Next To Them

Next To Them

10 October 2010

Today’s Reading: Nehemiah 3-4; Luke 23


1 The high priest Eliashib and his fellow priests were up and at it: They went to work on the Sheep Gate; they repaired it and hung its doors, continuing on as far as the Tower of the Hundred and the Tower of Hananel. 2 The men of Jericho worked alongside them; and next to them, Zaccur son of Imri. (Nehemiah 3:1-2 The Message)

I like this chapter of Nehemiah’s story. This is the list of the names of the people who actually worked on the wall. It starts with the high priest and his staff at the Sheep Gate and progresses all the way around with the goldsmiths and the merchants doing the final section between the Upper Room and the Sheep Gate where they connected with the priests.

A couple of things about this project:
• It was truly a team effort. Everyone linked with the people working next door so there were no gaps left in the wall.
• Everyone involved had “skin in the game.” They worked opposite their homes or their workplaces. Even the “out-of-towners” had a specific area of involvement.
• The team members were already in place. They only awaited a leader to present a plan and mobilize the team.

Nehemiah’s rebuilding of the Jerusalem wall is the classic “Leadership, Teamwork, and Overcoming Opposition” story. Almost any lesson about good leadership, working together as a team, trusting God and working hard, staying with it till the work is done – almost any good lesson can be based in this story.

I want to see all the leaders and team members of the various ministries of the church linking up with the people who are building next to them. If everyone only builds their own piece without seeing how it links with the part of the wall next to them, we don’t have a wall, but only a series of disconnected towers or fence posts.


Father, help me to better appreciate the people who are building next to me. Help me to help others link their work with the bigger task, to see how it all fits together. Help us to build the wall and not just build towers. Amen.

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