Lessons from Nehemiah Part 3

Work the System

Nehemiah is a tutor of sorts for Spiritual leaders. In the past two posts we’ve seen that he was a man of great compassion and courage. He was sensitive to God and His people.

Nehemiah also worked the system. When Nehemiah saw the need of his people he used his position as a cupbearer to his advantage.

In Nehemiah 2 we see the interaction he had with his boss. “If it pleases the king, send me back home to rebuild the walls.” Well it pleased King Artaxerxes and Nehemiah was released to rebuild the wall. He even got the king to write a letter of endorsement to ensure that he would be able to travel safely back to Jerusalem.

Based on what we know of Nehemiah was able to work the system because he was a trustworthy worker. The cupbearer was a position of trust. They ensured that the king’s drink was safe from poison. More than that they gave counsel and wisdom to the king. My guess is that Nehemiah had worked faithfully for years and because of that was able to cash in his chips so that he could go attend to the wall in Jerusalem.

You may think that working the system is using people to your advantage. This feels slimy. I’ve seen people in ministry to use relationships to get free game tickets, meals and even trips. This is NOT what I am talking about. A Spiritual leader must NEVER leverage their influence and relationships for personal gain.

Working the system ISN’T using people, it’s maximizing relationships. Nehemiah didn’t demand or pressure the king, he asked humbly. He also was’t asking selfishly, he was thinking of the people of Jerusalem.

I’ve made the mistake of not asking before. I don’t want to appear as if I’m using others so I don’t ask. This is a big mistake. If I don’t ask, then others aren’t included in serving the kingdom like Artaxerses did. I need to be more like Nehemiah and work the system.

We can work the system in a God honoring way when we act like Nehemiah. Don’t pressure people to get what we want. Serve others without expecting to get something in return. Ask humbly and selflessly when we know they can meet a need. This is working the system.

What are needs in your ministry that could be met simply by asking? Who are the people who can meet those needs? Chances are they are probably more than willing to help as long as you humbly work the system.

Read Part 2 of Leadership Lessons from Nehemiah
Read Part 1 of Leadership Lessons from Nehemiah

[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]http://www.theyouthministryblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/LibickHawaiiChristmasPhoto.jpeg[/author_image] [author_info]Kevin Libick is a Middle School Pastor living in Fort Worth, TX with his wife Kara and her two cats. He is a novice banjo picker and expert Hawaiian food eater. Kevin loves to connect with other youth workers and equip them to live out their calling in God’s Kingdom. Connect with Kevin on Twitter: @kevinlibick[/author_info] [/author]

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