DCL 4.3 Instruction | Biblical Case Studies | Nehemiah and Paul
Video Presentation: Todd Mullins, Lead Pastor and Shaun Blakeney, Student Ministry Pastor, Christ Fellowship, Florida
Nehemiah was a strategic thinker. The wall of Jerusalem was in shambles and urgently needed to be restored. It seems remarkable, but Nehemiah could see both the problem and the solution, even though he had never visited Jerusalem. Nehemiah knew his purpose, made his plan and led the people through the process. His story is truly one of the most remarkable accounts of leadership and strategic thinking ever recorded. Look at his strategic thinking:
1. He saw the problem.
2. He prayed for divine favor.
3. The problem became his problem.
4. He developed his action plan.
5. He understood the resources that would be necessary for success.
6. He explained his strategy to other leaders.
7. He asked them for help.
8. He established priorities.
9. He was persistent.
- The people of Jerusalem needed only 52 days to rebuild a city wall that had been in ruins for more than 120 years. Do you agree that strategic thinking was a key reason for this remarkable achievement?
- Discuss the ways that Nehemiah’s strategic thinking impacted the successful rebuilding of the wall.
The apostle Paul, a key leader in establishing the early Church, was a strategic thinker. Note several components of his strategic plan:
1. Preached the gospel to Jews and Gentiles.
2. Selected and mentored key leaders to assist him.
3. Selected major cities in which to establish the Church.
4. Selected cities where he could influence the greatest number of people.
5. Wrote letters of instruction, correction and encouragement to key churches and leaders.
6. Challenged all churches to focus on a shared vision.
A Note of Caution for Christian Leaders:
Isaiah reminds all of us of the utmost importance of seeking the guidance of the Holy Spirit in our strategic planning (Isaiah 30:1-5). Leaders must be sure their plans fit God’s revealed will for them and their organisation. They must continuously ask if their plans remain relevant to the needs of their mission, their values, their vision and their long-range objectives. This makes for wise leadership and strategic planning.
The book of Proverbs has a number of clear and practical principles regarding strategic thinking:
- Proverbs 14:15 – “A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.”
- Proverbs 15:22 – “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”
- Proverbs 16:3 – “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.”
- Proverbs 16:9 – “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”
- Proverbs 20:18 – “Make plans by seeking advice; if you wage war, obtain guidance.”
ASSESSMENT AND APPLICATION
What are you currently doing that is not strategic for you? Assess how many hours you are working in your areas of weakness rather than in your areas of strength.
List your personal strengths in ministry and then compare the list with where you are investing your time. What changes do you need to make in order to be more strategic?
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