Sometimes we know that things need to change. When the story of God's people seems to have gone off track then someone has to do something about it. Sometimes it will take a lot of people to get things back on course.
I love the way Nehemiah goes about things. First of all he prays, as we saw last week, but he does not stop there. Four months after he starts to pray he makes his move.
First of all he lets his sadness show. He was known for being a happy man but this time he let the sadness show on his face. Then he spoke to the king. He was afraid to do this but he prayed again and then he asked the king for help. He wanted time off, safe-passage and a load of resources. We need people like this in the church: brave people who are there in the right place at the right time with the right gifts who are prepared to step out and make things happen.
Next he looks very carefully at what needs to be done. He does it quietly so he dose not draw attention to himself. he needs to know exactly what he is talking about.
Then he spoke to the people. They all knew that something had to be done. It was time for someone to tell them to step up. Nehemiah was the man, and he could already show that God had given him favour with the king. The people reply, 'let us start rebuilding' and they begin to do the work.
It's been said that the job of a leader is to show that things are not as they should be and to help people get from 'here' to 'there.' Nehemiah was a great leader. He had faith. He prayed. He saw what needed to be done. He took action. He motivated people. And as we shall see next time, the job got done.
Our church doesn't need to be full of Nehemiahs, but it could really do with a few. Who is God calling?