they said, Let us rise up to build. So they made their hands strong for good. (MKJV)
A leader knows that he or she cannot do all the work alone, and the importance of co-operation (Teamwork) that is revealed by such statements as:
We can do this,
You are more than capable,
I need your support,
God’s hand is on your life,
I believe in you,
I have always believed in you,
I need your help,
Would you help me,
Let’s work together,
Can you take responsibility for that?
I know God is with you,
It’s a good idea, let’s work on it.
Example of Team Synergy
As a chain is only as strong as its weakest link, so a team is only as strong as the weakest player. We need to identify areas of weakness in the team or player, and lift him or her up to a new level of confidence. For a church team synergy is to have a vision from God, giving them a purpose, and all seeing that vision, with all work in the same direction or contributing to the vision with an attitude of unity. Not necessary all believing in the same thing but agreeing to work together for the same purpose. Unity is not the absence of differences but the ability to still work together for the common goal by agreement. This is where God commends a blessing (Psalm 133).
By way of illustration, many years ago I graduated from teachers college, but I did not have a fulltime position at a school. Therefore I was sent to a school to help in teaching duties. The headmaster asked me if I would help with the sporting teams and I agreed. Our school had never won any of the sporting competitions before, and had finished last every time. I organized the teams making sure we had people for every event, but it was hard to get someone to run in the girls’ 1,500 meters.
We had two sisters in our school. One was tall and athletic, but the other short and a little over-weight.
We came to the 1,500 event. We needed someone, so I asked the students who would like to run in the event at least get one point for having a competitor in the event. The shorter girl said, “I will”, but she did not have running shoes and she only had her uniform on.
I said to her, “Don’t try and run; just walk the distance,” which she did and she received that ONE point. We won the sports by that one point. Stepping forward was, for this girl a most defining moment, although we did not know it at the time. Afterwards I told her, “You did it, you won for us!” We won all the sporting events for the next five years, but there was never again such a defining moment as this. She turned us around, because she said, “I will try”.
Everyone can play a part in a team synergy as long as they try. Weakness is not a personality type, but a behaviour pattern – an undisciplined attitude towards leadership, which can be overcome by a willingness to try.
In Joshua’s case in the Old Testament we see that when everything was done in cooperation with others (Teamwork synergy) God sent a blessing (Joshua 6:20). But we also see in the book of Joshua that when an individual (Achan) moved in a negative independent way, his actions had a collective consequence. Achan sinned before the battle at Ai by keeping what he had been told not to take.
Joshua 7:12 And the sons of Israel could not stand before their enemies. They will turn their backs before their enemies, because they have become cursed. I will not be with you again, unless you destroy the one who is cursed from among you.13 Up! Sanctify the people and say, Sanctify yourselves for tomorrow. For thus says Jehovah, the God of Israel, A cursed thing is in the midst of you, O Israel. You cannot stand before your enemies until you take away the cursed thing from among you. (MKJV)
Teamwork synergy is not the absence of individual creativity
Teamwork synergy (Unity) is not the absence of individual creativity, but the incorporation of it. The leader needs to identify creativity but not be threatened by it. Creative people need to identify this gifting in themselves and then to submit their ideas to the leadership in order for them to be incorporated into the plan. It is easier to develop teamwork when wrong attitudes are corrected.
Nehemiah did not have the means to build the walls and gates, but he had a powerful God. The people had caught the vision and decided to work in synergy shoulder to shoulder.
Nehemiah 3:1 Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brothers the priests, and they built the Sheep Gate. They sanctified it and set up its doors, even to the Tower of Meah they sanctified it, to the Tower of Hananeel. (MKJV)
When we read Nehemiah chapter 3, we find that each group worked conscientiously in their designated or selected area of the wall to complete the task in quick time. I have listed statements that showed the synergy of purpose that we can find in Nehemiah account of the building of the wall.
And next to him the men of Jericho, next indicating side-by-side (Nehemiah 3:2)
And next to them Zaccur (Nehemiah 3:2)
But the sons of Hassenaah built the Fish Gate, (Nehemiah 3:3)
Next to them, which refers to the families working side by side (Nehemiah 3:4 to11 )
And next to him and his daughters repaired, referring to all members of the families (Nehemiah 3:12)
After him, referring to all who lived there (Nehemiah 3:18)
And the temple-slaves who lived in Ophel repaired, everyone (Nehemiah 3:26)
The priests repaired, referring to that no one is exempt of the task at hand (Nehemiah 3:22)
The keeper of the East Gate, repaired, all contributed (Nehemiah 3:29)
The goldsmiths and the merchants repaired, referring to that no one is exempt. (Nehemiah 3:31)
With the building of the wall each family or people group was like the muscles I spoke about earlier when I said it is muscles being plural as it is a group, because in a synergy there is an overlap of function. When we have an overlap of function in the church our synergy requires more dedication in the area of cohesion and cooperation, so that any of antagonism or miscommunications can be minimized. We need to be part of a team synergy and come with an expectant heart of cooperation.