I felt it important to repeat and restate some key points from last Sunday’s message on Nehemiah titled, Moving Forward…Together. As we begin to think through the implications of Advance 2020, these points may help us:
# Organization is key. Finding ways to distribute workers to the places where they are best suited and gifted to work is a key concept. The idea with this is not to simply corral people into the sanctuary but to help them find their God-given assignments through the church. The church is not “a” church. It is not something we go to or an address on the map. Church is YOU. The people are the church. Everything else is dispensable… only you are eternal. God’s dwelling place is not made with human hands. He created YOU to be that dwelling place of His Spirit.
# Participation is essential. It is my desire that we deploy every person who is willing to serve. There are no ‘”saturating saints” whose assignment is to sit and watch. We all have something that God wants to use us in. There will be different areas of giftedness (1 Corinthians 12:14-27) and each is necessary for the church to fully grow up into Christ-likeness. While our different gifts can become points of jealousy or even disagreement, they should be cause for rejoicing since God has especially selected your gift FOR YOU to uniquely use. And remember this even if your gifts are not recognized or publicized, your work in the Lord will never be forgotten: “For God is not unjust and He will not forget your service in His name to the saints….” (Hebrews 6:10)
# Cooperation is crucial. While unity does not mean we are going to agree on every point going forward, especially the structure and form we may follow, it does mean that we move forward most effectively as we unite around Jesus. “One hundred pianos tuned to the same tuning fork are automatically in tune with each other.” (A.W. Tozer) “We will never get beyond how we get along.” (Chip Ingram) B.C. Forbes, founder of Forbes magazine, said “You spell success T-E-A-M-W-O-R-K.”
We want everyone flying in formation. Geese flying in a V formation are flying with 72% more efficiency than a goose flying alone! We want each person working “at the hand” (holding hands) with the person next to them on the wall. And our rebuilding will be most effective as we do it together… not in isolation.
And most importantly, remember that it all began at the Sheep Gate! That place where the sacrifices were brought into the city was the place where some scholars believe Jesus entered the city… God’s perfect Lamb! Any rebuilding in our lives begins at the Sheep Gate…
He is the Great Rebuilder!
FOR MEDITATION: Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brethren the priests and built the Sheep Gate; they consecrated it and hung its doors…. Nehemiah 3:1
FOR REFLECTION: If every member of the church worked and served as you do, would the church be stronger or weaker?
If you would like to hear the whole sermon Dr. Maynard referenced in this blog, click here