I’m doing a great work, so I can’t come (part 1)

May 31, 2011

". . . So I replied by sending this message: 'I am engaged in a great work, so I can't come. Why should I stop working to come and meet with you?' " – Nehemiah 6:3 (NLT)

In other words, I'm doing a grat work, so I can't come.

One of my favorite books of the Bible is the book of Nehemiah.  And one of my favorite verses of the Bible is Nehemiah chapter six, verse three.

Nehemiah is the great story of a servant to a King who is allowed to travel to the city of Jerusalem and performs the amazing work of rebuilding the walls all the way around the city in only 52 days! Nehemiah is typically listed as one of the main "management" or "leadership" books of the Bible because of Nehemiah's ability to have vision for what he wanted to do, then mobilize and lead people toward that vision.

Andy Stanley wrote a great book about vision using Nehemiah as the basis of his story titled, Visioneering.

One of the reasons I love the book of Nehemiah is that it allows us to peak inside the heart of Nehemiah.  The book is written as (for the most part) an autobiography or memoir from Nehemiah. Many of the books of the Bible tell us about events and actions, but rarely do they tell us about the thoughts and feelings of Biblical characters. But, because Nehemiah is written as a memoir, we get to take a peak past what is happening and actually hear what Nehemiah is thinking and feeling.

Nehemiah 6:3 is very relevant to leaders to study and memorize because leaders are busy. Leaders have people from all angles and areas trying to pull them in different directions for their attention, time, and money.  You just can't say "yes" to everything. Nehemiah gives us a guide to solutions to better leadership and time management for busy leaders.

Before we dig into the meaning and application of Nehemiah 6:3, tomorrow I will give you a little historical background and context for this verse.

Check back tomorrow and we will dig deeper into the meaning of this verse.

In the meantime, here is a question for you and I to dialogue until them.

Question: If you have read the book of Nehemiah, what leadership lessons have you learned from it?

Christopher L. Scott

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Christopher Scott is Small Groups Pastor at Rocky Hilly Community Church in Exeter, CA. He has more than ten years of experience leading volunteers, running nonprofit programs, and teaching the Bible in small group settings. He holds a bachelor's degree from Fresno Pacific University and master's degree from Dallas Theological Seminary.

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