A Complete Leader – August 30, 2022 (255-257)

The 5 C’s in Christlike Leadership

Jesus in Nehemiah, Part 2

Facilitated by Pastor Joedy

Leaders are a blessing. They are gifts from Jesus to the Church, to His body. To succeed in leadership we need to yield to the Life of Christ in us, as elaborated on in Galatians 2:20. We draw inspiration from Christ, who came to rebuild broken lives, and to build His church (Matthew 16:16-18), demonstrating how He is the only sure foundation, the only One who we need to build on.

There is, indeed, no other foundation. 1 Corinthians 3:11-19 goes as follows:

For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.

Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,”1 Corinthians 3:11-19

We build on Christ alone, and we let the sheep focus their lives on Him. We look forward to generations that are focused on the Lord Jesus Christ, and truly thankful of His finished work.

Last week we talked about the first ‘C’, which was Concern. Concern leads us to prayer, in prayer we see the favor of the Lord, and where the favor falls, there we take action.

The Second ‘C’ is Communication. Christ is God’s spokesperson, just as Nehemiah spoke for his people, representing them before the King. Communication involves the imparting or exchanging of information, between speaker and receiver. It’s also defined as the successful conveying or sharing of ideas and feelings. Leaders ought to be good and clear communicators: They ought to prioritize presenting accurate information, establishing connections, giving impartation and inspiration – all elements of effective communication.

Again, we know that Christ is the most excellent communicator, but let’s look at how Nehemiah pulled it off. Nehemiah assessed the situation of the Walls and the Gates of Jerusalem. We read from Nehemiah 2:11-16:

So I went to Jerusalem and was there three days. Then I arose in the night, I and a few men with me. And I told no one what my God had put into my heart to do for Jerusalem. There was no animal with me but the one on which I rode. I went out by night by the Valley Gate to the Dragon Spring and to the Dung Gate, and I inspected the walls of Jerusalem that were broken down and its gates that had been destroyed by fire. Then I went on to the Fountain Gate and to the King’s Pool, but there was no room for the animal that was under me to pass. Then I went up in the night by the valley and inspected the wall, and I turned back and entered by the Valley Gate, and so returned. And the officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing, and I had not yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials, and the rest who were to do the work.

The man assessed the situation, and he clarified his vision before he did any talking. Only his donkey had an idea of what he had in mind. From this we could say and share: Assess before you Profess.

In assessing before you do your professing, remember to use 2, before you use 1. What do we mean by this? We need to assess by our two ears, and our two eyes, and that’s the only time we use our one mouth.

Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.James 1:19

We usually encounter failure to communicate when we use our mouths before we use our eyes. And speaking of eyes… Pastor Joedy mentioned 3 important parts of a vision. In Nehemiah 2:17-18, we read the following:

Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer suffer derision.” And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work.

Did you catch it? The three parts of the vision are apparently in these two verses. And a vision was surely presented, because we see how the people responded: They strengthened their hands for the good work.

The first part was Hindsight; Or, Nehemiah recalled what factors led to the current situation of the walls. Let’s take a quick look at the prayer he made, again, out of the first ‘C’ – Concern, as recounted here:

And I said, “O LORD God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, let your ear be attentive and your eyes open, to hear the prayer of your servant that I now pray before you day and night for the people of Israel your servants, confessing the sins of the people of Israel, which we have sinned against you. Even I and my father’s house have sinned. We have acted very corruptly against you and have not kept the commandments, the statutes, and the rules that you commanded your servant Moses. Remember the word that you commanded your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the peoples, but if you return to me and keep my commandments and do them, though your outcasts are in the uttermost parts of heaven, from there I will gather them and bring them to the place that I have chosen, to make my name dwell there.’ They are your servants and your people, whom you have redeemed by your great power and by your strong hand. O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight to fear your name, and give success to your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man.”Nehemiah 1:5-11

We can’t stay in the past, but we can learn a good deal from it.

The second part of a vision is Insight, or a focus on Today. Insight is knowing and understanding what needs to be done in the present. After giving a premise laden with hindsight, he presents, well, the present:

Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned.” Nehemiah 2:17a

So far, as we’ve been talking, we can also talk about the Gospel the same way: How we spiritually died (hindsight), and how this leads to us appreciating how now is the day of salvation (insight). It’s especially crucial today, critical considering all the mess that we see happening around the wall. Our observations spur us to spread the Living Word, again, not out of fear of anything, but now, more than ever, we see the need of the Gospel spoken into the world!

The third part of the vision is Foresight, and a focus on forever, and the future. It’s the effect of our present decisions and actions that will affect the future generations.

“Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer suffer derision.”Nehemiah 2:17b

When we think of leadership, we put everything into consideration – the past, the present, and the future. We consider the past in our present decisions, as well as looking towards their effects as we move towards the future. Leaders don’t just lead for the present, but they also lead with the future and its generations in mind. Even if you are reviled and ridiculed for your decisions, if you have the hindsight, insight, and foresight, you have a greater chance to be brought to success, significance, and succession.

In fact, success is further bolstered, or from another point of view, verified, when we have succession.

The Third ‘C’ after Concern and Communication is Collaboration. We aren’t called the body of Christ for nothing.

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

Joiada the son of Paseah and Meshullam the son of Besodeiah repaired the Gate of Yeshanah. They laid its beams and set its doors, its bolts, and its bars. Nehemiah 3:6

Next to him Shallum the son of Hallohesh, ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, repaired, he and his daughters.Nehemiah 3:12

And between the upper chamber of the corner and the Sheep Gate the goldsmiths and the merchants repaired.Nehemiah 3:32

Here are some highlighted from the collaboration that ensued after concerned prayer and the mindful communication: The entire chapter 3 speaks of everyone who helped out. Take note of verse 32: Even the businessmen helped out, knowing that they are impacted and are able to make a similar impact in the endeavor, the vision. Talking about this really has us saying the cliche lines, like all for one, and one for all. We have one goal, and we all work together so when the goal is achieved, everyone benefits, and everyone wins.

Collaboration is the action of working with someone to produce or create something. Leaders understand that it’s not a one-man show, and it takes a team to really get to a goal. And it really does take a TEAM: It takes Trust, Encouragement, Affirmation, and Multiplication to attain, keep, and develop a vision. Nehemiah was able to rally the people of Jerusalem, and the vision was not only accepted, but more importantly, acted on.

The Fourth ‘C’ is commitment: Giving of one’s self to a noble goal or being dedicated for a cause. Nehemiah 4 speaks of how the people continued to build the wall, and even in spite of threats of enemies, danger and discouragement. The walls were being attacked and mocked even as they were being rebuilt.

And I said to the nobles and to the officials and to the rest of the people, “The work is great and widely spread, and we are separated on the wall, far from one another. In the place where you hear the sound of the trumpet, rally to us there. Our God will fight for us.” So we labored at the work, and half of them held the spears from the break of dawn until the stars came out. I also said to the people at that time, “Let every man and his servant pass the night within Jerusalem, that they may be a guard for us by night and may labor by day.” So neither I nor my brothers nor my servants nor the men of the guard who followed me, none of us took off our clothes; each kept his weapon at his right hand.Nehemiah 4:19-23

Only an inspired and shared sense of commitment had the people working overtime, and in spite of all the danger. Today we commit knowing that God is with us, and He fights for us, in spite of all the challenges and difficulties. Jesus went all the way to the cross, committed to restoring our lives, and committed to His mission and ministry – that of reconciliation.

The Fifth ‘C’ is Compassion. Nehemiah was a mere cupbearer but all he did since his prayer to the actual seeing of the walls being rebuilt, it was all driven, not only by concern, but more importantly, fueled and driven by compassion.

And even when safety was restored, he stayed committed to the people, and it was from compassion. See Nehemiah 5:1, 6-7, and 12:

Now there arose a great outcry of the people and of their wives against their Jewish brothers.Nehemiah 5:1

I was very angry when I heard their outcry and these words. 7 I took counsel with myself, and I brought charges against the nobles and the officials. I said to them, “You are exacting interest, each from his brother.” And I held a great assembly against them.Nehemiah 5:6-7

Then they said, “We will restore these and require nothing from them. We will do as you say.” And I called the priests and made them swear to do as they had promised. Nehemiah 5:12

Compassion is sympathetic concern. Jesus Himself was moved with compassion. He saw the crowds like sheep without a shepherd, and out of compassion He did miracles to meet their needs, and He gave His life to rebuild lives.

Christ even told His disciples (and all of us, really) that we’d feel the same compassion. We ought to join Him, heeding His word to pray for more laborers. How ‘laborers’ is defined may be relative, but the common ground will always be compassion. It includes understanding, shepherding, leading, guiding, correcting with love, restoring, serving and encouraging.

So the wall was finished on the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty-two days. 16 And when all our enemies heard of it, all the nations around us were afraid and fell greatly in their own esteem, for they perceived that this work had been accomplished with the help of our God Nehemiah 6:15-16

The people came together and they built a strong wall, in the smallest amount of time, in spite of all sorts of setback and enemies.

It all begins with Christ, who, like Nehemiah, had Concern, Communicated to the best of His efforts, Collaborating with His body, Committed to finishing His ministry, and having Compassion that drives it all and puts it all together.

This is apparently the last meeting we’ll have, and we were all asked to share what we had in mind, thinking about all we talked about, in revealing Christ in all of the Old Testament. When it was my turn to speak, I shared that I actually had the opportunity to spend time with Pastor Joedy, sharing to another group, before we shared it with the leadership of the church I serve in. I said that the revelations I had back then were wonderful, and the lessons we’ve learned today are just as wonderful, but more importantly, they were different…

They were different, just as our experiences back then and today were different. The Word, the Scripture may stay the same, but our lives change. We thank God, because not only have we been given the Word, inspired by the Holy Spirit, but the thing is, we also have the Holy Spirit now through Christ. It’s this Spirit that gives us inspiration, and it led me to praise the Lord, who is no less than our Living Word – He adds Life to our Word; He is also our Word of Life – He adds the Word to every aspect to our lives.

I know I’ve been sharing this time and time again, but now that I’m sharing I guess one thing that really hit me, and one thing that inspired me was mentioned in this one final lesson.

All this time we’ve been giving so much emphasis on having a vision, but I think the guidelines of birthing and maintaining a vision are found in what Pastor Joedy shared: We need to look back, look now, and look to tomorrow. Foresight, Insight, and Hindsight.

In fact, what the hell, right? I’ve been so scared of doing stuff in the past, and it’s led me to having lots of regrets – there were just as much, if not more bad memories coming from what I hesitated to do, compared to what was done to me. Today, I suppose what keeps me going are two things – That God has always been good to me, much so that NOTHING can ever separate me from His love, and He is so faithful to make EVERYTHING work for the good of those who love Him. To know how faithful Christ was and is, that’s what drives me to communicate it to the rest of my circle of influence, that they would know of Christ’s salvation, and God’s everlasting love… I want to continue to live, and in so doing, communicate and testify the goodness of God, for His perfect love to cast out fear – in me, my family, and all who would hear me.

Everyone’s going crazy for baby Yoda, but that right there was a baby Vision.

Of course, this takes away an opportunity to stay ahead of my daily writing quota… but, like clockwork, there seem to be more topics to write about.. and I don’t think they’d fit within just a thousand words.

If you’ve appreciated this so far I’d like to thank you, but please, stay tuned. There’s more to come. Sure as Christ is alive, there’s so much more to come.

One last thing – I had trouble thinking of a prompt to come up with AI Art as a feature image of this photo. I started off with words like ‘tactician’, ‘visionary’, ‘strategist’, and so on… but they all produced a humanoid figure with a weird face. In the process I realized, you don’t remember a real leader by his or her face – I mean, sure, those come, but the reason and motivation for keeping them in your memory isn’t what you see of them.

Wait, let me fix that. You recognize leaders, not by what you see of them, but by what they make you see. It’s their vision. Their ideas. What you see is not necessarily how they want you to conform to their vision down to a tee. It’s in how they make you appreciate their vision.

So instead of a definitive figure you can recognize, I chose to prompt and choose a style, for an image that would make you think. Something that’ll make you see less and think more… praying in the process, that we all see the same thing.

Okay, post-article ads done. God bless us all.

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