Lead to Serve

Lead to Serve

(Reflection from Nehemiah 5:14-19)

The purpose of a leader
"Lead to Serve"

"Christian Reflections on the Purpose of Leadership" 


If we ever think about wanting to become a leader, have we ever thought about what the goal of becoming a leader? 


These two things are not always bad, they can even be good if we use them for true leadership purposes. 

Before going further, I want us not to think about leadership only in terms of politics or religion. 

The husband is the head of the family = the leader of the family. 
The wife herself was also the leader for her children when they are still young. 

If we are working or have business, there must be people below us that we need to lead. 

Even when we serve in at the church, there must be someone we need to lead? 



When choosing a leader we should not be deceived by sweet promises, but we must see how his life has been. 

Has he lived to give, or to get? 

In Nehemiah's leadership to build the walls of Jerusalem, even during the 12 years he reigned as Regent of Judea, Nehemiah never took the salary that was due to him (v. 14). 

Nehemiah was a high ranking official in the government of King Artaxerxes, the king's confidant, of course he had a decent salary. He has enough wealth. He didn't feel the need to get more, for Nehemiah feel that he had enough and full of gratitude. 

In addition, Nehemiah had a sense of self awareness. Even though he had "THE RIGHT" to get a salary as Regent, when he saw that the people he led were already very burdened by the work of building walls; Nehemiah knew himself that he could no longer add to the burdens of those he led. 

Often when we lead with a vision, we are so obsessed with the vision having to come true; without realizing it we can suppress the people we lead - including with burdens or jobs that we can actually do on our own. 

As leaders, it's important we need to have this - a sense of self awareness. 

Even though it's our right. Even though the leaders before us used to do it (v. 15). But leaders who serve are leaders who are willing to give, not to get. 

When we don't burden them more, we already GIVE them relief. 

When Nehemiah gave his work team an abundance of food and drink (v. 18), that was not all he gave. What Nehemiah gave was a sense of community and unity. 

Have we, as leaders, either at home / at church / at work? 

  • Give relief by not demanding excessive burdens?
  • Give a sense of togetherness and unity?


The purpose of giving to the people we lead is certainly NOT to spoil them. 

Our goal when we give is so that the people we lead can be elevated to a better level of life. 

Our goal is so that they can feel like humans, not company assets, or not subordinates who can be extorted out of the blue. 

Don't be the opposite. 

To feel like a leader, we DO NOT NEED to feel we are on top, and try to belittle our followers. 

Or just because they are our "subordinates", then we don’t have to feel the need to trample them. 

We can feel "above" them, when we can give them. 
When we can "lift" them, that means we are already above them. 

As an example: 

The SENIOR Pastor need not feel challenged by the presence of talented young pastor; but leading them to make sure they have besides talent, a godly character. Ensure that their work is valued and published. 

= Ensuring that our successor must be greater than ourselves. 

BOSS OR MANAGERS don't need to take credit for what their subordinates do well. Instead, they give more appreciation for the achievements that have been done by them. 

HUSBANDS do not need to act violently against their wives in order for them to obey. But by meeting their needs. 

PARENTS do not need to always hit children with sticks so they can obey. But with enough time together. And I always say, "There is no quality time without sufficient quantity time". 

If so, then what do we get as leaders? 
True satisfaction because it has a positive influence on the lives of others. 

Are we going to have many loss because we lead to serve? 
God also will never make us loss. When we help those who are weak, it is said that we "have a loan to God" (Proverbs 19:17). God will always reward everyone according to his deeds.


Read also: Dare to Lead


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