S. May-When the Going Gets Tough

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When the Going Gets Tough
by Steve May
Text: Nehemiah 4:1–23
Topic: How to lead by listening
Big Idea: Leaders can deal with any problem involving other people by listening.
Keywords: Opposition; Tenacity; Overcoming; Problems

Introduction * Illustration: Nehemiah’s venture was like tug-of-war.

  • The halfway point is where the going gets tough.
  • Many leaders make the mistake of pushing, prodding and bullying people instead of encouraging them and helping them get back on track.
  • When the going got tough, Nehemiah listened. He paid attention to what his people were saying, and then, he took action.
    -Illustration: Comparing E.F. Hutton to Paine-Webber.
    -Illustration: Winnie the Pooh conversation between Gopher and Owl.
    -Illustration: Hugh Downs learned a lesson by watching an interviewer who didn’t listen.

We have lost our strength. * Nehemiah 4:10, 13

  • The people were getting tired and discouraged, and Nehemiah was able to reverse the momentum by making some changes that gave greater consideration to their needs.

We have lost our vision. * Nehemiah 4:10, 12, 14

  • Nehemiah restored their vision by reminding them that this project was designed for God’s glory.

We have lost our confidence. * Nehemiah 4:10, 20

  • How did Nehemiah know that the people needed a pep talk and not a kick in the pants? He listened.

Conclusion: * Leaders can deal with any problem involving other people by listening.

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