Nehemiah is a great book to turn to when seeking wisdom for building and leading a church. In fact, I identified no less than ten helpful principles in chapter two alone. One of the unique about Nehemiah was that he loved lists. In chapter three he lists all the men who participated in rebuilding the walls around Jerusalem. All these men are listed, or sons of men listed. And then we are introduced to Shallhum, an official of half the district of Jerusalem (vs. 12) who, we are told, “…made repairs, he and his daughters.”
All these men banging nails and building walls…and there in their midst is Shallhum and his daughters. I think it’s fair to assume, that for whatever reason, Shallhum didn’t have any sons. He had daughters. A lack of sons was not going to deter Shallhum from doing his part in rebuilding the walls. He had daughters so he worked with what he had…not with what he didn’t have.
Sometimes pastors of smaller churches can focus more on what they don’t have rather than what they do have. I know, I’ve been there. It’s easy to lament, “If I only had more people, more money, someone on staff with me. If I only had my own building or more volunteers then it would be so much easier.” If this is how you’re thinking…you might be right. But you can’t build with what you don’t have. You can only build with what you do have.
Focusing on what you don’t have doesn’t help, in fact it hinders your call to build a church. What resources do you have? You must have some. If you didn’t have any you wouldn’t have a church. Take an inventory of what you do have, not what you don’t have. Look at what you have to build with, no matter how small it might be, and prayerfully ask the Holy Spirit to help you discover the best way to use the resources you have. If what you have is limited then you’re not going to be able to do everything. But you will be able to do some things. Discover what you can do and do it well.
Focusing on what you have instead of what you don’t have will result in encouragement for you and a church that is healthy and moving forward. Remember, you build with what you have, not with what you don’t have. Thanks Shallhum.
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