When Nehemiah was called by God to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem, he didn’t attempt to do it by himself, and he didn’t employ a ministry team to do it with him while the citizens of Jerusalem sat around watching them. The rebuilding was a community project where everyone got involved.
All worked together and each one’s contribution was vital. Some were able to build long sections while others could only deal with the part beside their home. But no matter how large or small the contribution, ALL was needed. Even the smallest gap left untended weakened the overall project.
I saw parallels with this story in 1 Corinthians 12 where Paul wrote about ALL believers being part of the body of Christ. Each body part needs to be enabled to function and not neglected. Each part is needed to do its work if the body is going to achieve its complete purpose.
The body is not made up of one part but of many.
Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. If they were all one part, where would the body be? As it is, there are many parts, but one body.
The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!” On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.
Can we make this a reality? Or at least can we consider whether our current ways are reflecting the working together approach described above?