What Wise Christian Leaders Do Before Embarking on A Project

The Story of Nehemiah provides many principles and thoughts about leadership and successfully completing a major project. Nehemiah was the leader who led in the rebuilding of the wall of Jerusalem which was no easy task. Nehemiah,

gained favor with the King (His authority), personally inspected the walls, planned the costs and what it would take to rebuild the walls, effectively communicated the importance of rebuilding the walls to the people, successfully influence others to join the effort in build the walls, handled opposition and conflict, and completing the project in a timely manner (52 days).

 Embarking and accomplishing the rebuilding of the walls took effective leadership. There is something else we can learn from this story. That is what a leader should do before embarking on a project and the answer to that can be found in the first chapter of Nehemiah:

One of my brothers, had just arrived from Judah with some fellow Jews. I asked them about the conditions among the Jews there who had survived the exile, and about Jerusalem. They told me, “The exile survivors who are left there in the province are in bad shape. Conditions are appalling. The wall of Jerusalem is still rubble; the city gates are still cinders.” When I heard this, I sat down and wept. I mourned for days, fasting and praying before the God-of-Heaven.

Did you catch that? After hearing about the conditions of the walls the first thing Nehemiah did was to mourn, fast, and pray for several days. This is an important aspect a Christian leader needs to remember before embarking on a project or when a big issue or problem occurs. To take the time to pray, fast, and seek God’s direction and guidance. This is a significant and essential action a leader needs to apply to their life and leadership.

Question: What do you do before embarking on a project?

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44 thoughts on “What Wise Christian Leaders Do Before Embarking on A Project

  1. Hey Dan, I do pray but because of how fast paced society is we don’t usually wait on the answers and I am a testament to that. So these steps are great and its awesome examples of what Leaders should be doing. Thanks so much for pointing this out.

    • Lincoln Parks,

      Praying first is the answer but so hard to do at times. This is something every leader needs a reminder in everyone once in a while. Thank you for taking the time to add to the conversation.

  2. I love Nehemiah. I’m hoping to do an in-depth study on it sometime in the next few months. I remember studying that same passage in small group years ago and being struck by Nehemiah’s dedication to prayer. Good stuff.

    • Loren,

      Make sure you share some of your study and thoughts on your blog. His example of a Christian leader has many wise nuggets to learn from. Thank you for reading and sharing.

  3. Prayer & fasting gives me clarity, peace and strength. It does not change God, changes me. Fasting as an ongoing thing, say once a week, is also a great way to stay strong, focused and alert (spiritually and otherwise).

    Great reminder Dan, thanks for sharing.

    • Ngina,

      Very true points. It’s all about changing us. Fasting is something I have been feeling like I need to do more often. Many benefits come from seeking God and fasting. Thank you for stopping by.

  4. I need to pray more often before jumping into a project. I just get too excited about starting, and forget to take the time, to pray, to fast. Great reminder, Dan.

    • Seth,

      Same with me man. I think my personal drive can cause me to start/lead before seeking God or praying. This is something I’m working on. Glad you enjoyed the post.

      Thank you for taking the time to read and add to the discussion.

  5. Crazy Dan! I think everyone is talking about Nehemiah these days.

    Andy Stanley, my church, your blog, and many other sites and podcasts. Something is going on here!

  6. Nice post Dan, I actually went through Nehemiah a couple months ago looking at it with a leadership lens like you did. Great post! There are countless lessons of leadership throughout the bible

    • James,

      So true, Nehemiah can teach us a lot about leadership and being a person of faith. You should share some of the thoughts you learned in a blog post. Thank you for reading and commenting.

  7. Hey Dan, did you ever find a Devotional Book on Nehemiah? I’ve been looking but so far I only have my Bible commentary. Thanks for this wonderful post. Being reminded to seek God BEFORE acting is so crucial. I know sometimes I like to jump right in! God has shown me time and again that if I will seek HIM FIRST that my path will be a great deal easier.
    I’m a bit of a slower learn sometimes :)

    A good book on fasting is “Awakening” by Stovall Weems

    • TC Avey,

      I never did, I have found books on Nehemiah but not a devotional/workbook.

      I think it’s something we all need a reminder in every once in a while. Seeking God first is so essential in the life of a Christian. Thank you for adding to the conversation.

      I have not heard of the book, I’ll have to check it out. Thanks for mentioning it:)

      • I’ll let you know if I find a good devotional.

        My Sunday School group went through that book last year- not my normal read, but it was good and it educated me.

  8. Dan, you really hit home with me. Years ago I heard a sermon on Nehemiah by a Pastor from Lebanon – it was so powerful that it has stuck with me. God will put a plan in our heart, and He will give us a way to put it into action – but we must listen to Him…that takes patience on our part. How many times do we get excited about something and try to forge ahead without the direction of the Holy Spirit? Often, God will expect us to take it slowly, and we just jump in with both feet thinking that we need to ‘get ‘er dun’. “Be still and know that I am God.”
    Thank you for blessing me today with this post….I have the tape of that sermon, I think I will listen to it.

    • Susan,

      It defiantly takes patience, prayer, and having an open ear to know God’s plan for our life’s. I really like the passage you mentioned, is so important to remember that point. Being still and waiting on God.

      Thank you for your insightful points.

  9. It is highly essential that we must have an ‘audience with God’ before we launch a project. We not only need His blessings but also His consent since we are His ambassadors!

    • Feels so cliche….pray. fast. I wish I did it more before I launched an event. Like really pray. I’d be curious what it looks like in life and for the hours each of us spend on blog posts of spiritual disciplines what spiritual disciplines actually look like in our life. I’ve got room to grow, and before launching a project sad to say I spend time thinking about what needs to be done….and probably throw up a prayer-God help me, and may you get glory through this project–but do we really wanna see God transform our world and lives? Spent some time away from twitter recently and incredible how weak I am and social medias pull on my life! thanks for the words from nehemiah and truly pray that it becomes more than words and we put it to action

      • David,

        These are some great points. It would be great to have you write about this even more on your blog. Just checked out your blog and really look forward to reading and commenting on it.

        I know I need to get better at praying during the day and before a project. Getting away from social media regularly should be on everyone’s agenda.

        Thanks for sharing and I look forward to connecting more.

    • Joe,

      Great wording, “have an audience with God before launching a project.” This is an essential function of a leader. Thank you for adding to the conversation.

  10. Love this one Dan. A little behind on my reading, but glad I made it back to this one. I need this reminder everyday. How little I can accomplish with my own strength and wisdom. I MUST rely fully on God! Thanks again!

    • Mark,

      Glad you enjoyed reading it. I think everyone needs to remember this principle, to seek God first in everything they do. Thank you for reading the post.