Nehemiah Building The Wall

Specialist Devotion

Nehemiah 2:17
[Neh 2:17 NIV] 17 Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.”

The people set out to rebuild the walls.

A task that seemed impossible but was done in 52 days.

How did Nehemiah and the team get the job done?

In Nehemiah Chapter 3 we see they all had a role to play.

  1. The took the role of a specialist.

They focused on one thing in helping to get the job done.

They became a specialist in that area.

Specialist: a person who concentrates primarily on a particular subject or activity; a person highly skilled in a specific and restricted field.

There were 10 different gates.

  1. Fish gate
  2. Old gate
  3. Valley gate
  4. Dung gate
  5. Sheep gate
  6. Inspection gate
  7. East gate
  8. Horse gate
  9. Water gate
  10. Fountain gate

2. They focused on their area and get the job done.

When we have specialists, this creates room for specialty groups.

  • Cooking, Exercise, Tutoring, Media, Graphic design, how to build a team, how to run a business, study group, how to budget your finances.

Imagine having different groups meeting on different days of the week to plan on how they are going to contribute in helping us to accomplish the vision.

3. They streamlined the work.

Streamline: design or provide with a form that presents very little resistance to a flow of air or water, increasing speed and ease of movement.

They answered the question of: How is what I am doing taking us toward the overall goal?

When we do establish ministry, specialty groups and so on.

We as the leader should ask ourselves, how am what I am doing taking us toward the overall win?

This is where the calendar will tell us what our win is for that season.

Michael Lukaszewski

You can have a clear mission, but without organization you won’t get everyone moving in the right direction. You can preach the vision, but if you don’t have a clear path ready for people, your vision talk will be just talk. That’s because your knee deep in a system problem.

From the book 7 Practices of effective ministry by Book by Andy Stanley, Lane Jones, and Reggie Joiner

Clarify the win –

It is impossible to know if you are making progress if you are not clear on the destination. This requires examining each and every church ministry, event and program and asking the question, “When all is said and done, what is it we want to look back on and celebrate?”

Do you know what a win is in your church or ministry? It’s difficult to tell when things are working well in church. A win is more complicated in church so knowing what a win looks like is all the more important. Do you have a scoreboard so you know when you’re getting ahead and your people know when to cheer?

No player in any sports team is confused about the goal. They may not reach it but they know what it is. If you give people a good goal then most of the time they’ll work hard to get there. But if the goal is unclear, they’re forced to guess, or worse, decide for themselves what a win really is. With or without a goal, people will work hard to get somewhere. The question is: Are they getting where you want them to go?

How do you clarify the win? Just ask yourself, ‘What is the most important thing?’ ‘Life change’ is our obvious goal but how do we measure that? Figure out where and how life change happens best and move people there.

In baseball the goal is to get to home plate. That’s where a win occurs. You have to decide where a win best happens for you. Is it your Sunday morning service or somewhere else? Once you know where it is, then you have to take the necessary steps to get there. Give people a clear target and they’re more likely to hit it.

Clarifying the win simply means communicating to your team what is really important and what really matters. By being intentional about defining a win you don’t accidentally communicate the wrong win or keep your team guessing about what is really important. Nothing hinders morale like separate agendas pulling against one another.

Advantages of ‘clarifying the win’:

1. You help keep your team on the same page. You avoid misalignment.

2. You manage resources more effectively.

3. You create the potential for positive momentum. Momentum is actually just a series of wins.

When people are winning they tend to … work harder, be less negative, trust the leadership, give more generously and stay involved.

Four steps to clarifying the win:

1. Sum up the win in a single phrase.

2. Keep the win as specific as possible. You can’t manage what you can’t measure.

3. Restate the win frequently and creatively. Keep it in front of your team so you remind them what’s important. 

4. Meet to clarify the win at every level. Most organisations have a mission statement and a list of carefully crafted values but few have summed up in a simple phrase what a win looks like at every level of the organisation.

It’s not enough to ask, “What does a win look like for the church”. It’s not enough to ask, “What does a win look like for the youth ministry?” You should also ask, “What does a win look like for the Youth Small Group time?” Clarify a win for each program and each leader or volunteer.

Thank you for taking the time to read blog. Let me know if you have question by posting them in the comment section.

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