Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Nehemiah 3-5: The Team

From Garden to City reading:  Nehemiah 3-5

Yesterday, in Body Life, I wrote about the importance of working as a team.  Nehemiah names the teams in chapter three.

It seems like everybody (with the exception of a few nobles from Tekoa) got involved.  Not just the gate and wall builders.  Goldsmiths, perfume-makers, priests, temple servants, and farmers.  Even women joined in the effort.  (I just love that Nehemiah lets us know that.)

Sometimes we exclude ourselves from a project because it's out of our "gifting."
Sometimes it's good to go ahead and join the team. Work together.  For a single purpose.

I was going to stop right there.
Nice, neat ending for a short post.  I was sort of thinking of Philippians 2:1-11.

And then I started reading again.

Teamwork is rarely nice and neat. It sounds so ideal, but in the end, people have to work with people.  And people aren't nice and neat.

First, the opposition came from outside the Jewish community.  The people totally panicked because outside tribes threatened to attack. Prayer and preparation averted the battle.

Lots of prayer.  Lots of weapons.  Lots of work.
The people joined together, kept working, carried weapons, and promised to protect each other.

Sometimes it's easier to dispel opposition that comes from outside the community.  Think about 9/11.  For about a month, Democrats and Republicans, people from across the country, banded together.  We were Americans.  Yeah.  That lasted about a month.

Next, the opposition came from within the Jewish community.  Rulers and nobles taxed the poor, but the poor were so busy rebuilding the wall that they didn't have time to work their land and earn money for taxes.  When they couldn't pay, the rich and the powerful took the land and sold the poor people's children into slavery.

Eventually the poor said, "No more.  Why should we work on walls to protect land that's not even ours anymore?"

Good question.
There's no political commentary here.  I have nothing to say on the subject of taxes. This post is about teamwork. How do we treat each other? And if you're in leadership, do you value the people you serve?  Or are they serving you?

And do we take on the role of a servant, setting aside our own personal interests for the interests of others? (Yes, I am back to Philippians.)

Do we consider others better than ourselves?
Are we willing to be like Jesus?

Yeah, teamwork.
It's totally necessary if we want to join God in his plans.
And yeah, it's not that easy. But it's worth it.

Who's on your team?
What's your purpose?
What's kind of opposition are you experiencing?
How do you counter it?

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