Barber, Cyril J. Nehemiah and the Dynamics of Effective Leadership. Neptune, NJ: Loizeaux Brothers, 1976. 191 pp. Paper, $2.75.
If the reader is looking for an expository treatment of this neglected Old Testament book, he will be disappointed. Nevertheless, Mr. Barber’s apt handling of Nehemiah is both interesting and instructive, for he shares with the reader many valuable insights he has gleaned from his careful and incisive study of the man Nehemiah, as well as his message.
Having provided a brief but excellent introduction to the book of Nehemiah, the author develops such subjects as:
· The Greatest Force on Earth (Nehemiah 1:4-11)
· Taking Command (Nehemiah 2: 9-20)
· Formula for Success (Nehemiah 3)
· Values in Conflict (Nehemiah 4:7-23)
· Handling Opposition without Coming Unglued (Nehemiah 6:1-9)
· Recharging One’s Batteries (Nehemiah 7:73b-8:18)
· The Lessons of History (Nehemiah 9)
· The Problem of Preserving Freedom (Nehemiah 13:4-31)
Such terms as “task specialists,” “social-emotional experts” and “the dynamics of interpersonal relationships” would surely have been foreign to Nehemiah in his day, and possibly a bit frightening.
Mr. Barber, however, sees in Nehemiah and his record the basis of modern day principles of business leadership, and says:
“From the book of Nehemiah I learned how to plan my work … organize my time and resources… integrate my duties into the total operation of the company … motivate others…measure the results… the importance of setting goals … what to do before I reached my objectives.”
Mr. Barber’s book is probably the most unique treatment of Nehemiah ever written and will serve as a valuable addition to any Bible study library.
The author’s concluding chapter on the “Profile of A Leader” serves as an excellent summary of both the characteristics of an effective leader and the basic principles of sound leadership.
It is this reviewer’s fond hope that the book will have the wide circulation among God’s people that it deserves.
— W. Ross Rainey