Managing the Nehemiah Way

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The Bible is our guide book for life. It contains principles that can be applied to every aspect of every situation because the author is 100 percent accurate 100 percent of the time. One of the principles found in the Bible is proper management. Though many instances of proper management are given throughout the Bible, it is important to note the managerial success of Nehemiah. Due to the godly principles he uses, Jerusalem is rebuilt. These godly principles are reiterated outside the book of Nehemiah and used by managers today.

Principle 1: Leaders Need to Scan their Environment
To begin with, Nehemiah illustrates the quality of environmental scanning in Nehemiah 1:1-3. In this passage, Nehemiah was scanning his environment and keeping up with the news from the region, and therefore, recognizes a problem in Jerusalem when he hears of one. For Christian managers it is essential to scan external, internal, and personal environment as well. I Peter 5:8 says, “be vigilant; because your adversary the devil… walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” Attacks on Christian leaders will come from everywhere in the workforce of today. Applying Nehemiah’s principle of environmental scanning today, leaders should stay tuned to current events to discern developing influences effecting their company and work (Williams, p. 85). Staying in touch with current events is a godly principle illustrated by Nehemiah.

Principle 2: Leaders Need to Pray to Discern the Lord’s Leading
Nehemiah not only was scanning his environment for potential issues, but also was praying about the issues as he heard of them. As soon as he heard of the problem in Jerusalem he took his request for mercy to God in a prayer of repentance (Neh. 1:4-11). Philippians 4:6 says, “by prayer and supplication… let your requests be made known unto God.” It is important that godly leaders take issues to God to discern His will and to be “transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2 KJV). Even secular sources say that decision making is more productive with accurate counsel (Williams, p. 153). To be good leaders, managers need to pray to discern the Lord’s leading.

Principle 3: Leaders Need to have a Plan for Their Problems
Additionally, Managers should have a plan for their problems as they develop in the workplace. When called upon by the king, Nehemiah requests “that thou wouldest send me unto Judah… that I may build it” and gives a detailed plan for the rebuilding of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 2:5-8 KJV). Nehemiah had a vision that he could execute. Since leadership is defined as “the process of influencing others to achieve group or organizational goals,” it is essential to have a vision to carry out (Williams, p. 450). Proverbs 29:18 says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” To avoid the pitfall of problems, managers should develop solutions to the problems in their workplace.

Principle 4: Leaders Need to Honor Authority
No matter what the workplace environment, leaders should honor their authority. Nehemiah displays honor to his authority in the way he presents his request saying, “If it please the king…that thou wouldest send me unto Judah,” and humbly entreats the king to allow him to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem (Nehemiah 1:5 KJV). Continuing this idea, the apostle Peter states, “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man… whether it be to the king… or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers” (I Peter 2:13 KJV). Even from a secular standpoint, acceptance of authority is essential for smooth operations in an organization (Williams, p. 54). Despite the majority of ungodly authorities today, God’s command still remains, “For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men” (I Peter 1:15 KJV). Honoring authority in the workplace is necessary not only for smooth...
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