016 | Hand Me Another Brick by Charles R. Swindoll

There was no way his boss would allow it. He served an irreplaceable role in the organization, his presence was sorely needed, and everyone - including himself - knew it to be so. He needed to take an extended leave of absence, but how could he? He’d be gone for months on end, and to make matters worse, the purpose of his absence was to accomplish an impossible task.

The man was Nehemiah, a slave, and he served as the cupbearer to the king. His boss? Artaxerxes, king of Persia. The most powerful man on earth. His request? Permission... to leave the king and head for Jerusalem. He said God had spoken. He had to go build a wall.

In Hand Me Another Brick, bestselling author and internationally syndicated radio host Chuck Swindoll uses the biblical story of Nehemiah to teach his readers timeless lessons on leadership. Despite being written over 2,400 years ago, there is much to be learned from one of the Bible’s greatest leaders, Nehemiah, and his call to escape capivity and rebuild the wall in Jerusalem.

“Though he possessed a high-ranking position in the world,” says Swindoll, “he had a very tender heart towards God. Because Nehemiah and his workers were in the center of God’s will, they enjoyed His special protection.”

Protection? Protection from what?

The same obstacles every leader faces, that’s what. Opposition. Setbacks. Discouragement. Pride. Like countless leaders before and after him, Nehemiah faced his fair share of difficulties in completing the task set before him.

“Being a leader is an unenviable calling,” says Swindoll. “It appears glamorous and glorious to the novice, but it is more often lonely and thankless. Good leaders are made, not born; they are built, shaped, and tested by God - brick by brick - over time.”

Nehemiah was a man of great courage, he was well equipped to carry out God’s calling for his life, and yet, his greatest strength might have been his dependence on God. He knew his rightful place as son of the Most High. Many times on his journey Nehemiah was faced with an uncertain decision or unforeseen threat, and rather than immediately acting, Nehemiah prayed and waited for God to give him direction on how to proceed.

“The more responsibility we shoulder, the more time we need for contemplation before our Father,” says Swindoll.

Whether it’s managing money, facing criticism, motivating the team, or persevering in tough circumstances, Nehemiah provided a sterling example of how to properly lead a team and get the job done. Leaders are courageous. Leaders are servants. Nehemiah was both.

If you're the leader of a team, a family, or an organization, you’d benefit greatly from the wisdom found in this book. If leaders are servants, then in a way, we're ALL leaders of some kind, tasked with the responsibility of serving in our respective kingdoms.

Hey Leader. Do yourself a favor... pick up this book. There might just be some people behind you that are counting on it.


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