When Everyone Is Needed


Neh. 3:6   Joiada son of Paseah and Meshullam son of Besodeiah repaired the Old Gate; they laid its beams and set up its doors, its bolts, and its bars. 7 Next to them repairs were made by Melatiah the Gibeonite and Jadon the Meronothite—the men of Gibeon and of Mizpah—who were under the jurisdiction of the governor of the province Beyond the River. 8 Next to them Uzziel son of Harhaiah, one of the goldsmiths, made repairs. Next to him Hananiah, one of the perfumers, made repairs; and they restored Jerusalem as far as the Broad Wall. 9 Next to them Rephaiah son of Hur, ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, made repairs. 10 Next to them Jedaiah son of Harumaph made repairs opposite his house; and next to him Hattush son of Hashabneiah made repairs. 11 Malchijah son of Harim and Hasshub son of Pahath-moab repaired another section and the Tower of the Ovens. 12 Next to him Shallum son of Hallohesh, ruler of half the district of Jerusalem, made repairs, he and his daughters.


We often think of Nehemiah being the superstar of the story of rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. He was the visionary leader and was able to mobilize the people but he never could have accomplished the goal alone. I have only listed one paragraph from chapter three, but the entire chapter is filled with the names of those who participated in repairing the walls. Every person was important and everyone got involved. By families they came together to take responsibility for a portion of the wall. Every member of the household, the sons and the daughters came out to repair the walls, because the task would never be accomplished unless everyone took their part. The reality is that everyone was needed.


Society currently reinforces the idea of the superstar, the famous individual, who can get things done on their own. In the midst of this perception, which is enforced by media, we are on the precipice of losing something very important. While we make someone famous on a virtual stage, very few are able to tackle the real problems facing humanity, and that will not be done alone. Now more than ever, everyone is needed. The lone rangers of the day simply become a distraction from the real work which needs to be done. It’s when God’s people partner together, each taking upon themselves their responsibility that we see miraculous results.

The poor and beaten down people of Jerusalem should never have been able to rebuild the wall. They didn’t have the best supplies or tools, and they were constantly harassed by their enemies. Success came when they realized that everyone was needed, and everyone could participate. This community of faith was able to accomplish more than they could have ever hoped to imagine because they were all in it together. Shoulder to shoulder they took on the impossible and watched it develop into reality. 

We must be careful of upholding the “well-known” individual whom we believe may be the answer to everything. Christianity has been guilty of doing this from time to time as we give platform to those who do inspire us, but it must be with a caution. Nehemiah was a great leader, but he knew how to mobilize everyone to accomplish much more than he could have accomplished on his own. A great servant leader is willing to spend time shoulder to shoulder repairing walls with their people. They will mention everyone by name and give credit to the entire group that has worked hard to accomplish the goal. Never will they believe that this is something that they have done on their own, but by the grace of God and with the hands of many others something unusual has been accomplished. 

Everyone is needed to serve in the kingdom. The enemy would love to divide God’s people and it’s easily done because of our egos. Putting our egos aside, we can be united in kingdom work, refusing to take any credit for ourselves. Now, more than ever, we need to put aside any agendas which do not work to strengthen the whole. Unity and love can bind us together and create an environment in which everyone participates. The results are improbable in the face of adversity, but with God the impossible becomes possible. When God’s people humble themselves and are willing to do the simple work in the trenches, it will get done and God will be glorified.  


Lord, may there always be less of me and more of you.  Amen. 


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