Leaders Build a Team (August 11)

Nehemiah 2:11-18

Comment


The Wall

 “Nehemiah inspected the walls and gates by night before he informed the Jewish officials what his plans were. The city at the time of Nehemiah included the Temple area and the spur to its south, called Ophel . . . . He left the city by the Valley Gate, which exited into the Tryopoeon (or Central) Valley, and proceeded around the city in a counterclockwise direction. The Dung Gate (through which rubbish was removed from the city) and the Fountain Gate were on the southern end of Ophel. His difficulty in traversing the east side of the city may have been caused by the collapse of a series of terraces built there in monarchial times” (Harper’s Bible Commentary, Harper & Row, 1988, p 380).

Reading the Scripture


Here is a way you might read the scripture or tell the story:

•    Audio:
o    The Bible Experience: The Complete Bible (“presented by a stellar ensemble of today’s top-name actors, musicians, clergy, directors, and award-winning producers.” Available from Keith).

Teaching Suggestions

•    The Formations Study Guide (pp. 92-93) mentions the 1992 Men’s Olympic Basketball “Dream Team.” A YouTube video with highlights and commentary on this team is posted on the webpage.

•    Maps and pictures in the library
o    The Essential Bible Guide: Bible Background with Maps, Charts, and Lists, Menahse Har-El, Paul Wright, and Baruch Sarel (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2010), p. 70. – Jerusalem at the time of Nehemiah and route of Nehemiah’s night walk.
o    Nelson’s Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1996) pp. 157-159.
o    The Complete Visual Bible: A Lavishly Illustrated Tour of the Old and New Testaments, Stephen M. Miller (Barbour Publishing, 2011), pp. 158-161.
o    Oxford Bible Atlas (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007), p. 201. – with a chronology to help put Nehemiah in context

•    See the timeline (from http://www.fpcjackson.org/resources/sermons/Derek's_SERMONS/Ezra/Ezra_Nehemiah_Timeline.pdf), included at the end of the first session, to help place the events of Nehemiah in the context of the prophets and other events in biblical history.

•    The Formations Teaching Guide (p. 76) suggests an activity, “A Dream Team.” If you use this activity, we would be interested in hearing any helpful insights that are gleaned from this discussion.

•    What can our Renovation and Property Committees learn from Nehemiah? What can all of our church leaders learn from Nehemiah? Pray for our church leaders. A list of some of our church leaders will be placed in the Sunday School classrooms.

•    Offer “Soup’s On Us” ministry as an example of teamwork. Soup’s On Us involves a number of people and a variety of tasks. The work is fun, fulfilling and meaningful. Invite a Soup’s On Us leader or participant to describe the process. See Doris Cessna, Stephanie Griffin, or Kathy White for suggestions.
o    Before Soup’s On Us Saturday, leaders plan, purchase the ingredients for the soup, sandwiches and snacks, gather supplies, set up the room, organize and print lists of Soup’s On Us recipients with addresses and number of boxes they will receive, and more to insure that the day goes smoothly.
o    The first task on Saturday is assembling the boxes at 8:30 a.m. (At 8:45 a.m. Marian Gibson will complain that every time she finishes a stack of boxes a new stack appears.)
o    At around 9:30 a.m. teams begin preparing sandwiches. (At about 9:45, David Bibb accuses Bernard Montgomery of slacking and somewhere a debate ensues about whether or not to use the heals.)
o    At about 10:15 a.m. the assembly line begins to efficiently fill some 300 boxes. As many as 20 to 30 people will pass boxes down the line filling them with cups of soup, sandwiches, desserts, fruit, napkins and scripture verses. (At 10:30 a.m., Keith Stillwell gets replaced on the assembly line for being too slow and backing up the line).
o    At around 11:00 a.m. the delivery teams pick up their lists and baskets full of food boxes to deliver to hungry families. (At 11:15 a.m. Ernie Baird delivers a box to the wrong home, but someone else will not be home and it turns out okay. At 11:30, Elizabeth Bibb begins to worry that some team will not have enough boxes or too many, or that Keith Stillwell will let his list get wet again and the addresses wash off the page.)
o    Also at 11:00 a.m. the clean up crew, cleans up everything.

•    The Formations Study Guide (p. 97) asks, “What vision do I share?” Our church mission statement is:

Lexington Avenue Baptist Church exists
to proclaim the Good News of Christ Jesus to all people,
to promote private and congregational worship,
to nurture Christian growth, and
to sustain others through service, love, prayer and fellowship.

Ask: “What concrete actions can we take to help us fulfill our mission?” Consider writing each idea on a separate cardboard box or wood block and stack them as if building a wall. Or write each idea on a separate sheet of paper and tape them to the wall in a stacking block pattern.


•    Send your class out with a thought on leadership.
    Dr. Tommy’s thoughts on Leadership from his recent seminar on Transformational Leadership at the Baptist Seminary of Kentucky:
    “We lead with who we are, who God has gifted us to be.  As leaders we don’t try to be someone we are not.  We recognize the gifts God has given us and surrender ourselves to something (God’s purpose) and Someone (God) greater than we are.”

Resources

I have set aside a shelf in the library with resources for Sunday School teachers. I will place there resources of general interest and some specifically applicable to current lessons. Other resources are kept in my office.

•    Maps and pictures in the library
o    The Essential Bible Guide: Bible Background with Maps, Charts, and Lists, Menahse Har-El, Paul Wright, and Baruch Sarel (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2010), p. 70. – Jerusalem at the time of Nehemiah and route of Nehemiah’s night walk.
o    Nelson’s Complete Book of Bible Maps and Charts (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1996) pp. 157-159.
o    The Complete Visual Bible: A Lavishly Illustrated Tour of the Old and New Testaments, Stephen M. Miller (Barbour Publishing, 2011), pp. 158-161.
o    Oxford Bible Atlas (New York: Oxford University Press, 2007), p. 201. – with a chronology to help put Nehemiah in context

•    For additional commentary on the text see these commentaries in our library:
o    Mercer Commentary on the Bible (Mercer University Press, 1995)
o    Harper’s Bible Commentary (Harper & Row, 1988)