Colossians 3:23-24 – Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.
In Nehemiah 3, large groups of people under leadership on specific teams were deployed to rebuild Jerusalem. It took many people digging holes, shoveling dirt, stacking stones, and hanging gates. While everyone loves to talk about and celebrate the extraordinary days when people get saved and baptized, these people were doing ordinary work to make possible those extraordinary days.
According to Colossians 3, what you’re doing isn’t important but what you’re doing it for is most important. If you’re currently in a job you dislike, thank God that you’re able to make money and possibly even provide for your family. In fact, Jesus spent 90% of His life doing labor and only the final three years doing what looked like outright ministry.
If you need your car fixed, your air conditioner tuned up, or a straightforward health diagnosis, while these jobs aren’t technically categorized as “ministry”, you’d probably be pretty thankful to have an honest, Christian mechanic, HVAC technician, or doctor. Christian people who do trades are just as important to ministry as those who are preaching, teaching, and loving people inside the walls of a church.
When we first got our building that is now Trinity Church just over six years ago, it was horrifically ugly. It had been passed through several groups’ hands and had fallen into disrepair. What’s now the Backyard where children play looked like a prison yard and there was a giant blue dome in the main room that cast a Smurf-like light on everything it touched.
By God’s grace, wonderful people showed up and gathered together for Bible studies before putting on their gloves and boots for work parties every week. They helped pave the way for the extraordinary work God is doing at Trinity just like these people in Nehemiah 3 did for Jerusalem and the Temple. They did what seemed like ordinary work to set up our church family for extraordinary moving of the Holy Spirit.
When reading Nehemiah 3, who comes to mind as an example of a faithful, humble person who serves without prestige or praise?