Leaders Overcome Obstacles (August 18)

Nehemiah 4:10-20

Comment


“Since the circumference of the city was about 1.5 miles, Nehemiah appointed a trumpeter to rally the forces in case of crisis. He also lengthened the work day from the usual sunset (Deut. 24:15) to the time when the stars appeared. He increased both security and efficiency by eliminating the daily commuting to the workers’ hometowns. All spent the night in Jerusalem, fully dressed, and ready for any emergency. Nehemiah not only claimed credit for all of these innovations, but he also set an example of readiness himself.” (Harper’s Bible Commentary, Harper & Row, 1988, p 381).

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 (p. 99) mentions the leadership of Nelson Mandela. Two video links have been posted on the webpage:
o    A brief video biography of Nelson Mandela.
o    In a video clip from the movie, Invictus, Nelson Mandela, played by Morgan Freeman, discusses leadership with the captain of the Rugby team.

•    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.

•    LABC’s history of overcoming obstacles. I have heard numerous times the story of how members of Lexington Avenue Baptist Church, early in our history, were able to raise the funds to build our sanctuary even during the difficult economy of the Great Depression. Invite one of our senior members to discuss how this was done. What other obstacles has our church faced and overcome?

•    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:
    “Christian leaders are change catalyst.  We take the initiative to be sensitive to the needs around us and we seek ways to respond to those needs.  We see our world, other people, as part of God’s great creation whom God loves.  We deliberately seek to find ways to help others experience the abundant life of which Jesus often spoke.”

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)