Nehemiah 3:1 – Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brothers the priests, and they built the Sheep Gate. They consecrated it and set its doors. They consecrated it as far as the Tower of the Hundred, as far as the Tower of the Hananel.
As you read Nehemiah 3, stop for a moment and imagine that your name was in that chapter, along with your family and friends who served with you in some tedious ministry task. This chapter would likely become your favorite in the entire book, if not among your favorite chapters in the entire Bible.
The lengthy list of names and projects includes 38 people along with numerous others whose names are not listed, 42 separate teams laboring to complete various assigned aspects of the work, spread across seven neighborhoods in the city marked by their corresponding gates. In this enormous city and ministry project, we learn the following principles regarding people and their leaders.
8 Principles for People
- God works for you, in you, and through you.
- Leaders work on the plan; people work out the plan.
- A serving family is a special family.
- Some people refuse to work (3:5).
- Some people do more work than others (3:11, 21, 24, 27, 30).
- Some people work from home (3:10, 23, 28-30).
- Some jobs are less desirable.
- Unknown people are known by God.
The incredible truth is that, if you’re filled with the Holy Spirit, you’re oftentimes willing to do things that other people may not be willing to do. In today’s time, especially in America, there’s an epidemic of people who don’t want to work. Telling everyone to stay home and that the government would send them money the last two years due to COVID-19 was not helpful to the American workforce.
On the other hand, Trinity Church in Scottsdale, Arizona, where I have the honor of being the senior pastor (and at many other wonderful churches across the nation and world), there are large numbers of unpaid volunteers who show up to help because they love Jesus, their church, and people. The people in Nehemiah 3 enjoyed working together to rebuild because they believed in Nehemiah’s mission and wanted to see people encounter God. I pray the same Spirit would encourage and empower the volunteers at your home church as, by God’s grace, He has at Trinity Church.
What strikes you as most intriguing about the leaders and workers in Nehemiah 3?