Praise God for Rebuilding Vision
This is part one of a two-part study guide which complements the AEUNA Rebuilding Project
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise, in the city of our God, His holy mountain - Psalm 48:1
“The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision,” said Helen Keller. The AEUNA without vision is like a half-bridge. It might have historical significance, like the bridge of Avignon in Southern France, but it will not carry us to the other side of the river.
Vision in the life of the AEUNA is an essential priority. At this point in the life of our union, we need a plan, a timeline for implementation, and determination to bring our churches together to build up the kingdom of God. We are grateful for the team God has called to reveal the rebuilding vision of the AEUNA.
In about 450 BC, Nehemiah (whose name means “the Lord comforts” and who was cupbearer to the Persian king), received a vision to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. Nehemiah was the king's trusted confidant, and held a position of complete trust that gave him access to the king. He was a man of faithfulness, compassion, and integrity.
While in the citadel of Shushan, he heard from his brothers that the walls of Jerusalem were destroyed and its gates burned with fire. He wept for some days, mourned, fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven, and God gave him a vision to rebuild the walls.
God creates the vision, and we receive it. Godly vision is given to godly men. Vision arises out of our desire and burden to know the will of God.
A Christian leader without vision is like a traveler without a road map and destination. There may be movement but there is no direction. True vision creates foresight which shows us the way from present to the future.
A visionary leader cannot build the walls alone. He needs visionary builders. Nehemiah shared his vision with his people, kept that vision alive through his relationship with God, and transferred it to the people in Jerusalem, assuring them that the Lord will be with them and help them go forward.
Nehemiah petitioned the king, traveled to Jerusalem, surveyed the city, and appealed to the people there to join him in a daunting task (Nehemiah 2:17)
Nehemiah's comprehensive plan was based on three pillars of dynamic leadership, according to Cyril Barber: Coordination, Cooperation, and Commendation.
COORDINATION: Nehemiah prepared a plan that involved every person. The linkages stand out with such phrases as "next to him," "next to them." "after him," or "after them," - which are recorded 28 times in Chapter 3. This reflects phenomenal coordination of effort, careful planning behind the scenes, hours of research and thought. Once workers were in their place, they needed proper supervision, equipping, and guidance as well as adequate resources. Coordination involves tremendous focus on preliminary planning followed by comprehensive communication.
COOPERATION: The principal of cooperation is set out in Chapter 2, verse 18: "Let us arise and build" Everyone was involved together. Officials mentioned in this chapter represent middle or top management people, as well as people from all walks of life: priests, goldsmiths, perfumers, temple servants, merchants. A rebuilding plan cannot involve just one trade – it must involve everyone!
COMMENDATION: This is an important leadership quality we need to demonstrate during the rebuilding vision of the union. Nehemiah was an encourager. He mentioned 75 people by name and 15 groups of people in one chapter. As we “plan our work and work our plan” is recognition and commendation a key element? Of course, we also recognize God is our divine resource person and we should offer thanks to Him.
Effective planning to achieve a rebuilding vision is absolutely essential. Planning on paper is not enough, implementation is important.
Vision is received from vertical fellowship with God. It can only be implemented in obedience to God, with His grace. Nehemiah heard bad news about his homeland, and received his vision after fasting and offering penitential prayers to God
Vision must be shared and embraced in unity. Nehemiah shared the burden of his vision with the King of Persia, and the king granted him permission to rebuild. Then Nehemiah transferred his vision to his people, making it their shared vision. They embraced it and together with Nehemiah put together a plan and overcame the objections of local leaders.
It is time for the AEUNA to unite around our God-given vision in faith, prayer, commitment, dedication, and compassion. I encourage all members of the AEUNA to participate!