Discipleship training Lesson #11-Building the Ministry
This is an ongoing work in progress. While I am writing these articles on discipleship, I am actually doing these same things with other men on a regular basis. Spiritual reproduction is my goal with them. I want them to be able to teach these things to another man that God gives to them. That is the principle of disciplemaking in 2 Timothy 2:2. "And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses, entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others."
Visualize if you would that you are sitting across from me in a restaurant, and we are having an exciting conversation about making disciples.
I would suggest getting a three ring binder notebook for your new disciple, print all these pages as you work with your disciple, so that they may reproduce this in the life of another.
Nehemiah 15,16 "So the wall was completed ...in fifty-two days. When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God."
What a history this famous wall has experienced down through the years. When Nehemiah wrote about rebuilding this wall many years ago, he left us a legacy, a challenge, and example and a blueprint for building a ministry.
For the purpose of this lesson, I would ask you to read through this small book and look for several things.
Make some notes in your journal, so that you may be encouraged for the future and be able to share these with your "Timothy".
1. Highlight the eleven times in this book that it is recorded that Nehemiah was engaged in prayer. Make particular notice to the types of prayer, the length of the prayers, and what was the circumstances surrounding the prayer time.
2. Take note of who his enemies are and their tactics that they used to discourage Nehemiah. Also note the end result. (See verse highlighted above)
3. Notice how the people worked together in this rebuilding process. Apply it to your personal ministry and to the ministry in the church you are attending right now. Make a list of all the principles that you can learn and how they apply to your ministry of rebuilding your life and the life of those folks that God has placed along side you on your "wall".
4. Ask God to give you someone who will build your ministry with you who are like the people in Nehemiah 4:6. "For the people worked with all their heart."
5. Discuss the significance of the meaning today of the example of Nehemiah and his fellowbuilders working with their swords, spears, shields, bows and armor beside them as they built the wall. Neh 4:16-18. You might cross reference the passage in Ephesians 6:10-20 and Hebrews 4:12.
6. Notice the length of time it took to rebuild the wall. Many times in our ministry we get bogged down in too many committee meetings planning the building process, and the work that needs to get done drags on and on. Many years ago I was involved in a training class for witnessing. It seemed that we met at the church for several months talking about witnessing and never actually got out of the meeting and did it. I remember asking the folks when we were going to go "out into the world". We finally did, but the activity generated by those classes did not last. A good fisherman story!
Today that church continues to struggle over membership numbers and finances. The lesson I learned was taught to me by an old preacher who kept saying over and over.
Evangelize or fossilize! Evangelize or fossilize!
7. Notice the plan that Nehemiah had and how he delegated responsibility for each section of the wall to faithful men. One of the reasons I am writing these pages on discipleship is to give you a plan. Down through the years, I have talked with many men about building in the lives of other men. Many have commented that they do not have a plan. There are many good plans already in existence. Here are a couple of them.