Don't Do It Alone!

by Stephen Shives

When Nehemiah learned that the walls of Jerusalem were in shambles he was troubled:
“You see the trouble we are in – Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.”
…They replied, “Let us start building.” So they began this good work. Nehemiah 2:17-18
Wow, almost immediately, Nehemiah’s team was ready to take positive action! How did he do it? To this point, he had not really stood out as a powerful leader, but when the opportunity arose; he stepped up to the plate. Teamwork is a powerful strategy to accomplish that which one could never do alone. There are many things you can accomplish on your own, but they are hardly worth writing home about.
In fact, I believe Nehemiah would tell us, “There is no such thing as a self-made man.”
Once you define your task as something bigger than you can handle, you have one of two choices: 1. Quit
2. Find others who are willing to help.
If you are considering quitting right now… why? There are several things that come to mind. You may have endured all kinds of hardships, ridicule, financial struggles, lack of favorable results, or perhaps you are just tired.
I remember years ago as a new church planter, things weren't going the way I thought they should be going. (they rarely do) Finances were tight. Most of the members of our fledgling congregation were… shall I say, “minimally committed.” And the organizational support we had once been promised was now being “redirected”. (I’m not complaining, these are just facts)
Anyhow, Deidre and I went home one Sunday night after church. It was the first Sunday night in two years that no one showed up. I went into my office/spare bedroom and began to question God about what was going on. Deidre and I had made a list of about a dozen different families that we thought maybe, out of all of them, one or two might agree to come help us for a few months to get the church up and running. As I prayed over that list, I began getting even more frustrated. Before I even realized what I was saying; I told God, “I don’t know who to call first, but You know who will come and help us. I want You to have them call me… and have them call TONIGHT!”
Almost angry with myself now for seeming to demand something from God, I just sat quietly in a sort of depression. About an hour later I heard the phone ring. Deidre answered and began to carry on a conversation with someone as if speaking with old friends. Several minutes later, I walked in and whispered “Who are you talking to?”
“It’s Marcia,” she answered.
Immediately, tears came to my eyes, ‘That’s my answer’ I thought. We talked for a while and soon found out that she had been telling her husband for several weeks they needed to call me, but after church that night she finally said, “That’s it, I don’t care how late it is, I need to call Steve and I’m doing it right now”.
Well, to make a long story short, the Hollingsworth family relocated from southern Ohio to South Carolina three weeks later and worked with us faithfully for eight years as Praise and Worship leaders and helped in every other area of ministry.
You don’t have to do it alone. God will bring people into your life that will help you accomplish the things He has placed in your heart. It may be for a season, or it may be a lifetime, but God knows who to bring onto your team. Oh, I forgot to mention - they weren’t even on my list.