Nehemiah lived during the Jewish Exile (587-538BC). The Babylonians carried them away in captivity and plundered their city. This was a direct result of their disobedience to God. Nehemiah found favour with king Artaxerxes. In his capacity as cupbearer for king Artaxerxes of Persia, he was assigned a lot of authority and managed the king’s place.

The Nehemiah that we encounter in the biblical account was a godly man who feared God. He was humble, had a burden for the well-being of his people, was diligent in serving the king, was wise, diplomatic, encouraging, goal-driven, unmoved in his convictions, firm in his stance against their opponents and he had absolute faith in God. He was a visionary, who knew the Torah and who was able to win the favour of both his own people and king Artaxerxes.

He was willing to follow through on his convictions and took action to restore the fallen city of Jerusalem. He was ready to act when the right opportunity presented itself. He managed to gather the support of his fellow-Jews and motivated them for the work. He associated with their corporate guilt and interceded for them. It is rare to find a figure with such a good balance between pragmatism, unclouded vision, interpersonal and negotiation skills, prayer and dependence on God’s guidance. Many books have been written on Christian leadership, and many of them should be commended for their insight and wisdom. Our desire is not to repeat all those useful leadership principles in this course. We would rather look at the book of Nehemiah and focus on some of the prominent leadership qualities he displayed.

By the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • Explain the structure of the book of Nehemiah and its historical context.
  • Critically compare different author’s views on biblical leadership and how it relates to Nehemiah.
  • Design a ‘Nehemiah leadership model’ for your context.
  • Prioritize the different spiritual aspects of Nehemiah’s leadership.
  • Examine valuable inter-personal communication skills in Nehemiah.
  • Describe principles from Nehemiah for communicating with secular, religious and hostile people.
  • Demonstrate why it is important for leaders to depend on God.

Course Outline

  • Unit 1: Introduction to the Book of Nehemiah and its Historical Context
  • Unit 2: Different Views on Nehemiah and Biblical Leadership
  • Unit 3: Contextualising a ‘Nehemiah Leadership Model’
  • Unit 4: Different Spiritual Aspects of Nehemiah’s Leadership
  • Unit 5: Inter-Personal Communication Skills in Nehemiah
  • Unit 6: Communicating with Secular, Religious and Hostile People
  • Unit 7: Leaders Who Depend on God