Summary: This is part of a series through Nehemiah. The entire series is about godly steps for rebuilding godly structures.

Introduction: Vietnam wall Illustration

Read Scripture/PRAY

Background: Addressing problems, becoming change agents

Purpose Statement: As we go about the task of problem solving...

I. Don’t Be Overwhelmed By the Size of the Task

A. Note the state of the Decay

1. situations in our own life

2. 45 different major rebuilding projects listed here

B. Some will say it can’t be done

1. Starfish illustration

2. Envision the glory

II. Don’t Try to Do It Alone

A. Requires strong leadership

1. Nehemiah with a vision from God

2. No accident 1st work crew was priest Eliashib

B. Requires a multitude of workers

1. Bricklayer illustration

2. Too often everyone complains – I wish somebody’d

3. At least 40 different families and groups

4. Honor them – tongue in cheek re: title

C. Requires people to work outside of their comfort zone (v. 8)

1. Goldsmiths and perfume makers – soft hands

2. If you are gifted in a particular area – get there

D. Not everyone will support you (v. 5)

1. Don’t wait for that to happen – Cumford’s Law

2. Seek God’s approval, not mans

III. Don’t Do Anything Without Including God

A. Pray for months

1. Are you starting to get the point?

2. Bath everything in prayer

B. Consecrate Your Task to the Lord

1. Success without God is no success at all

2. 1st two points would hold true for X’s as well as non X’s

C. It’s all in vain without Christ

1. God

2. Psalm 127:1

Conclusion: Begg Football story

Vietnam Wall

My trip to the Vietnam wall. Spent several hours looking at the list of names even though I didn’t know anyone personally who was killed in the war. Why is it we can all do things like that yet we come to a list of names in Scripture and we quickly skim over it to get to back to the “story.” God includes the names because those names are the story.


I recently read about an old man, walking the beach at dawn, who noticed a young man ahead of him picking up starfish and flinging them into the sea. Catching up with the youth, he asked what he was doing. The answer was that the stranded starfish would die if left in the morning sun. “But the beach goes on for miles and miles, and there are millions of starfish,” countered the man. “How can your effort make any difference?”

The young man looked at the starfish in his hand and then threw it to safety in the waves. “It makes a difference to this one,” he said.

Hugh Duncan, Leadership


I am writing in response to your request for additional information. In block #3 of the accident form, I put “trying to do the job alone” as the cause of my accident.

You said in your letter that I should explain more fully, and I trust that the following details will be sufficient.

I am a bricklayer by trade. On the date of the accident I was working alone on the roof of a new six story building. When I completed my work, I found that I had about 500 pounds of brick left over. Rather than carry the bricks down by hand, I decided to lower them in a barrel by using a pulley which fortunately was attached to the side of the building at the 6th floor. Securing the rope at ground level, I went up to the roof, swung the barrel out, and loaded the bricks into it.

Then I went back to the ground and untied the rope, holding it tightly to insure a slow descent of the 500 pounds of brick. You will note in block #11 of the accident report that I weigh 135 pounds. But to by surprise at being jerked off the ground so suddenly, I lost my presence of mind and forgot to let go of the rope. Needless to say, I proceeded at a rather rapid rate up the side of the building. In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming down. This explains the fractured skull, and broken collar bone. Slowed only slightly, I continued my rapid ascent, not stopping until the fingers of my right hand were 2 knuckles deep into the pulley. Fortunately, by this time, I had regained my presence of mind, and was able to hold tightly to the rope, in spite of my Pain. At approximately the same time, however, the barrel of bricks hit the ground, and the bottom fell out of the barrel. Devoid of the weight of the bricks, the barrel then weighed approximately 50 pounds. I refer you again to my weight in block #11.

As you might imagine, I began a rapid descent down the side of the building. In the vicinity of the third floor, I met the barrel coming up. This accounts for the two fractured ankles, and the lacerations of my legs, and lower body area. The encounter with the barrel slowed me enough to lessen my injuries when I fell onto the pile of bricks, and fortunately only three vertebrae were cracked.

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