2024_05_22 Insight Post- Rusty Coram


This week’s reading- Nehemiah 1-6

I absolutely love Nehemiah – both the man and the book he wrote in the Old Testament. If you want a case study on project development and management, this is a great resource of real-world practical wisdom. The story of rebuilding the wall of Jerusalem could have easily been a vanity project celebrating Nehemiah as an inspiring and accomplished leader. Instead, what Nehemiah does in documenting the process is to give God the primary credit and then share the rest of the honors with those who stepped up to tackle what seemed impossible.

We could focus on numerous ways that Nehemiah demonstrated excellent leadership – mission focus, humility, courage, modeling the way, etc… One thing that stands out to me as I’ve been reading is his commitment to collaboration. The idea of collaborating is to pull people together to accomplish a goal while building community and camaraderie. The many names of people and groups that worked on rebuilding the wall are embedded in the story. Chapter 3 tells us that the wall was rebuilt not by professional masons or brick layers but by residents in the area who followed directions and invested sweat equity. There were men, women, and children involved. There were priests, merchants, Levites, nobles, and servants. They were skilled in other trades, including goldsmiths and perfumers, who equally shouldered the load. In a sad contrast to the diverse collection of people who joined in were a certain group of examples of leadership from the Tekoa district. In a list of the many who willingly joined the effort we read, “Next were the people from Tekoa, though their leaders refused to work with the construction supervisors.” Nehemiah 3:5 (NLT) By contrast, many other leaders, including Nehemiah, “I also devoted myself to working on the wall and refused to acquire any land. And I required all my servants to spend time working on the wall.” Nehemiah 5:16 (NLT)

Of course, the wall wasn’t as beautiful as one that was completely designed and constructed by experts, but it accomplished the job of protecting the city while, in the process, rebuilding a formerly discouraged and dispirited people. As a community, they withstood threats, fear, exhaustion, and relational strife. As the years went on, all who participated could look at their work and have a healthy pride in what they partnered with God and each other to accomplish!

At New Hope, we want to be a group where everyone has an opportunity to participate in doing God’s work as His partners and teammates together.

Rusty Coram
Senior Pastor