“A visionary youth leader-The Nehemiah Model” by Pastor Peter Olanrewaju


Pastor Peter Olanrewaju

TEXT: HAB. 2:2-3, PROV. 29:18


What Is Christian Leadership?

Leadership is the act of serving others and influencing to accomplish God’s purposes for and through them. Christian leadership is not rooted in worldly notions of success, such as the love of money or power. Jesus Himself spoke against this when expressing the importance of serving others.

A Christian Leader is light.Jesus is the perfect example of a transformation leader (John 9:5, 12:46, John 8:12).


Types of leaders in the church

1) Visionary leaders

They are more goal-oriented.They help us see the potential God has for us.They help us "press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold" of us and not get stuck where we are or to think that we "have already obtained all this" (Phil. 3:12).

2) Administrative leaders

They are more task-oriented.They help us "do it all for the glory of God" (1 Cor. 10:31).They help us by designing procedures and coordinating programs that enable us to do those good works.

 3) Shepherding leaders

They are more people-oriented.They help us by feeding us, protecting us, comforting us, encouraging us, warning us, and guiding us.They help us by their example to remember that we must do all we do willingly in and because of love. (1 Pet. 5:2-3; Jn. 21:15-17)


Nehemiah’s Leadership Model

Nehemiah provides modern day leaders a wonderful model of leadership. Upon learning of the distress of his people, Nehemiah receives permission from the king he was serving to go help them. Despite obstacles and opposition, he discerns a challenging vision and leads the people in accomplishing it.While Nehemiah was the leader who first articulated the vision, the people confirmed the vision and committed themselves to the task.Divisions and hard feelings, combined with outside opposition, made faithfulness very difficult. Yet, Nehemiah and the people persevered faithfully, though not perfectly.

Below are some lessons we might learn from Nehemiah’s leadership example.

1.   Compassionate heart

God stirred the heart of Nehemiah to the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem by circumstance. It was not through a dramatic encounter. Nehemiah has compassionate heart that cares for the people of God (Neh. 1:2-6).

2. Understand and identify with the condition and situation of the people (2:11, 17, 20).

Nehemiah listened to the voice of the people. He showed care for their situation. Nehemiah identified with the people. He thought in terms of “we” and “us” (2:17, 20). He came to understand and identify with “the trouble we are in” (2:17). The youth leader must understand the followings of the youths needs; spiritual, moral, physical, educational, social, emotional, biological, psychological, environmental, and technological.

3. Define and present the reality of the situation to the people Neh. 2:17

He was not describing his personal agenda but assessing the common situation faced by all the people.


4. Direction and vision are sought by the leader and people (Neh. 2:12).

Nehemiah was always asking God to provide a vision for him. He understood that a true vision must come from God. It must be a God-inspired and God-revealed vision. Only such a vision is worthy of leadership. The vision must be “what God has put into my heart” (2:12).

5.Prayer is essential to know God’s will

Prayer is the fundamental act for people of God. Nehemiah prayed continually through the process of the rebuilding Neh. 1: 4-6, 11, 2:4, 4:9, 5:10.God’s leaders and God’s people must depend on God for vision and provision in the place of prayer Ps 103:7.

6. God’s vision is simple (Neh. 2:18)

God’s vision tends to be very simple. People build complicated systems, but God’s will is often extremely simple. For Nehemiah and his people the vision was captured in three words: “rebuild the wall.” There were many needs, hopes, and dreams of the people, but God’s vision for the immediate future was captured in rebuilding the wall. Without this vision, the other needs could not be met.When the vision is clear, the results will appear.

7. Builds a team (Neh. 2:18b)

Nehemiah gained the trust of the people. This permitted him to build a team that could make the vision happen. People shared responsibility to accomplish the goal. No one person, not even Nehemiah, could accomplish this vision alone. Nehemiah began with a few, then he expanded the team to include virtually everyone. The people committed themselves to the “common good” (2:18b). The talents of the people were named and used (chapter 3). Different people worked on different sections of the wall. People were assigned to work closest to their homes.

8. Keep the real purpose before the people.

It is easy for people to forget the purpose behind the vision even as they work to fulfill it. The vision was to rebuild the wall, but the wall was not the important part of the vision. The wall was a means to a larger purpose. What Nehemiah and his people were really about was reclaiming their identity as people of faith. What was at stake was not just a wall but indeed their very faith (Chapter 8; 12:27). Nehemiah had to make sure the people were reminded of their ancient faith. Because their task was tied to a larger purpose, they put their hearts into their work and were able to complete the task in 52 days (6:15-16). What an amazing feat this was.

9. Not discouraged by adversity (Neh. 2:20, 4:10)

As they rebuilt the wall, they were ridiculed and mocked. Their enemies did everything possible to discourage them. They threatened to tell untrue stories about Nehemiah. Nehemiah listened but persisted. Nehemiah knew he was “doing a great work” (6:3) and could not come down from the wall to debate with the enemies. A leader must overcome the internal and external oppositions Neh. 4:10.

10. Equip the team members (Neh. 4:18-22)

The rebuilding requires multi-dimensional equipping of team members against all oppositions. This enhanced division of labour and defense of the people.

11.Build the people and restore their relationship with God

The rebuilding of the wall is a means to an end. The wall of Jerusalem was a heritage of the people of God. It was their fence, defense and identity. Rebuilding the wall will restore their relationship with God (Neh.8:1-9). Every leader as the responsibility to make sure the people are equipped for service and make ready for rapture (Eph. 4:11-14).


Conclusion: God wants to rebuild is people through the instrumentality a visionary leader. A close walk with the Lord Jesus produce a life of light (John 8:12).Develop your godly character and leadership abilities through these you become a transformational leader.


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