And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ graves, that I may rebuild it.” And the king said to me . . . “How long will you be gone, and when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me when I had given him a time. ~ Nehemiah 2:5, 6 (ESV)
READING: Nehemiah 2:4-8
Some people seem to think planning is unspiritual. We church planters often have a tendency to move ahead without having a good plan. We can learn a lot from Nehemiah. Nehemiah had to wait for months before approaching the king about taking a “leave of absence” to travel to Jerusalem for the rebuilding project.
When he finally had the opportunity to speak to the king, the king asked him, “How long will you be gone, and when will you return?”
Some church planters might want to answer, “As long as it takes!” Or, “Until the Lord brings me back.” But Nehemiah had a plan. He gave him a specific time, and this pleased the king and opened his heart to Nehemiah’s proposal. Nehemiah revealed a comprehensive plan:
• He summarized the purpose and scope of the project (v. 5),
• The timetable (v. 6),
• Transportation challenges and solutions (v. 7),
• Necessary building materials (v. 8a),
• And what he would require for his own personal living accommodations (v. 8b).
One of the essential skills of church planting leadership is not only casting a vision but planning the steps necessary to reach that vision.
Father, Show me how to plan my work and work my plan and please raise up gifted administrators to help me. Amen.
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