Get Connected

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A sermon idea based on Nehemiah 2:11-18 about how the people with whom you have meaningful relationships are infinitely valuable.

The most valuable resource any of us have isn’t money, talent, or charisma. It’s meaningful relationships with people, which is what makes connecting with people an indispensable skill.

Nehemiah 2:11-18 NRSV

[11] So I came to Jerusalem and was there for three days. [12] Then I got up during the night, I and a few men with me; I told no one what my God had put into my heart to do for Jerusalem. The only animal I took was the animal I rode. [13] I went out by night by the Valley Gate past the Dragon’s Spring and to the Dung Gate, and I inspected the walls of Jerusalem that had been broken down and its gates that had been destroyed by fire. [14] Then I went on to the Fountain Gate and to the King’s Pool; but there was no place for the animal I was riding to continue. [15] So I went up by way of the valley by night and inspected the wall. Then I turned back and entered by the Valley Gate, and so returned. [16] The officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing; I had not yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials, and the rest that were to do the work. [17] Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, so that we may no longer suffer disgrace.” [18] I told them that the hand of my God had been gracious upon me, and also the words that the king had spoken to me. Then they said, “Let us start building!” So they committed themselves to the common good.

We severely underestimate the value of connecting with others, and far too often we expect genuine connection to be instigated by other people (“the church”). In reality, connecting with people is one of the most essential skills any of us can develop.

Three Reasons to Get Connected

1. There is always too much to do alone. (2:11-15)

When you’ve developed a burden for all the brokenness around you…

And out of that burden, you’ve cultivated a vision for how to get it done…

Then things get overwhelming.

Life is too big and too scary to try to do it all alone.

2. You were meant to do life with others. (2:16-18)

Colossians 3:15 CEV

Each one of you is part of the body of Christ, and you were chosen to live together in peace.

I need several overlapping circles of people.

  • I need my whole church (whether that’s 30, 300, or 3,000)
  • I need my small group (usually 8 to 12 or so)
  • I need my smaller group (my 2 or 3 who can ask me anything)

Connection always works two ways. You cannot leave the entire burden on others and you especially cannot leave the entire burden on an institution (the church, even though the church should do everything in its power to create the capacity for connection).

This is something you must be intentional about.

3. Together, we can change the world. (3:1-32)

We’re not going to read chapter three out loud together because it’s 32 verses of ancient Jewish names, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t important. Skim it. See how many times you see phrases such as “next to him…” and then “next to him…” and then “next to him…”

A great commitment to the Great Commandment and the Great Commission will grow a great church!

In other words, our church ought to be all about five things:

  • Loving God (worship)
  • Loving others (ministry)
  • Sharing Jesus (evangelism)
  • Baptizing people (fellowship)
  • Growing spiritually (discipleship)

You belong IN this community, even before you believe WITH this community.

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