On today’s Whiteboard Wednesday, Curry Pikaart, Classis Leader for the Southwest Michigan Classis, tells us about where leadership begins based on his experiences in college and the story of Nehemiah.
Doctor Kenneth Weller became the president of Central College in Pella, Iowa, when Pikkaart was a student there. At first the students protested against him because it seemed like he was doing nothing. In reality, Doctor Weller was spending time with the students in their spaces, getting to know them, and, most importantly, listening to them.
Turning to Nehemiah 1, the first thing Nehemiah did was inquire. Although he was far from his Israelite brothers and sisters, he inquired about them. Like Doctor Weller, Nehemiah wanted to know what was going on with the people.
Next, Nehemiah identified with the Israelites. He did not separate himself from them but acknowledged his sin was a part of theirs. His listening drew him into an intimate identification with his people and once he had identified with them, he was then able to intercede for them, to pray for them.
Effectiveness of leadership is directly proportional to the dynamic prayer life of the leader. Begin everything with prayer. Do more than pray but nothing until you pray. Once Nehemiah prayed, once he interceded, God led him to the right involvement. With God’s help and guidance, Nehemiah was able to plead to the King and be allowed to go back to his land and help the Israelite people.
Nehemiah was able to return to the Israelites and lead them, not only rebuilding the wall but rebuilding the nation. And it all began with the springboard of listening, where where leadership begins.
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