Now the leaders of the people lived in Jerusalem. And the rest of the people cast lots to bring one out of ten to live in Jerusalem the holy city, while nine out of ten remained in the other towns. And the people blessed all the men who willingly offered to live in Jerusalem.
(Nehemiah 11:1-2 ESV)

Leadership isn’t always glamorous. There are not always hundreds of people lining up, wanting to be just like you. The book of Nehemiah gives us a front-row seat to the reality of leadership. We read that the leaders lived in Jerusalem and the rest drew lots to see who had to live there.

Nehemiah shares the rebuilding of Jerusalem. During the restoration, enemies threatened to attack it constantly. It wasn’t a safe place. That is one reason the average Joseph didn’t immediately sign up to live there. Living in Jerusalem also meant leaving the family farm and livelihood.

So we have a city in ruins with enemies threatening to attack and people drawing straws to see who had to swing a hammer to fix it up.

This is a picture of leadership. These people made a sacrifice.

Someone had to live there and get Jerusalem thriving.

Leadership isn't about asking people to take a risk for you, but taking one for them. Click To Tweet

Jesus even said that He came to serve and not to be served (Mark 10:45). That is what leading is.

We learn how to do this in the purest of forms through Jesus and His substitutionary death on the cross. He calls us to lay down our lives for others, because He has laid down his for us (John 15:13).

Just like the leaders working to rebuild God’s city, we are building His Church today.

Are you a servant leader?