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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Standing strong and being a servant leader

by Nelson Roth
(from Nehemiah Response, pages 99-100)

Let’s take a glimpse of Nehemiah, the servant leader. 



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Nehemiah said, “But the earlier governors—those preceding me—placed a heavy burden on the people…” (5:15). He never “lorded it over the people” (5:15). “Instead, I devoted myself to the work on this wall,” he says (5:16).

Also in this verse we learn that “we did not acquire any land” (5:16). Nehemiah served with no regard for money.

And then, we see that Nehemiah was willing to serve others. He provided for the needs of over a hundred and fifty workers out of his own pocket. That great number of people “ate at my table… Each day one ox, six choice sheep and some poultry were prepared” (5:17-18). And we find out that Nehemiah, “…never demanded the food allotted to the governor, because the demands were heavy on these people” (5:18).

A servant leader! It’s interesting that the same three marks found in Nehemiah...

  • not lording over the people
  • not greedy for money
  • a willingness to serve others
...are also found in 1 Peter 5:2-3.

Actually, Peter lists them in reverse order. (1) “Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; (2) not greedy for money, but eager to serve; (3) not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock” (1 Peter 5:2-3).

Who are the people in your life that really matter to you?  
How can you meet their needs and serve them?  
Which of the three qualities of a servant leader are challenges for you?  

Feel free to leave a comment.

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