What are you willing to risk?

By Ivan Williams

In January of 1965 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “The ultimate test of a man or woman is not where they stand in moments of comfort and moments of convenience, but where they stand in moments of challenge and moments of controversy.”  When reading the entire account in the Bible of Nehemiah, you quickly notice he shines brightly as one who remained faithful to the task in the midst of challenges and teeming opposition.  

As a cupbearer, he risked everything to become an agent of restoration of Jerusalem's security and spiritual renewal.  What are you willing to risk this year for God? As we start the New Year, here are 7 spiritual leadership lessons I've learned from Nehemiah who risked adversity's advantage.

1.  Spiritual leaders pray and act. Praying people are spiritually aware and people of action.

2.  Spiritual leaders are change agents and are unsatisfied with the status quo.

3. Spiritual leaders prepare for and expect opposition, and yet choose to act righteously.

3.  Distress and Adversity may simply be God's opportunity for intimacy.

4.  We have not been called to work alone.

5.  A few people on God's side equal the majority.

6.  Staying true and faithful to your assignment requires a focus and tenacity beyond the detours, distractions, and disruptions.

7.  God honors those who honor Him.


A. Are you staying safe in your role as ministerial director, while those you serve are in need of your intervention?  

B. Are you placing anything on the line for the cause of Christ?  

C. Do pastors count on you to speak for them in meetings they don’t attend?

D. Do you tell pastors the truth about how they are being perceived?

E. Are you pastoring your pastors?

F. Are you leading them spiritually?

G. What practical ways do you mentor, coach, and model for the pastors you serve?