Then Eliashib the high priest rose up with his brothers the priests, and they built the sheep gate.

Nehemiah 3:1

Nehemiah is definitely one of my favorite books. The themes of gaining a vision from God to work from him are so appealing.

Chapter 3 of the book is considered his “shout-out” chapter–listing all who helped him put the wall back together.

It would be a typically boring read until I took some time to try to notice anything that Nehemiah was trying to say by putting this list together.

What I noticed was that…many of the people who rebuilt Jerusalem were not even construction workers!

v8–Hananiah was a perfumer, v12–Shallum was a ruler, v17–the Levites repaired, v25–the temple servants helped too, v23–the merchants helped.

I thought it was so cool that God had a task to do, and Nehemiah’s leadership necessitated him to galvanize people who were not specialists in that area to do the work of God. And so he got the perfumer, the rulers, the levites, the temple servants, and the servants to help out with a task that is not natural to their profession.

When I think about the work of the church today, I see how church leaders really need the anointing and vision of Nehemiah–the ability to get people of diverse backgrounds and professions to work on a singular task.

World evangelization and church planting are not natural to people’s gifting sets and professional skills, but we’ll only finish the job when lay people are active and empowered to this great and awesome job.

Teamwork is the grace that God gave Nehemiah to do his will. And as one who is interested in raising up people to do the work of God in our generation, I desperately need his vision, anointing, and grace to work with teams as well.