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1.2 Devotion: Leadership Discouragement – IntroductionGetting Started

Charles Swindoll (2006) shared in his book “Hand Me Another Brick: How Effective Leaders Motivate Themselves and Others,” a summary of the short biography that Charles Edison wrote about his famous inventor father, Thomas. You see, for all of the splendid inventions that we continue to enjoy today as a result of Thomas Edison’s inventive genius (the microphone, the light bulb, movies with sound, batteries that store power, and hundreds more), he faced enormous challenges that included many failures and financial setbacks along the way. In the biography of Thomas that son Charles wrote, he included the story of a cold winter night in 1914 when the business his father was struggling to keep afloat burned to the ground. In the midst of all of the heat and smoke, as well as the five companies of fire fighters who showed up to battle the huge blaze, Charles quickly realized that his father was nowhere to be found. Fearful that, at age 67, his father may simply give up trying to make a financial success of the business, Charles become very concerned for him. Suddenly, out of the still smoldering embers, Thomas appeared. Running toward his son, Thomas beckoned Charles to go get his mother and tell her to gather all her friends. “They’ll never see a fire like this again!” Thomas exclaimed. By the next morning, Thomas gathered together his employees and pronounced that the business would be rebuilt, bigger and better than ever. He explained, “You can always make capital out of disaster. We’ve just cleared out a bunch of old rubbish!” At that, Thomas Edison rolled his coat up into a ball, climbed onto a table, and promptly fell asleep.

In the Scriptures, a man named Nehemiah, like Thomas Edison, faced some rather overwhelming challenges. Also like Edison, Nehemiah refused to allow discouragement to interfere with what needed to be done. In fact, Nehemiah’s story represents one of the best examples of effective leadership in all of the Bible. Throughout this six-week course, we will explore Nehemiah’s leadership journey as he endeavored to lead the rebuilding of the wall around the ruins of the city of Jerusalem. We will consider the various causes of discouragement encountered by Nehemiah, as well as how he dealt with those discouragements

Upon successful completion of this assignment, you will be able to:

· Integrate biblical perspectives for promoting holistic well-being in organizational leaders and followers.

Background Information


1. Review the rubric to make sure you understand the criteria for earning your grade.

2. Review the information in the Getting Started section. 

3. Read(new tab) or listen(new tab) to chapter 1 of the Book of Nehemiah. 

4. Write a half-page reflection paper (Word document) that shares what you discovered about the source of Nehemiah’s discouragement, as well as his reaction to what happened. Then, briefly share a personal example of a discouraging situation you have encountered. What effect did it have on you? How did you respond to the discouragement?

5. Reflection papers are to be written in accordance with APA Guidelines (7th ed.) including format guidelines. Papers must be logical, well organized, grammatically correct, and have correct spelling and sentence structure.  Write in complete paragraphs. 

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