One of the greatest examples of a Godly leader is Nehemiah, a man who led the Israelites back to Jerusalem to rebuild the wall. His task was huge. He had resistance from outsiders as well as within his own people. People got tired. They bickered. They spread rumors. They were inconsistent in their offerings. And they allowed financial inequity to seep in even among families.
So what do you do when you're facing an avalanche of difficulty like he did? He dealt with his leaders first. Every time. When there was a shortfall of money, he challenged the leadership publically to help resolve the problem. He expected them to give sacrificially. They did and the people followed. When the injustice crept into family life among his people, he challenged the leaders first to make it right. To not allow their family members to live in poverty or be sold into slavery. And the people followed. When it came time to agree to the covenant after the wall was built, he put his name on the line first and then asked his leaders to commit. And the people followed.
Behind all of this, Nehemiah personally exhibited the greatest generosity. He gave food, money, labor, and time without expectation. He didn't take advantage of many of the perks that are often associated with his position. He led by example and the people followed.
Maybe when it feels like we're getting nowhere with our church, we need to look at our personal behavior and see if we are leading by example. And then hold our leaders to the same scrutiny.