Nehemiah (#8): Life as a Tribe
Topic: Biblical Passage: Nehemiah 7:1–7:65
Text: Nehemiah 7:1-65
Nehemiah 7, like Nehemiah 3, is mostly another long list of people. In this message we use this as an opportunity to consider again the mission and vision of CrossPointe. This vision is guided by three essential questions that every church and Christian must answer.
Three Biblical Leadership Roles Fulfilled in Christ
All throughout the Bible we see God rising up leaders for His cause. As a generalization, leadership in the Bible tends to fall within one of the three following categories. In Jesus, we see the perfect embodiment of all three of these roles or offices. And, to some degree, church leaders today will fit primarily into one category but will also have elements of all three within their gift set. A mistake we often make in church culture is expecting too much of one senior leader. He is expected to preach al the sermons, do all the counseling, and make all the administrative decisions. Rare and gifted men may be able to pull this off, but it is in the long term terribly unhealthy for the life a church and the soul of a pastor.
The main task of the preacher / teacher is to bring the Word of God to bear on the life of the congregation. He thus needs to spend a good bit of his time in study, prayer, and preparation for the essential task of preaching the Scriptures.
The main task of the priest/counselor is to help apply the preached and taught word. The Gospel is to be proclaimed in preaching, but also applied through the gentle and patient grace of shepherd counselors who come along side to help people engage life with all its challenges.
The main task of the king/administrator to ensure that the church and it’s ministries are running efficiently, that the finances are in order, and the systems set up to promote growth and congregational health are functioning well.
3 QUESTIONS WE MUST CONTINUALLY ASK:
1. WHO IS JESUS? (Theology)
We live in a religious but mostly lost city in which most people think they know Jesus because they’re loosely affiliated with a church. We must continually press through this religious veneer and preach and teach about a Jesus who is not just a moral ethic or helpful life coach but rather who is the Sovereign Savior King who deserves nothing less than all our lives in response to his goodness to us.
- Colossians 1:15-23
2. HOW DOES JESUS WANT US TO LIVE TOGETHER? (Ecclesiology)
This question gets to the heart of what life as a Christian in community supposed to look like. For too many people, their relationship with God is an individual thing. Nothing could be further from the truth. How we live together and do life together and forgive one another and deal with conflict and how we serve one another and how we endure with one another is absolutely essential! And, it is a testimony to a lost world that needs to see the life of Jesus fleshed out in the life a local group of people.
- 2 Corinthians 2:14-17
3. HOW CAN WE BEST FULFILL JESUS’ GREAT COMMISSION? (Missiology)
Jesus saved us for something much more than our own preference and comfort. Churches and the Christians that make them up should care far more about reaching people that don’t know Jesus than creating a church culture that is comfortable for them. As a result, we should always be asking ourselves as a church and as individuals if the life we are living together can be used strategically by Jesus to reach those that do not know Him. Jesus saves us for a mission, and that mission is to expand his Kingdom, not our comfort.
- Matthew 28:18-20
More in Nehemiah: A People On Mission
December 6, 2009Nehemiah (#15): Messy Maintenance
November 22, 2009Nehemiah (#14): Thanksgiving, Process, and Providence
November 15, 2009Nehemiah (#13): A People on Mission