Learning Leadership From Nehemiah

There has been a Bible study for senior leaders at our Air Force base for several years. I took over leadership after the chaplain was deployed. This year, we widened the invitation to any officer who was in a senior leadership position; we also encouraged some civil servants to attend.

We have been studying the book of Nehemiah and concluded that Nehemiah was a project manager, as were many of these Air Force leaders. We noticed how he planned, prayed, encouraged his workforce, resisted opposition … and he finished the task at hand, quickly. Nehemiah also began to accomplish reforms in the treatment of men and women who had been marginalized. Finally he called the returnees to Jerusalem to live righteously.

Discussion has been intense; each one has challenged others with personal insights and applications. Everything about Nehemiah is applicable to these Air Force leaders. Each has applied solutions that they observed in Nehemiah’s patterns of leadership.

This is not a study for wimps! It begins at 6:30 a.m. on Monday mornings. This is a huge commitment on the part of already busy senior leaders, and they have consistently met the challenge. These leaders want to attend because they love the encouragement of like-hearted, similarly employed Christ followers.

After intense study and discussion, we share our prayer requests. This is done in complete confidentiality. We have seen many answered prayers as we have communicated our deepest needs with one another. When study and prayer are concluded, we end promptly at 7:30 a.m. and the leaders rush to their places of work … challenged by God’s perspectives and insights on life, and eager to put to use principles they are learning.

The duration of this study, the continuous influx of new Christian senior leaders, and the intensity and transparency of all are clearly empowered by God’s Spirit. There is a genuine outpouring of His grace on these men and women who are in strategic decision-making positions of great influence. They need and enjoy a forum that focuses on issues and answers tailored to their unique challenges.

Several of the participants are also great recruiters. They continually seek to include people they know would profit from this forum. Several are now leading another study. They are repeating the principles they have learned and are establishing similar environments for the growth that they have experienced. These are men and women with the fingerprints of God on their lives and they are making an incredible impact on the world around them.

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