New announcement. Learn more

ColemanGrace ChurchLower North Island1 Peter 1:1PeterCitizens of heavenJobRedeemerGraham AshbyPrime Time ConferenceJH Baldwin ScholarshipForest LakesThe Anchor ChurchAlan ThompsonSydney Missionary & Bible CollegeManurewa Bible ChurchChurch campGrant BirksTroubleSydneyStewards AustraliaKatoombaMMMHoward RobinsonRoosevelt Road Bible ChurchRotoruaSisters HuiHuiAlan AitkenTe MaruThank youDan TylerBrian RopitiniNew Plymouth Community ChurchManawatūComfortHoly SpiritConsolationUnited with ChristRomans 6:5PreachingTheological studiesLincoln Road Bible ChapelNorth BeachThe EmbassyDeathOBH Camp ProjectStewards TrustStaff ConferenceEAUKSTestimonyWaitangiJoyTom McIvorPaul SamuelsGraduationIan PaynePapatoetoe Bible ChapelSalvationMatthew 1:21UnitedTītahi Bay Community ChurchEphesians 2:14KidsChristmas outreachMission Without BordersTōtara Springs Christian CentreManawarū Bible ChapelBearing fruitColossians 1:6Sefton MarshallFarewellStuart BayOnekawa Bible ChurchGod's willCalendarGlentunnel ChapelNick GoodwinKoinoniaGratitudeFellowship1 Corinthians 10:16 DunedinNew buildingCornerstone International Bible ChurchDoctrinePastoral Theologians FellowshipExamine ourselves1 Corinthians 11:28Children and FamiliesKaitaia Bible ChapelNextGen Summit1 Corinthians 11:27CommunionBethany TrustDoug BennFamily FiestaFinlay ParkNarrows ParkTotara SpringsRaleigh Street Christian CentreLight PartyRedemption ChurchMark DramaFenton Park Bible ChurchOctober 7IsraelHeretaunga Christian CentreLazarusLifeJohn 11:43Peter AllenGovernanceIan Elliott ScholarshipWhite SundayBaptismsWeepingJohn 11:33Holiday ProgrammeChurch-centric campingAuckland Leaders DinnerThe Street ChurchPathway Christian CentreBroderick Road ChapelVivian Street Gospel HallInternational ServiceChurch on IngestreGriefJohn 11:35Joel BirkinHolidays ProgrammeSouth IslandComfortedConfrontedJohn 12:5Growing leadersServing the communityInvercargillCelebrationThanksgivingFranklin Bible ChurchKing JesusHosanna!John 12:13Prayer breakfastWorking beeCrossGod's powerColossians 2:15North Beach Christian FellowshipTe Awamutu Bible ChapelCity to CityMoirs Point Christian CentreMangonui Bible ChapelCoopers Beach Christian Youth CampKaitaia Bible ChapeTōtara North Bible ChapelRaumati Crescent ChapelFar NorthJesus is LordCaptivated by ChristColossians 2:6Tim HodgeCCCNZ Board75th AnniversaryMissionaryMovement of the WordKaipaki Bible ChurchAlpha CourseDave FirthLast WordsHopeDavidPsalm 139:23Jesus knows usPathways CollegeLichfield LandsScholarshipsLiz HodgeSuffering ChristiansElisabeth ElliotRevelation 6:10CampsitesEl RanchoRoss BayMiCamp TaupōExodus 29:42Church-Camp PartnershipHousing ProjectOrwell Street ChurchEden Community ChurchPakuranga Christian FellowshipAnniversaryRukumoana MaraeKids programmeKelston Community ChurchPapakuraLive the gospelEmergency housingKarakarikiWhitioraNew ZealandActs 17:24FearIdolsActs 17:16Gospel MinistryChurch Camp PartnershipMararikiJob 9:9Ruth 1:20God's purposesMaraNaomiRuthHorsemenLambRevelation 6:1Rally NZTauwhare MaraeAGMRevelation 1:12-13HM RageJesus' salvationJohn 18:10Community connectionsYouth groupServing SundaysInvercargill Combined Bible SchoolFurnaceMatthew 26:46Matthew 26:42Police chaplainsHumilityPhilippians 2:7Known unto GodJohn 15:13Willow Park Christian CampKids CampLifeSwitchChurch @ CedarwoodKingston Community ChurchRomans 1:14-15Ambassador's WrapRomans 1:18God's wrathLakeland Park CampNorm and Liz SilcockRegional summitNorthgate Community Church1 Corinthians 1:18Sarah ChalmersStewardsDoors openColossians 4:4Genesis 1:12-13Ian RoweThird-Day GardensMatthew 5:16Natural disastersFamily campLighthouse ChurchChurches working togetherOrdinary peopleJohn 1:43John 1:29The LionThe LambWho are you?Who is He?John 1:21-221 Peter 1:13Psalm 13:11 Peter 1:1-2God's realitySober-mindedFrustrationPastorCampsCycloneCampsiteHowick Community ChurchHaggai 1:3-4Psalm 46:1God is our refuge and strengthLuke 2:10Good NewsIn the beginningJohn 1:1-5Luke 1:27Titus 1:9MarkLuke 1:28Psalm 31:1-5Romans 12:15Matthew 1:1Road to EmmausLuke 24:29John 20:16Mark 10:45Queen Elizabeth IIHorizon of HopeThe Mark DramaLamentationsGraceSecond windSwedish Method1-2-1 Bible ReadingPreach the WordRiccarton Community ChurchInternshipsPsalmsCreativityHoliday CampRiverbend Bible ChurchPaengaroa Bible ChapelPalmerston NorthChurch on VogelThe House Next DoorSchoolLaunchpadLifewalkAmos 5:8MatarikiBad GuysTitus 3:1-2Auckland Bible ChurchDarrell BockLeanne BrownCrossroads ChurchKaipara Bible ChapelDargaville Gospel ChurchMarsden Bay Christian Camp2 Timothy 2:21 Corinthians 1:18-31James 1:2-42 Timothy 2The Orchard Church Te PukeEvangelismChurchesSupport MinistriesEasterThe cross-shaped life2 Corinthians 1:8-9IsolationLast SupperWestChurchGeoff StarkUkraineRobert MitchellTasman ChurchChurch LeadersRevelation 2-4Psalm 31Ezra 31 Timothy 6:11-21Galatians 2:10The gospelThessaloniansAotearoa, NZEphesians 2Waitangi Day 2022Working TogetherCCCNZ AucklandAmatakiloa Bible ChurchTongan TsunamiLeslie ScottRebekah ReeveConnectionsSummitTop of the SouthEaster CampRegional ConnectionsCCCNZ Children and Family MinistriesRutland Street ChurchManawaru Bible ChapelYouth Reachout RoadtripWord of LifeConnectionPartnershipRichard DavisLawson ScottRegionalChristchurchEphesians 12 Timothy 2:1-131 Peter 12 Peter 1HarvestActs 8Psalm 24:1-2Acts 27:23–26Resurrection1 Corinthians 15:14Ezra-NehemiahPsalm 231 Corinthians 15:8-111 Corinthians 15:3-81 Corinthians 15:3-5CCCNZ PrayerHillcrest ChapelPeaceConflictWearyEldershipCOVID-19 Protection FrameworkWoven TogetherAnnual Report 2020-21FaithfulnessAPARichard FountainIndianChristian radioJeewan DhaaraPsalm 146Ambassador's BlogHeavy ladenEmily TylerBaptismWhitiora Bible ChurchLifeChurch ManurewaQSMNational CCCNZ Youth TeamRob MortonWhat Comes Next?BoardAbortion Legislation BillPandemicMark GraceResponsePhilippiansChurch response to COVID-19Church response to coronavirusCoronavirusCOVID-19Worship EnablerYvonne HengNorthcross ChurchGC3AppealBushfiresSophia McCrindleCCCAustAustralian BushfiresPacific CommunityAne PonifasioLui PonifasioQueen's Service MedalNew Year's HonoursPasifikaTāmaki Community ChurchThe Riverside ClubIdeasIntergenerational ministryMassey Community ChurchBirkenhead Community ChurchBitternessThe Greatest SaviourPrayer GatheringCCNZChristian Camping NZTeapot Valley Christian CampNancy Jean Forbes Training CentreWoodend Christian CampCanterburyChurch PlantingJackie MillarPrayingDanielle DiproseAdministrationFinance60 yearsCamp ministryChristian CampingLakeland Park Christian CampPreparationChristchurch Mosque AttacksHealingTraumaWhat's Next?Julie McKinnonUnityHospitalityCultural diversityOrosiusImmigrationTeenagersGiftsYoung leadersSummer SchoolChildrenParentsChildren and Family Ministries75 JubileeGirlsBoysNZ RallyRestCCCNZ PastorLinkGrowthOrewa Community Church2019God StoriesChapel Hill Community ChurchEncouragementFriendshipEldersSuccessionGod's faithfulnessGospelFireHope Community ChurchNelsonTogether Works BetterFIRST TrainingYouth SummitCampingCommunity MinistryChildren's MinistryRallyAuthenticityMillenialsMinistryYoung AdultsLeaving HomeStudentsCampusStudent ministry at OtagoUniversity of OtagoO WeekJesus ChristStudent LifeTSCFStudent ministryTreaty of WaitangiPākehāMāoriTreatySpiritChristianityWaitangi Day 2019ColombiaRosedale Bible ChapelSouthlandInternational StudentsTimaruChurch Street ChapelIan ElliottTeensCalledTauwhare Gospel ChapelCompassionWaikatoRefugee MinistryCambell ForlongCity Bible ChurchInternationalLiving GodGlobalisationDr Merv CoatesEngagingRongopaiMulticultural ministryHaggaiPlanningPrayerJeremy SuistedInconvenienceJosephMaryLoveSaviourO Holy Night LyricsLyricsChristmas CarolO Holy NightDiscipleshipClark Road ChapelVolunteerEducationCitizens Advice BureauTe Ao NgākauCommunity CentreJames 1:26-27OutreachMaungarei Christian Community TrustMt Wellington Community ChurchMurray BrownChrist-centredHealthy youth ministryYouth leadershipHukanui Bible ChurchBible readingFreshLearningDevotionsFamilyCommitmentBible in a yearCarolsLightsOnslow Community ChurchMusicTheologyPathwaysWorship leadingWorshipPathways School of Worship LeadingSOWLChristmas messageJesusEventsAucklandGlow in the ParkAdventChristmasSupportRespiteCareRetreatLeadersPastorsPastorLinkKerry RickardSpiritual formationCross-culturalChristianGap YearHeadspaceKiwi24-7 YouthWorkCommunityFaithYouthTrainingCCCNZ YouthYoung peopleChurchChristYouth ministryCCCNZScriptureLeadershipChristian CoachingCoachingBiblePaulFaithfulOrdinary ChristianExtraordinary GodComfort ZoneGodHadfieldMissionNZWellingtonRegional Enablers
TAGS

Back to the Future: What Ezra-Nehemiah teaches us about Leadership at Level 2

CCCNZ Ambassador Mark Grace

Are you ready for Level 2 leadership?

Level 2 will not be a return to ‘normal’. The story of God's people returning from exile teaches us to trust God in our changing circumstances.

God's people had experienced significant loss and hardship under Babylonian captivity, increased freedom and favour under the rule of Cyrus, until they were allowed to return to their homeland and begin to rebuild their spiritual and physical homes. 

Ezra-Nehemiah picks up the story of God's people returning to find that Jerusalem is not the city they left.

It’s not an easy environment to navigate. Security is not certain; freedom of movement is not the same. Employment is tenuous. The elderly are vulnerable. The times, uncertain. The economy is fragile.

The return to worship happens across Ezra-Nehemiah in three waves, and each wave has lessons for us as we consider leadership in Level 2. 

  1. The return from exile (Ezra 1- 2)
  2. Rebuilding the temple (Ezra 3 - 9) 
  3. Restoring Jerusalem’s walls, recommitting to equitable relationships and to Scripture (Nehemiah 1-13).


Following God's lead

Ezra begins with these incredible words:

“In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfil the word of the Lord spoken to Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation”.

Verse 5 records God moving in the hearts of those who are to return. Here God takes the initiative. God is moving, God is preparing, God is leading.

Level 2 leadership involves following God back to the future: Where do you sense God is taking the initiative amongst your church family?

Seeing where God is at work

Worship is not 'normal' for God's people. God does not lead them back to their past; he leads them back to the future. Worship looks similar, but it’s not the same. The new temple's foundations are smaller and simpler.

There is a reaction to this! As the foundations are laid, thousands of older people weep at what is lost, while thousands of younger people celebrate with joy.

It’s into this exact moment the Prophet Zechariah speaks: “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the LORD of hosts… For whoever has despised the day of small things shall rejoice, and shall see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel." (Zech. 4:6-7,10)

Why? Because in this temple’s smallness and simplicity, the Lord of Hosts is powerfully at work through his Word, by his Spirit. 

Level 2 leadership involves looking into this season with different lenses and discerning the difference between our instinctive need for ‘normal’ and the Spirit’s activity in bringing us back to the future.

Meeting with God

In Nehemiah 1, the rebuilding of the walls does not come from strategic planning, but strategic praying, it does not come from management theory but mourning. It doesn’t come from leadership frameworks but fasting. 

The rebuilding of the walls is birthed in time with God. What we transition to will involve strategic planning, management, and leadership frameworks, but it doesn’t start there. 

Mobilising God’s people

Nehemiah recognises that everyone has a part to play in rebuilding the walls.

There are two approaches Nehemiah can take to rebuilding, the wakeboard approach or the waka approach. Wakeboarding involves the wakeboarder in action on the waves, while everyone else watches. In the waka, everyone paddles, navigating the waves together.

A heart for the poor and a love for justice

In Nehemiah 5, Nehemiah’s attentiveness to God’s character gives him a tenderness towards the poor and a sensitivity to injustice.

With the level of unemployment likely to rise, with the financial pressure on families and businesses increasing, we too (out of a heart for God) must be attentive to the financial and practical needs of our people.

Zerubbubal, Ezra and Nehemiah each have to advocate for the people of God to political leaders. In Level 2, the pastoral and the political may intersect as our culture adjusts to a new way of life. 

Letting the Bible out of it's cage

In Ezra 1:1, God works to fulfil his word. In Ezra 5:1-2 and 6:14 the preaching of God’s prophetic word through Haggi and Zechariah empowers the building of the temple.

In Ezra 7:6 and 10, Ezra is recognised for being devoted to the study and observance of the ‘Word’. In Nehemiah 8 Ezra unleashes the Word amongst the people.

In 2012, The Centre for Biblical Engagement conducted research into the Bible engagement and lives of 400,000 people.

The life of someone who engages Scripture four or more times a week looks radically different from the life of someone who does not: People who engage with Scripture four or more times a week are more likely to share their faith with others, more likely to disciple others, more likely to give generously to Christian work, less likely to feel spiritually stagnant, less likely to view pornography, and less likely to struggle with loneliness. 

The Bible has had a profound effect on our history, as women and men have spent time dwelling in the Word and applying it to life, business, family, relationships, finances... 

Suffering well

Zerubbabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah each face challenges, opposition and suffering. We too, as leaders, will face our own opposition, challenges and suffering.

Level 2 leadership will ultimately involve settling our confidence in our Risen Lord Jesus who died for us, through the gospel from the Scriptures.

Consider how the story in Ezra-Nehemiah points us to Jesus. The temple points us to Jesus; the failings of the leaders and the people point to our need for Jesus; suffering and justice in the day of small things points us to the way of Jesus... 

All of Scripture points us to Jesus. Jesus is the head of the Church, the Church is the body of Jesus, the Spirit of Jesus has gifted the Church.

Level 2 leadership in the local church is ultimately being led by Jesus, through the gospel from the Scriptures, in the power of the Spirit. Let's be leaders, therefore, living under the leadership of Jesus in pointing people to his death and resurrection and return.



 

This product has been added to your cart

CHECKOUT