Summary: This is the 4th sermon in the series "Rebuilding". Nehemiah shows us how to rebuild successfully.

Series: Rebuilding [#4]


Nehemiah 3:1-32


Last week we established the realities of rebuilding. With that understanding, we need to start rebuilding. It’s time to put action to all of the planning and praying.

To rebuild successfully…

1. You need vision.

What is your purpose? Nehemiah’s vision was to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem. If there are others that are going to be a part of your rebuilding, what is their vision? If your vision and their vision aren’t the same there is a problem.

What if Nehemiah’s workers built to their own vision of the wall? You would have had a section of decorative fence, a section of wood, a section of block, etc… The fence would have looked stupid. They had to have someone that unified everyone. You need the same thing.

To rebuild successfully…

2. You need to lead.

God accomplishes His purpose through people, but people need leaders to motivate and organize them for the cause. There are some areas in your life where you need to lead. It is your life and if you’re not going to care enough to make a decision, then why would someone else? The people listed in Nehemiah 3 had been living there for years; but the wall didn’t get built until God sent Nehemiah to lead the charge. It’s interesting that Nehemiah is never mentioned in chapter 3, but his labor is behind the whole chapter.

A leader must…

 Not mind if the credit goes to others.

Nehemiah didn’t want a huge sign over the main gate or a bronze plaque reading: The Nehemiah Memorial Wall. Rather, Nehemiah was committed to the task. He wanted the wall to be built so that God’s name would be exalted in Jerusalem and His people would no longer be a reproach. Nehemiah knew that God would recognize his efforts. He was laboring to hear “well done” from the Lord.

A leader must…

 Motivate people.

The Jews had been back in the land for 90 years, but the wall hadn’t been built; but then Nehemiah came along and got everyone excited about the idea. They went to work and put up the wall in record time, in spite of opposition. Motivation is a key to productivity. The difficult thing about motivating a group of people is that what motivates some turns off others. Even Nehemiah couldn’t get the nobles of Tekoa to join the project. One wise way that Nehemiah motivated the people was to assign many of them to work on the portion of the wall that they had particular interest in. The priests worked on the Sheep Gate where the people would bring sacrifices to the temple. Others repaired the wall in front of their own homes. They had a personal incentive to do a good job.

Please note in your mind this point. If you have a bad attitude about what you are doing, others may have the same attitude. Sometimes you have to be the cheerleader and get people excited about what they are doing.

A leader must…

 Plan and organize.

It is obvious from the smooth operation outlined in chapter 3 that Nehemiah had done some extensive planning and organizing. He had figured out in advance how to go about this huge task. He broke the project down into manageable units. He assigned the available workers to the various units and worked to coordinate them so that everything fit together.

A leader must…

 Delegate.

Nehemiah couldn’t possibly have done all this work by himself. He had to entrust it to the workers and give them the authority to get the job done. Sometimes, to be honest, it is easier to do the job myself rather than to delegate it; but as the job grows in size, the necessity of delegation grows.

A leader must…

 Oversee.

Delegating does not mean dumping or dictating. To dump something on someone and walk away from it is not effective leadership. To dictate every detail is not to delegate with proper freedom. While Nehemiah delegated the work, you can be sure that he went around inspecting the progress, talking to his leaders, helping them keep things moving toward the goal. In 3:20, he notes that Baruch zealously repaired a section of the wall. Apparently, Nehemiah knew not only who was doing what, but also how they were doing it. Baruch did an exceptional job.

A leader must…

 Give proper recognition.

Apparently Nehemiah wrote down in detail who was doing what on this project. Some are mentioned as completing more than one section of the wall; but the important thing was not that Nehemiah recognized every worker, but that God recognized them by including their names here.

A leader must…

 Not get distracted.

Nehemiah 3:5 mentions in passing, the nobles of Tekoa who refused to join the project, perhaps out of petty pride. To the nobles’ shame, the people of Tekoa built two sections of the wall, and some nobles from other towns rolled up their sleeves and went to work; but Nehemiah didn’t expend any energy on the nobles of Tekoa. Rather, he worked with the many willing workers. Those who didn’t get involved were the losers in the long run.

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