Sunday, September 17, 2006


As a church we have just started a teaching series on Nehemiah. Nehemiah’s job was to restore the city walls of Jerusalem. Interestingly – many years before Nehemiah – Zerubabbel had rebuilt the temple. We can read about that in the book of Ezra. This can be seen as a symbol of the restoration of the church. Perhaps now is it the time to go beyond the vision of restoring the church to also restoring our city, by Christians having an influence in society.

As I read through the book of Nehemiah these ten questions occurred to me:

1.How can we be like Nehemiah who honestly looked at Jerusalem’s walls in ruins yet, like Jesus, with a burdened heart and bended knee was utterly dependant on God?

2.How can we have a clear vision to purposefully work hard to transform our city?

3.How can we as a church community work together in mission to accomplish this?

4.How can we handle criticism, discouragement and even persecution when it comes our way?

5.What can we do to stand for peace, justice and liberation politically and be inclusive, welcoming and generous personally?

6.How can we encourage diverse participation and creativity among our church to these ends?

7.As Nehemiah called people to return to God's word how can we return to these ancient ways and yet communicate them in ways that are relevant today?

8.How can we be honest and vulnerable practitioners of God’s word?

9.As we celebrate our festivals how can we both look back and take hold of the future?

10.How can we identify with Nehemiah and with Jesus?

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1 comment:

David Matthew said...

Influencing culture is a much-debated topic, of course. How do Christians go about it? There seem to be two schools of thought. One would favour infiltration, the other provocation by modelling (in the church) an alternative society. But of course that modelling isn't much use if it can't be seen, which underscores the need for the life of the church to spill out from the buildings where its regular meetings are held.