DEVOTION:THIS IS HOW CHURCH IS SUPPOSE TO FUNCTION!
The exiled remnants in Judah caught the vision of Nehemiah for rebuilding the wall of the city of Jerusalem. In the previous chapter, Nehemiah had made this plea to them:
Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace. Nehemiah 2:17
In today’s chapter, we see an overwhelming response to this call. These exiled remnants worked as a team. Everyone was involved, even the priests were involved:
Eliashib the high priest and his fellow priests went to work and rebuilt the Sheep Gate. They dedicated it and set its doors in place, building as far as the Tower of the Hundred, which they dedicated, and as far as the Tower of Hananel. Nehemiah 3:1
Each town built its section as a team
The men of Jericho built the adjoining section, and Zakkur son of Imri built next to them. Nehemiah 3:2
Even Families took up sections and worked as teams
The Fish Gate was rebuilt by the sons of Hassenaah. They laid its beams and put its doors and bolts and bars in place Nehemiah 3:3
In addition, individuals also took up sections to repair.
Meremoth son of Uriah, the son of Hakkoz, repaired the next section. Next to him Meshullam son of Berekiah, the son of Meshezabel, made repairs, and next to him Zadok son of Baana also made repairs. Nehemiah 3:4
Everyone regardless of their professions took up sections and repaired. No one said they were not trained for this.
Uzziel son of Harhaiah, one of the goldsmiths, repaired the next section; and Hananiah, one of the perfume-makers, made repairs next to that. They restored Jerusalem as far as the Broad Wall. Nehemiah 3:8
In addition to those mentioned above, the following passages lists all those who were involved in repairing the wall from Leaders, temple servants, security guards, Gold smiths to merchants.
Leaders too were involved
Rephaiah son of Hur, ruler of a half-district of Jerusalem, repaired the next section. Nehemiah 3:8
Shallum son of Hallohesh, ruler of a half-district of Jerusalem, repaired the next section with the help of his daughters Nehemiah 3:12
The Dung Gate was repaired by Malkijah son of Rekab, ruler of the district of Beth Hakkerem. He rebuilt it and put its doors with their bolts and bars in place. The Fountain Gate was repaired by Shallun son of Kol-Hozeh, ruler of the district of Mizpah. He rebuilt it, roofing it over and putting its doors and bolts and bars in place. He also repaired the wall of the Pool of Siloam, by the King’s Garden, as far as the steps going down from the City of David. Beyond him, Nehemiah son of Azbuk, ruler of a half-district of Beth Zur, made repairs up to a point opposite the tombs[e] of David, as far as the artificial pool and the House of the Heroes.Nehemiah 3:14-16
Even the Levites were involved
Next to him, the repairs were made by the Levites under Rehum son of Bani. Beside him, Hashabiah, ruler of half the district of Keilah, carried out repairs for his district. Next to him, the repairs were made by their fellow Levites under Binnui[f] son of Henadad, ruler of the other half-district of Keilah. Nehemiah 3:17-18
Some individuals did it with unmatched character
Next to him, Baruch son of Zabbai zealously repaired another section, from the angle to the entrance of the house of Eliashib the high priest. Nehemiah 3:20
The Temple servants were involved
And the temple servants living on the hill of Ophel made repairs up to a point opposite the Water Gate toward the east and the projecting tower. Nehemiah 3:26
Security guards were involved
Next to him, Shemaiah son of Shekaniah, the guard at the East Gate, made repairs. Nehemiah 3:29b
Gold Smiths and Mechants were also involved
And between the room above the corner and the Sheep Gate the goldsmiths and merchants made repairs. Nehemiah 3:32
Apart from the nobles of Tekoa (Nehemiah 3:5), everyone was involved in the rebuilding of the wall. They worked as a team with each person doing their part in rebuilding the wall. Nobody gave excuses that they were not trained as builders. In the end, the vision given to Nehemiah by God was accomplished because everyone was on board.
- Just as God gave Nehemiah a vision for rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem, God also gives the Pastor a vision for the church. But the Pastor cannot do much by himself if the whole church does not raise up to support this vision.
- For any church to grow and make progress in fulfilling the Great Commission all members must work as a team with each individual doing their part. Even though the vision of every church is expressed differently based on the giftedness and the calling of the Pastor, ultimately, it is about the fulfillment of the Great Commission.
- But Church work is not a one man’s show. In other words, this is not the work of the pastor alone.
- This is why God has given every believer a spiritual gift to enable them to use in building up the body of Christ, the church.
Now to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good. To one there is given through the Spirit a message of wisdom, to another a message of knowledge by means of the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by that one Spirit, to another miraculous powers, to another prophecy, to another distinguishing between spirits, to another speaking in different kinds of tongues, and to still another the interpretation of tongues. All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he distributes them to each one, just as he determines. 1 Corinthians 12:7-11
- Every Christian will be rewarded in heaven based on their faithfulness in fulfilling this assignment in their church.
- Are you doing your part today in helping your Church’s vision to be fulfilled?
- But more often than not, Pastors find themselves unable to fulfill their calling because of a couple of factors.
- A myriad of competing visions in the church. Usually from Church leaders or associates. This makes a church very difficult to lead. There should be one and only one visionary for the church whom God has given the vision for that specific church.
- Another obstacle is when the deacons and or Elders scrutinize the Pastor’s vision. This means the Leadership must approve the vision God has given to the pastor. In this kind of situation, the Pastor is not allowed to lead the church as God leads him. And I ask this question: Who is leading whom? Or who is the Leader for the Church? God or Man?
- Yet another obstacle is when members demand that their church to be like a certain church in town or somewhere else. Or when they demand for the pastor to preach like a certain preacher. You need to remember this: Each Pastor has their own unique gifts and character, and every church is a reflection of the uniqueness of that Pastor.
- Last but not the least, in some churches, the pastor is told what to preach and how to preach. This complicates the role of prayer in the life of the pastor and the need to seek God’s guidance. The rule is this: Pastors do not preach and should not preach what they want to preach or preach what they like to preach. Neither should they preach because they are able to prepare and deliver. But they should only preach that which God has laid in their own heart to deliver to His people.
- My challenge for you today is this: Rally around your pastor to support the vision God has given him and do your part in helping to fulfill this vision for your church.
- Examine yourself today:
- Have you been part of those who seek to approve the pastor’s vision?
- Have you been one who complains about your church because it does not look or do things like the other church in town or somewhere else?
- Have you ever disagreed and opposed the vision of your pastor?
- If the answer to the above is yes, then you need to repent. Ask God to forgive you because you have been a hindrance to your pastor. Then begin supporting his vision and do your part in helping to fulfill his vision for your church.
- Do not be like believers who come to church to watch performances from the worship team, the pastor, etc. This group of believers moves from one church to another looking for new performances. They do absolutely nothing to contribute to the fulfillment of the vision given to their church. They are normally very critical about the church and like to gossip on how so and so in church is not doing such and such. This group is into perfection and always looking for a perfect church. But there is no such a thing as a perfect church. They do not want to do anything to make their church attractive.They only want a perfect church that others have paid the price to make it what it is today.
Except for the nobles of Tekoa (Nehemiah 3:5),
Everyone was involved in the rebuilding of the wall.
They worked as a team with each person doing their part
In rebuilding the temple.
Nobody gave excuse that they were not trained as a builder.
In the end, the vision given to Nehemiah by God
Was accomplished because
Everyone was on board.
THIS IS HOW CHURCH IS SUPPOSE TO FUNCTION!
Pastor Shadrack Ruto