The service will also include communion
& reception into membership.
There will also be lunches for all those who
put their names on the list
“He who thinks he is leading and has no one following is only taking a walk!” Not all are leaders; neither are all who think that they are leaders actually leaders; most are simply taking a walk and following!
But not so Nehemiah, who was a definite leader, called and tasked by God to accomplish two crucially important tasks:
Rebuild – the dilapidated wall and gates of the city of Jerusalem.
Reform – the repopulated city so that the community was governed by the Law of the Lord.
This was a “big ask” so let us identify some of the “tools” required by Nehemiah to fulfil the task, which are desirable not only in church leaders, but also in all Christians as they engage in the Lord’s work:-
1 – DEPENDENCE.
Nehemiah expressed his dependence, not on himself, but on God in the high priority that he gave to prayer.
Examples – He engaged in an extended time of prayer when he first heard the news about the pathetic state of Jerusalem (Chapter 1 v 4 – 11.) But then most of his other prayers were short, succinct and uttered on the move – to gain leave of absence from his job (Chapter 2 v 4); in the face of enemy ridicule (Chapter 4v 4); when dealing with enemy deception (Chapter 6 v 9); and when wanting God to look upon him with mercy and favour for what he had done (Chapter 13 v 14, 22, 29 & 31.)
Principle – The need to declare our dependence upon God in times of extended prayer, as well as prayers that “practice his presence” throughout the day (1 Thessalonians 5 v 17.)
2 – DELEGATION.
So huge was the task that it could not be accomplished alone, so Nehemiah skilfully delegated responsibility to others.
Examples – he involved the people in the rebuilding (Chapter 3) while others stood guard and protected them (Chapter 4 v 16); he put two men in charge of the city (Chapter 7 v 2); he brought Ezra and the Levites to the city to teach the Law of the Lord (Chapter 8.)
Principle – The need to see ministry as a team effort and not as something performed by a “one man band” (Romans 16 v 1 – 16.)
3 – DETERMINATION.
Despite the fact that the odds were stacked against him in terms of internal and external opposition, nothing was going to deflect Nehemiah from his determination to complete the task.
Examples – He was not put off by an early inspection which revealed the full extent of the damage (Chapter 2 v 13 – 18); he refused to allow enemy ridicule (Chapter 4 v 1) and cunning plots (Chapter 6) to get to him; he would not be discouraged by some of the workers giving up (Chapter 4 v 10); by community tensions between rich and poor (Chapter 5); and by the people blatantly breaking the covenant (Chapter 13.)
Principle – Ministry is never easy, but it needs to be seen as something that will require determination and perseverance if it is to prevail (1 Corinthians 15 v 58.)
4 – DEVOTION.
Nehemiah was seen by the people as someone who was completely devoted to God and to his Law, as well as to them as his people. He was an excellent role model.
Examples – He reinstated the Feast of Tabernacles (Chapter 8 v 13 – 18); he was the first signature on the covenant (Chapter 10 v 1) and supervised the resultant reforms; he made sure that the new wall was dedicated in the context of worship (Chapter 12 v 27 – 47); and unlike previous governors, Nehemiah did not claim the allowances that his office entitled him to and practiced open hospitality (Chapter 5 v 14 – 18.)
Principle – Ministry needs to be exercised by those who are utterly devoted to God and his Word, and who have the best interests of his people at heart. All of which must find practical expression in the infectious holiness of a Christ like example (John 13 v 14 – 17.)
Theme: “Lessons in leadership”
Reading: Nehemiah – various sections
Preacher: Chris Hughes
Led by: Chris Hughes