In his commentary on Nehemiah, ‘Be Determined’, Weirsbe has a supplementary chapter on leadership qualities. He outlines characteristics needed by local Church Pastors as exemplified by Nehemiah. There are 12 points in all, summarised below.
1. He knew he was called of God
Nehemiah started with a burden for Jerusalem, but the burden was not the call. He wept over the sad condition of the city (Neh. 1:4), but his tears were not the call. It was as he prayed to God and sought divine help that he received a call to leave his relatively easy job and go to Jerusalem to rebuild the walls. Because he knew God had called him, Nehemiah could approach the king and get help; and he could also enlist the help of the Jews in Jerusalem.
Before you quickly move into a place of ministry, be sure God has called you and equipped you for the job. You may not think you can do it, and others may have their doubts; but if God calls you, have no fear: He will see you through.
2. He depended on prayer
One mark of true spiritual leaders is their honest acknowledgment of their own inadequacy and their humble trust in the power of God.
3. He had vision and saw the greatness of the work
Leaders must see what others don’t see and then challenge others to follow until they do see.
4. He submitted to authority
Nehemiah is a man whose work prospered because he submitted to God, the Word, and the king.
5. He was organized in his work
He planned his work and worked his plan, and God blessed him.
6. He was able to discern the tactics of the enemy
Leaders must spot the enemy before anybody else does and be ready to meet him quickly and efficiently.
7. He worked hard
Charles Spurgeon: “Do not be afraid of hard work for Christ; a terrible reckoning awaits those who have an easy time in the ministry, but a great reward is in reserve for those who endure all things for the elect’s sake.” (An All Round Ministry, p. 197).
8. He lived an exemplary life
You can face any enemy, listen to any accusation, or confront any misunderstanding if you have integrity and a good conscience.
9. He sought to glorify God alone
There is nothing good that God will not do for the worker who humbly serves and lets Him have the glory.
10. He had courage
There is no place for timidity in leadership. … As Harry Truman said, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”
11. He enlisted others to work
Leaders don’t feel intimidated by the excellence of others; in fact, they encourage it.
12. He was determined
Lech Walesa, Polish labor leader who became President of his country: “To be a leader means to have determination. It means to be resolute inside and outside, with ourselves and with others.”
The church today needs leaders, men and women and young people who will determine under God to acomplish the will of God, come what may.
~ Wiersbe, W. W. 1996. Be determined (148–159). Victor Books: Wheaton, Ill.