Lesson 1 from Nehemiah for church communicators
Out of the 66 books of the Bible, 39 of them are the names of people.
Ordinary people no different from you or me with one difference--they allowed an extraordinary God to use them for his purposes. As you consider the communications needs of your church, you might be tempted to think there is nothing you can do, but God can use you in the same way he used the people of the Bible to change the course of your church, your church communications, and your community in extraordinary ways.
As an inspiration, let's look at Nehemiah. He was an official in the palace in Babylon, with no doubt a comfortable life. That changed when he heard about the situation of his fellow Jews back at Jerusalem, when the word came that they were, "in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire (Neh. 1:3)."
Most likely a lot of people heard that report. Many in Babylon and the thousands living in Jerusalem knew there was a huge problem. But one man let it break his heart and he took that heartbreak to God and did something about it.
My heart is broken over the state of communications in many churches today, where lots of time and money is spent creating things that might be technologically perfect, but that are not communicating the gospel and the basics of growing in the faith. That they are not accomplishing what they should be is clear with the number of churches closing, declining church attendance, and the lack of Biblical knowledge and lifestyle among professed Christians.
The evidence that church communication is broken is all around us, so what can we do about it? Through my ministry and this blog I hope to help build you up to be a more effective church communicator. I am committed to doing that. But my ministry aside, I want to take this example of Nehemiah as a challenge and encouragement to you.
Nehemiah was just one person, but God used him to change the course of a nation. As you look at the communication situation of your church, you may think you are only one person and you can't do much--but you can! Not because of any skill or creativity or wisdom in you, though you should develop all your skills and gifts to use in God's service, but ultimately because you serve an extraordinary God who can do extraordinary things through you.
I'm reading through Nehemiah in my devotions and I'll continue to share lessons that might be useful to church communicators.