Summary: Message 21 in our journey through Nehemiah. This message summarizes many of the principles of leadership and church growth picked up along the way. The message was presented as a letter from Nehemiah to our church.
NUGGETS FROM NEHEMIAH'S NOTEBOOK
Paul warns the people in the church at Corinth to be care how they build upon the foundation laid by Christ and the Apostles. Not all kingdom building results in glory to God. We must continually be careful to build according to the divinely designed blueprints and build with divinely endorsed building materials and methods. A sense of caution is developed by continual exposure to the written Word of God and the examples of those who have applied the Word of God.
We at Chico have a desire to be on the front lines of kingdom building. If we are to be on the front lines we must be all the more cautious in our materials and methods and direction. Success must be measured in relation to faithfulness to the blueprint. A church could be considered faithful in the eyes of the world but totally miss the purpose for which God has left the church here in the first place. As we look at models, it is important to seek after those who have demonstrated faithfulness and realized the fruit of that faithfulness. It has been apparent from reading his journal that Nehemiah is one such prominent model of kingdom building.
If he were alive today, it would be of great benefit to correspond concerning what advice he might pass on to us concerning Chico Alliance Church.
We at Chico Alliance Church in Bremerton, Washington United States of America have greatly appreciated reading the account of your administration and leadership as governor of Jerusalem. We praise God for the fruit of your labor for the Kingdom of God and your deep commitment, your penetrating passion for the hurts of others, your patience and persistence, your diligence and life of prayer. You have been an inspiration of servanthood by your humility and personal sacrifice. thank you for your deep commitment to god and His righteousness. You have truly been and example of one who sought first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.
It is because of your experience and faithfulness that we write to you today for some advice concerning how we can be better kingdom builders in our time our place in this world. From your experience, what would you consider as the most important principles for us to consider for our church family?
Dear Pastor and members or Chico Alliance Church,
Thank you for your encouraging letter. Any accomplishments that I have achieved on this earth are a direct result of God's work in response to our obedience to His direction. What advice I might offer can call be found in my journal which God has so graciously seen fit to edit by His Spirit and record for you to read. Perhaps I could highlight just a few nuggets from my notebook that I feel are essential principles in building the Kingdom of God.
1. Develop a passion to bear burdens -- FEEL
When I became aware of the burden of God's people he wept and mourned for days. Be alert to the hurts and burdens of others. Allow God to ignite the fire of compassion in you that longs to relieve pain and suffering through the truth and power of Christ. Remember, any plan to build people must begin with a passion to bear the burdens of those people.
We at Chico must be sure our goals are well defined. Are we here to increase the number of people, or are we here to increase personal awareness of God's life changing, freedom imparting truth? When was the last time we cried concerning the awful bondage that has imprisoned many of our fellow saints. Most of the time we are not even aware of the burdens let alone weep over them. And when we are aware of them, we become self-righteous, critical and harmful rather than compassionate, understanding and helpful. Ministries that develop here at Chico Alliance must be aimed at applying the healing message of Christ's truth to the bondage from satan's lies. We must not be afraid to FEEL. Without feeling there is no healing.
Lord, I confess that I am often so focused on my own troubles that I am not aware of the pain that others bear. I am sometimes callous to the struggles and hurts in others that have caused them to act the way they do. Give me compassion for others as Christ had compassion on others in spite of their sinfulness. As a church may you stir within us a divine drive to reach out and touch with your love and offer your healing hand.
2. Never neglect persistent and passionate prayer -- PRAY AND FAST
When I heard the condition of my brothers in Jerusalem I knew that the only source of help was God's supernatural move on their behalf.So I went immediately to prayer and spent some time fasting. I spent about four months in intensive prayer for God to work and bring relief to the pain of my brothers. Prayer must always be the first course of action.