Joel Plantinga

READ : Nehemiah 3:1-32

Then they said, “Let us start building!” So they committed themselves to the common good. (2:18)

When Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant, Karl Malone, and Gary Payton were all signed to the same NBA team (the 2003-2004 Los Angeles Lakers), most believed the championship was already won. Never before had one team boasted so many future Hall of Fame players. How would anyone even compete against the Lakers? The Detroit Pistons answered that question, easily knocking out the Lakers with great teamwork.

Nehemiah truly built a dream team. He begins by referring to “they” and not “I” in describing the wall-rebuilding project. The priests set the example, followed by a list of many people whose names you will never read again. Together they all did their best on each section of the wall until it began to grow. Great teams succeed as each part contributes to the overall task.

How do we build teams in an individualistic culture like ours? God gives us the perfect example in the church. None of us functions as well alone as we do together in the body of Christ. Further, the whole body suffers when one part is missing or unable to function. As his chosen vessel of grace, the church still represents the best image of God’s work in the world and our best opportunity to make a difference for him.


God, we thank you for the church and pray for its mission. Amen.