More than 400 years before the birth of Christ lived a man named Nehemiah. He lived in a time that was more than 100 years after the Israelite people were exiled to Babylon. When he heard that the walls of Jerusalem, the city of God, were in ruins, he wept for days. Nehemiah went to Jerusalem and led one of the greatest restoration projects of all time. He motivated people to work on building small portions of the wall and together they accomplished the task in 52 days.
Nehemiah did not exempt himself from the project, instead he rolled up his own sleeves and hoisted stones to construct the wall. His work can still be seen today, more than 2400 years later!
Though the most visible result of his efforts was the wall, Nehemiah knew that the wall was only one part of rebuilding the identity of the people of Israel. As they built, he had to fight problems among his own people as well as taking insults thrown at him from neighboring people and countries. Nehemiah knew that it was in the honor with which the wall was built that would help to rebuild the dignity of the people of Israel and of their God.
How are we kingdom builders? How are we taking steps to restore the “walls” of our city? I can assure you that our neighbors are not impressed by our church buildings or constructions. What impresses them? What kind of things are our communities looking for in us that will help us to rebuild the dignity of the followers of Christ in our world?
This blog is dedicated to answering these questions. I firmly believe that there are answers and that the church can become the beacon on the hill to our world and our culture. We must dedicate ourselves to taking bold steps, to have new conversations, and to shift to a new paradigm to allow the age-old Gospel story to have the same impact that it did even in the first century.
Take time to join the conversation. All comments are welcome and open discussion is encouraged. Feel free to disagree with my views, because it is in that open exchange that we test and refine our ideas and beliefs.