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Watch 2022-2023 online sermons » Rick Warren » Rick Warren - Getting People to Work Together

Rick Warren - Getting People to Work Together

Rick Warren - Getting People to Work Together
TOPICS: Building a Better Future

Now, today we're in part five of a series that I'm calling, Building a Better Future. You know, the pandemic has given us an opportunity for a fresh start in life and as we go into the future, it's an occasion to build a better future. Now, if you wanna know God's way to build anything or rebuild anything, you're gonna wanna study the book of Nehemiah, which is the story of one of the greatest building projects in the history of humanity. It was completed in record time. Now, today, we're gonna look at the third chapter of Nehemiah. So get out your teaching notes.

Many of you know that I wrote a book many years ago. In fact, it was the first book I ever wrote as a young man called "How to Study the Bible for Yourself". And one of the keys to understanding the Bible, any chapter is to first pay attention to what are the key words in that chapter. Key words are often repeated over and over. And in chapter three of Nehemiah, there are four key words and several key phrases. And we're gonna look at all of them in this message today. Using different translations, for instance, we discover that the word built is used 30 times in this chapter. The word rebuilt is used 29 times. The word repaired is you 31 times. And the word worked is used 24 times. Those are key words.

So, if you wanna build anything, or you wanna rebuild anything, or you wanna repair anything, or you want to get people to work together, you need to know and use the principles of chapter three of Nehemiah. Now you remember that in our last study together, I pointed out that to fulfill any dream God puts in your heart. You're gonna have to enlist other people to help you, okay? You can't do it yourself. You'll never reach your dream by yourself. God wired us to need each other, no one ever succeeds on their own. So last time we looked in Nehemiah chapter two at seven principles that Nehemiah used to enlist an all volunteer army: helpers, workers to rebuild the wall around the city of Jerusalem. Remember, Jerusalem had been destroyed by conflict, war and neglect, conflict and neglect. Now by the way, conflict and neglect can make you vulnerable and make you defenseless too.

So if you miss that message on how to enlist the help of others, you can watch it online. But once you've recruited some people to help you with your dream and build a better future, you also have to know how to get them to work together and that's a whole different issue. You might get some friends to help you with your dream but will they know how to work together? You know, one of the reasons I believe the world is in such a bad shape these days, because people don't know how to work together anymore. They work against each other instead of working with each other. And so, as we look around in the world, we see the problems are just getting worse. What we're gonna look at today is a skill that you need. You need it to succeed in life, business studies and and home studies show that the number one factor in getting promoted in life is having good people skills. It's the number one factor, having good people skills, being able to work, to get other people to work together.

In contrast, the number one reason people get fired, is poor communication skills, poor people, skills not knowing how to get along with others. So this is a message that you need to take notes on, not just for yourself but to help other people going through a tough time. Now let's just review the background. The city of Jerusalem was a pile of ruins, destroyed by war and 70 years of neglect. Well, the Jews were held captive in Babylon. God gave Nehemiah the dream of rebuilding, a protective wall around the city, so it could flourish again. And I just want to say to you that as your pastor my goal for you in this building a better future series is that you will flourish, that you will flourish again after COVID 19.

Now, if you read Nehemiah chapter three without any understanding, it just looks like one of those chapters that you wanna skip over because on the surface, it just looks like a boring list of hard to pronounce names and funny sounding gates. This guy built this part of the wall, this guy built this gate and on that, and it just doesn't look like something that you're gonna get a lot out of. But like in any passage of scripture, if you dig below the surface, you find treasure.

Now, before we get into that, let me show you a map of Jerusalem with the wall and the 10 gates that Nehemiah rebuilt. This is what it looked like when it was all finished. All of these gates, and the wall are mentioned in chapter three, and he starts at the North part of the town, up there with the Sheep Gate, see that in chapter three verse one. And then he begins to go counter-clockwise to the Fish Gate, the Old Gate, the Valley Gate, the Dung Gate, Fountain Gate, Water Gate. By the way that's the only mention of politics in scripture the Water Gate, we know what happened there. The Horse Gate, East Gate and the Inspection Gate. Now, I wish you had time to explain all those gates and why they were named what they were but I wanna get right to the point. Jerusalem is built on a steep hill actually several steep hills, with deep valleys on either side. And in chapter three, Nehemiah reports who built each part of the wall and who built each of the 10 different gates.

Now, right now, you're probably thinking how in the world does this chapter relate to me today? And again as I said earlier, the answer is because beneath the surface of this chapter God gives us an example, an amazing example, of how to get people to work together. If you're gonna be a success in life, you're going to need other people's help and you're gonna need to know how to help people work together. Nehemiah in this passage model six principles, yeah six principles. You can apply to any dream that you have, to build something or to rebuild something, in your family, in your career, in your personal life, in your church, in your ministry, whatever. Now these principles, these six principles will affect whether the rest of your life is a success or a failure. So I really wanna encourage you to write this down, okay?

Let's get right into these six steps. Number one, when God has given you a dream, we've talked about that in previous messages when God has given you a dream, the first step to getting other people involved is to divide the dream into smaller goals and tasks. Divide the big dream that you're given into smaller goals and tasks. Nehemiah broke down a huge dream into manageable chunks. Now, in the contemporary English version of Nehemiah, the scripture the word section is used 28 times in 32 verses repeatedly it says, "The next section was built by so and so".

Now what's a section? Well, a definition of section is a smaller part of a whole. Now Nehemiah had to think through, how he's gona take this big goal build a wall all around Jerusalem and break it down in manageable chunks, into sections that took some thinking, it took some planning and it probably was during that midnight ride that we looked at last week. I don't wanna go into this cause I think you understand it but you know what? I still have the chart that I developed in 1979 before starting Saddleback Church with just Kay. And what I did is I took a 40 year dream, and I broke it down into 480 monthly goals. I still have that chart. 480 monthly goals, 40 years divided on a monthly basis, figuring out what it would take each month to get where I believe God wants us to be. That's the first step you break the dream. You divide the dream into smaller goals and tasks.

Here's number two, you must let others share the ownership. Share ownership of the dream. Your dream, if it's ever going to be accomplished must become our dream. Other people have to share in the dream for it to happen. You know, in 1980 with no members yet I wrote an open letter to the community sharing a dream of a brand new church that we were going to call Saddleback Church but I never used the personal pronoun, "I" instead, I used the word "We" in that letter that we hand addressed and hand stamped and mailed out to 13,000 people. I never used the word "I" used the word "We". Now here's the funny thing, when I wrote that letter, we had not even had a first service. So there was no "We" it was just "Me" and Kay. But I wrote it in faith and in that first service, when 205 people showed up at the first service "Me" became "We" and we never looked back.

Do you realize that our church today all around the world exists because of shared ownership, the second principle. Everything in our church has been built by millions of hours of serving given voluntarily by volunteers and millions of dollars, given voluntarily out of love. That's shared ownership. Saddleback would not exist if we had had to pay everything that we were trying to do, it's done by volunteering. I'm a volunteer, I've served this church for free for 42 years. Now, you know, I can always tell who is a member of our church and who is an attender of church by how they talk about our church. Attenders will walk up to me in the grocery store and to say, "You know, Rick, I love your church". Members will walk up to me and say, "Rick, I love our church". Get the difference. It's our, it's we.

Now, if you're gonna pay people to help you with your dream, they don't need to own the dream, they're just hired hands. But if you're gonna use other people that you're not paying to fulfill the dream like Saddleback Church, you have to share ownership if you're building with volunteers. And you do that by showing how the dream will benefit them, okay? You give ownership by showing them how the dream will benefit them. Now, another key phrase that's used many times in Nehemiah three is this phrase "By his own house". If you're taking notes, circle the word "Own". We're talking about ownership, "By his own house". Now, let me just give you a few examples that there on your outline.

Verse 10 "Jedaiah repaired the wall beside his own house". Circle "Own". Verse 17, "Hashabiah," I don't know if he bought hash or what? "Hashabiah built the wall in his own district". Circle, the word "Own". Verse 28 "East priests made repairs near his own house". See that? And in verse 23, "Benjamin and Azariah repaired the wall by their own homes". This are just examples. Now these last two guys represent every dad who recognizes their responsibility to keep their family safe by building a wall of protection.

Now, today you may not need a physical wall but sadly, today many parents aren't protecting their families from harmful influences. That's our job as parents is to build a wall of protection around our kids. Now here's the point, if you're gonna have a dream and it's gonna grow, you're gonna have to share ownership, because you're not paying everybody. Ownership increases motivation. Now, in this case, people began to build the part of the wall behind their own house. People were allowed to work in their area of interest.

You know, and they'd go, "Hey, you know what? This part of the wall protects my house. So I'm gonna do my best at building a good part of the wall. I'm not building somebody else's wall. I'm building the house, the wall behind my house". Of course it's save time because there's no commuting to work. If you're building the wall behind your house, you walk outside your house in the morning, start building. You don't have to commute anywhere. It's also easier to feed the workers 'cause when you're hungry, you just go inside your house. But also you could protect your family at the same time because you're not working in some distant location. People built by their own house, shared ownership.

Number three, here's the third principle. Organize around natural relationships. If you have a dream, and you're gonna get other people to help you with your dream, you need to create work groups that use relationships that already exist. We see this in verse 13. In Nehemiah 13 Nehemiah says 4:13, I posted them by families, all right. We'll come back to that, but in chapter three, we see a lot of other examples of groupings using existing relationships, for instance, in verse one of this chapter, we see a ministry based work group. In other words, people were working on a project together because they share the same ministry. The Bible says there in verse one, "Eliashib, Eliashib and his fellow priest rebuilt the Sheep Gate".

Now it's interesting the Sheep Gate is where the sheep came in that they were going to sacrifice at the temple. So you'd figure they get priest, rebuilding the gate that affects the temple the most. But these guys are serving in ministry together. It's a ministry based group. In verse two, we see a geography-based work group. It says, "The men of Jericho built the next section". Now what's this, these guys are all from the same city. They already had a community connection. So they knew each other because they all live near each other. They had a community connection, their location. It's a geography based group. In verse three, we have a family-based work group. It says, "The sons of Hassenaah built the Fish Gate".

And what are the sons of Hassenaah? They're brothers, okay? They're related, they're family. Verse 12, we see another family based work group. Shallum and his daughters built the next section. They're all sisters. These are existing groups. The relationships are already there. Now in ancient Hebrew culture women weren't honored like this. So Nehemiah has given credit to where credit's due. These daughters built their part of the wall behind their house. And in verse 32, we see a career based work group. It says the goldsmiths, people who worked with gold and the merchants these are retailers built another section. So you've got craftsmen, you've got retailers. These are people being grouped by professions.

Now, why am I pointing this out? Because at Saddleback Church, we do the exact same thing. We have small groups based on each of these categories. We have groups that are based around a common ministry. They work with students or they work with young people or they worked with people struggling with a different problem or whatever, recovery. We have ministry, common ministry groups. We have common location groups that we all live in the same neighborhood. We have common career groups, based on professions where certain groups get together with realtors or accountants or whatever.

By the way, if you're not in a small group, why aren't you? I mean, what are you waiting for? You're missing out on everything. It's interesting that in this chapter, there are no professional builders mentioned in the building of the wall around Jerusalem. Everybody was a volunteer. Everybody was amateur. Everybody had another career. Everybody is building the wall, working on the dream together without being paid. They're all volunteers, okay? So we divide the dream and the smaller goals and tasks. We let other people share ownership, okay? Of the dream. We organize around natural relationships. Who are people like me and have a similar interest or background or location or whatever.

And then number four, develop a team spirit. If you're gonna reach your dream, you're going to have to get your friends or the people who are working with you whether it's two or five or 10 or whatever, you're gonna have to develop a team spirit. What does that mean? You focus on cooperation, not competition. You emphasize what we're doing is something we're doing together. Somebody said you spell success. T-E-A-M-W-O-R-K, teamwork. You cultivate community. This is the fourth key. You develop a team spirit on your dream team. How do you do that? By getting them to pay attention to those working alongside them. You see, if you're only listening to me to this, because some of you have a problem with this, if you're only focused on your task, if you're only focused on your goal, if you're only focused on your dream and you don't focus on any of the people, you're not gonna value them.

And in fact, you're not even gonna notice the people, who are serving with you. One of the reasons, another reason, Nehemiah succeeded where other people had failed. They'd tried to build a wall around Jerusalem twice and failed. He succeeded where other fails because he created a team spirit. Do you know how to do that? Do you know how to get other people to work together with a team spirit? It's a skill you need. He helped people feel a part of something bigger than themselves, than just their own individual efforts. He said, "Look on either side of you". And he said, "We got this thing. We're, we're doing this together". That's why another key phrase in Nehemiah this phrase is used 21 times, in 32 verses is the phrase "And next to them". "And next to them".

Nehemiah saying, you know what? If you get tired and you're discouraged, build your part of the wall, look to your right, look to your left and you'll just see who's serving next to you. Realize you're not alone, we're a team. In fact, in this chapter Nehemiah mentioned 18 different teams and that's just a sampling. I read this week, on the importance of working together, working in formation. I read that geese can fly 72% farther in formation. You've seen them in a V, that they can fly 72% farther in formation than they can by themselves. I think that's principle probably works with adults and children and any human being too. First Corinthians 3:9 says this, "We are partners working together". Circle that, "We're partners working together for God".

In the body of Christ, there is no place for prima donnas. We develop a team spirit. I want you to write this down, okay? This is really important because it's reason a lot of people fail. God's work is always done in partnership. God's work is always done in partnership. Paul never did any of his ministry alone. He never went after any dream alone. He always took a team with him. Jesus' entire ministry was done with a small group of 12 people. When Jesus started his ministry, first thing he did is build a small group. If you're not in a small group, who's helping you with your dream? Who's encouraging you? You've heard me say many times that they're 58 one another's in the New Testament. That phrase "One another" is used 58 times.

The Bible says we're to love one another, we're to care for one another, we're to serve one another, we're to help one another, we're to pray for one another, we're to bear one another's burdens, on and on. What is that? That's this principle of developing a team spirit. One of Saddleback's core values is we're better together. In fact, our official name is actually Saddleback Community Church. We believe in community. We believe in unity. We believe in team spirit. We're a fellowship of Christ followers, we're a family of brothers and sisters, we're a community committed to each other. Every member signs a covenant, to love the other members.

Now, why is a team spirit essential to your dream? Well, let's look at a couple of verses. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 says this, "Two people can accomplish more than twice as much as one because they get more done," notice, "By working together". Underline that. "They get more done by working together. If one falls down, the other can help him up and two can resist an attack that would defeat one person alone. three people, or even better. And a rope made a three chords is hard to break". He saying, you know what? God never meant for you to be a lone ranger. God never meant for you to go through life, isolated, trying to do everything by yourself, trying to reach your dream just by you. God wants us to have this team spirit in the body of Christ.

Philippians 1:27 says this, "Above all else, you must live in a way that brings honor to the good news about Christ". All right? He says "Above all else" that means number one, "You got to live". If you're going to call yourself a Christian, "Live in a way that brings honor to the good news about Christ". And then he says in the rest of the verse, how you do that. He says, "I want to know that you're working together". Circle that, "Working together and striving side by side". That's what Nehemiah is saying. Look to your left, look to your right, next to him was this person serving, next to him was that person serving, next to her was that person serving. Working together, striving side by side to get others to believe the good news. Notice in that verse, look at it again. What does God say brings honor to Him? When we worked together, not individually, but when we worked together as a team to bring others to Jesus.

Number five, here's the fifth principle we extract from the treasure of Nehemiah three. When you're getting ready to build your dream here's what you do. Love everyone, but invest in the willing. Love everyone, but invest in the willing. Now this is the strategy of Jesus. I want you to follow me. Jesus loved everybody. There was no person that Jesus didn't love. He loved everybody. He fed the 5,000, okay. He preached to the crowd, but he trained the 70 and he discipled 12 and he mentored three, all right. See how it gets smaller, okay? He loves everybody but he spends the maximum amount of time with those who bear the maximum responsibility.

The Bible tells us that only Peter, James and John got to go up on the Mount of Transfiguration. Only Peter, James and John were brought into the Garden Garden of Gethsemane, a little bit further to pray with him. Only Peter, James and John got to see Peter's mother-in-law be healed. Was Jesus playing favorites? Yes. He was investing the maximum amount of time with those who would bear the maximum responsibility, okay? And later in the book of Galatians, James calls Peter, James and John the pillars of the church, did it work? Yes. It worked. The people who spent the most time with he gave maximum responsibility. So you love everybody, but you invest your life in the willing, those who want to help in the dream.

Now, listen, not everyone is gonna want to be part of your God given dream. Don't worry about that. Don't fret about it. Don't sweat about it. Don't get uptight about it. Don't get depressed about it. Not everybody's gonna be a part of your God-given dream. That's okay. Nehemiah wasn't discouraged by those who would not help. In fact, in this chapter he just barely mentions their reluctance. And he then keeps on focusing on those who did wanna be a part, that's in verse five of this chapter. In the Nehemiah 3:5, it tells us "The next section of the wall was rebuilt by the men of Tekoa", okay. That's the good news. But it says the nobles, the noblemen of that town refuse to work or help, okay? That's all he says about them. The noblemen of that town refuse to work or help. We don't know why they didn't want to help.

I think it reveals Nehemiah's leadership character that he doesn't elaborate. He'd had to speculate. He didn't guess about their motivation. Well, they thought they were too cool or they were too important. They didn't want to do menial labor. No, no, we would do that. We would start saying, "Well, they don't wanna help because of this or that..." Here's the truth, you don't know your own motivation much of the time. So why do you think you assume that you can know the motivation of others. You don't. I don't know my own motivation a lot of times. I have so many mixed motivations and you do too. And if you can't figure out your own reasons why you do what you do, how in the world makes you think you're an authority on anybody else? So you love everybody but you invest in the willing. You don't get upset by people who don't want to help.

Remember even Jesus who, by the way, remember, was perfect, had a defector named Judas, who bailed out on Him and caused enormous damage. But Jesus kept his focus on the 11 faithful guys, not the one unfaithful. You're gonna have people in your life who betray you, let you down, disappoint you but you don't keep your eyes on them, you keep your eyes on the people who work with you hand in hand, who are serving as a team spirit. And you love everybody, you keep your heart clean, you don't get bitter, but you invest in the willing. You know, over the last 40 years, I've been disappointed by people who benefited from our church for years, without ever given back. They didn't give back financially, they didn't give back in serving, they were just consumers, okay?

I've been disappointed by people like that. They came around forever and Saddleback but they just never gave or served or did anything to help the church. But you know what? They didn't hurt us. They only hurt themselves. And when I would think about those people, I would always remind myself of two facts. And I want you to write these down because you're gonna need to remember these about your dream, okay? When people don't want to support the dream God has given you, here's the first thing to remember, waste no time judging others. Anytime you spend judging others is time, you're not working on your God given dream. Waste no time judging others.

Romans 14:10 and 12 says this. "Why do you judge your brothers or sisters in Christ? And why do you think you're better than they are? Remember each of us will stand personally before the judgment seat of God. And then each of us will have to give a personal account to God. So he says, stop judging each other. God is God and I'm not". Now, people who disappoint you in life, they're not accountable to you, they're not accountable to me, but one day they're going to give an account to God. So just leave it at that one day. Their excuses for not getting involved will feel pretty embarrassing. I can just imagine God saying to some people, "oh I see you are fortunate enough to benefit from my family at Saddleback Church. Tell me how you serve there. How you supported my family there". That might be embarrassing for some people.

"Well, I went there for 10 years, but I never served. I never gave, I never did get anything back". Just let God be God and don't fret about it. Another thing to remember, instead of getting disappointed with people is remember God will reward what I do. Write that down. Remember, God will reward what I do. I don't have to worry about anybody else. I'm gonna be rewarded for two things, the Bible says, first is Proverbs 14:14. First, I'm gonna be rewarded for how I served. You're going to be rewarded for how you serve. Proverbs 14:14 says this, "The faithless will be fully repaid for their ways, but good people will be rewarded". Okay, people, one day they're going to get their due. And one day you're going to get your due. Think about good people will be rewarded for their service, eternal rewards lasts forever. Second thing, I'm going to be rewarded for what I gave not just what I served, how I served, but what I gave.

Proverbs 22:9 says, "People who are generous will themselves be blessed". Did you know that God is keeping a list? God is keeping list and people who are generous will themselves be blessed. You know, when I read that verse, it made me think and I don't know that I've ever mentioned this in 42 years. I wonder how many people have put Saddleback in their will in 42 years. I'm not sure I've ever even talked about that or encourage you to do it, but it one way you can leave a legacy is put Saddleback in your will. Let me ask you do you want to leave a legacy that outlasts you? It's real simple, no one is honored for being self-centered or stingy. Nobody's daunted for that. They don't build statues to people who are self-centered or stingy. Legendary people are remembered for their serving and their giving.

Jesus said I didn't come to be served but to serve and to give. You know it's interesting as we read this chapter. 3000 years later, we're reading the names this weekend of people who served and sacrificed for God's project 3000 years ago. That's a legacy, okay? These hard to pronounce names of people that actually lived and were still studying the sacrifice that they did when they put volunteered to do God's project. And you know the funny thing about those noble men of Tacoa who refused to help and did nothing. I doubt any of them imagined that their selfishness would be revealed and discussed 3000 years later or for 3000 years.

Now, Nehemiah models one more secret of getting people to work together and I want you to write this down. Never stopped saying thanks. Never stopped saying thank you. Our staff has heard me say this many, many times that the first duty of a leader is to clearly communicate your dream. But the second duty of a leader is to always say thank you. To say thank you. Leave an attitude of gratitude. Live in the spirit of appreciation. You know that when you appreciate people you actually raise their value. If you've ever bought a home in Southern California you know the value of appreciation, it goes up in value. If you've ever bought a car, you know the meaning of depreciation, it goes down in value. Do you realize that every time you appreciate people, you raise their value? When you appreciate your kids, you raise their value. When you appreciate your spouse, you raised their value. When you re appreciate a coworker, you raise their value.

In Ephesians 1:16 Paul says this, "I never stop being grateful for you". As I mentioned you in all my prayers that's a leader. Now, what does God want you to appreciate in other people? Well, Nehemiah models it in this chapter and he gives us four things that we need to be more appreciative about in the people in our lives. Write these down, okay? First, the first thing to appreciate is this, recognize individuals by name. Recognize individuals by name. When you see something being done and you think that's a good thing. Don't just say, I want to thank everybody who helped? No, no, no. Be specific.

I think it's amazing that Nehemiah in this chapter singles out 71 individuals. There there's 71 Hebrew names in 32 verses. And he singles out 71 people for special appreciation. He doesn't only honor the people who are building the wall, he actually honors their parents. He said, and this guy built this part of the wall, his dad was so-and-so and that guy built that part of the wall and his dad was so-and-so. He's not just honoring people, he's honoring their parents. Parents love to be proud of their kids. Nehemiah knows that. So recognize individuals, call them by name. The sweetest thing people like to hear is their own name. Don't just say, "I want to thank all of you".

Get specific, identify specific people in your life who make a difference. Number two, recognize not just specific individuals, but recognize specific work. Don't just say after project. "Well, you all did a good job". Don't just say that at work or in your ministry or in your small group or wherever. Don't just say "Y'all did a good job". Point out the details. Now, many, many examples of this in Nehemiah chapter three let me just give you one verse six. And he talks about a group, he said "They laid the beams and they put the doors and the bolts and the bars in place". That's pretty specific. So don't just say, "I'm proud of you". Say, "I'm proud of you for doing this, this, this and this".

Recognize specific individuals and recognize specific work. Number three, third thing to be appreciative of. Recognize great attitude. When you see great attitude, anywhere around you in a world that has bad attitude most of the time you're going to excel in helping people become who God wants them to be. And you're gonna have more people helping you with the vision God gives you. Recognize great attitude. You know, in this chapter, Nehemiah singles out one man for his attitude, his enthusiasm, his passion in verse 20, Nehemiah 3:20 it says this "Baruch zealously repaired another section".

Now he doesn't say that about anybody else. He says, this guy repaired this and she repaired that. And these daughters repaired that and they repaired that. But this one guy Baruch gets zealously repaired another section. And he say, he's doing it with enthusiasm. He's doing it with passion. You want to recognize great attitude. Who is it around you has a great attitude and you just need to say, you know, I appreciate that. By the way, let me just give you a personal tip. If you want to get noticed where you work, here's what you do, just do what everybody else does but do it with more enthusiasm and more passion and you'll get noticed, okay? You just do what everybody else is doing but do it with enthusiasm, with passion, with zeal, he zealously repaired another section, great attitude.

And then number four, recognize extra effort. When people go the second mile, when people do more than is expected, you have people like this in your life. Recognize extra effort. In verse three, chapter three, verse four and verse 21. There's one guy who gets mentioned twice. He gets mentioned twice in chapter three. His name was Meremoth. I don't know what that name means but Meremoth was his name. Meremoth repaired in verse four, the section by the Fish Gate, by the way that's where fishermen came in and sold the fish. It was the fish market there. It says, "Then," in verse 21, "He also repaired another section by the high priest home". So he didn't just finish one section, he finished two, he's going the second mile.

You know, Dan Cathy is a friend of mine. He's the CEO of Chick-fil-A, the company that his dad Truett Cathy Kathy founded. I have known the Cathy family for about 30 years as good friends. And I've helped with them. I've been in their home. And one of the Chick-fil-A's core values is called second mile service. And second mile service means you go beyond expectation. Okay. You just don't cook the meal for people. You take it to them. You make sure they have extra cup to get their drink and on, you go the second mile. And I saw this visually expressed by the CEO when nobody else was watching. You know when they opened the Chick-fil-A in Foothill Ranch. The night before any Chick-fil-A opens, they have a party and people actually come and spend the night and they set up tents and it's a big, big deal.

And so I went over the night before that Chick-fil-A opened to the party to see Dan, my good friend. And so we're there and we shook hands with a lot of people and talked to a lot of people and then we were hungry, but Chick-fil-A was not open yet, it wasn't opened till the next morning. So, you know what we did, we went next door to Taco Bell and our hands were dirty from hugging and shaking hands with all kinds of people. So before we ate, we first went into the Taco Bell restroom to wash your hands. And then I watch this happen. When we were finished washing our hands, I watched Dan Cathy, the CEO Chick-fil-A take extra paper towels and clean the messy sink area and made it spotless.

And I'm watching nobody else is seeing this. And he said, we teach our people to always leave every place a little bit better than you found it. That's called going the second mile. And I thought to myself little does the Taco Bell staff know that right now in their bathroom, the CEO of their competitor is cleaning their restroom, that's second mile service, okay. And you need to when you see that you rewarded it. You know, a few weeks ago, I found this card and I actually gave one of them to somebody in my small group and it says this, "Some people just go the extra mile". And I open it up and says, "Thank you for being one of them". And I gave this to a guy in my small group because he isn't second mile person.

Now here's your homework. I want you to write a note of appreciation every day this week using these four factors of appreciation, okay? Never stop saying thank you, okay? And then either recognize individuals by name, call them, write them, email them, text them, send them a card, recognize specific work that they've done. Be specific, just so let's say you're a good person. Tell them something that they did, that was good. Recognize great attitude and recognize extra effort. I want you to work on that this week. You know what? God will bless you for doing that.

Now let me wrap this up. This chapter talks about three kinds of work. Three kinds of work are mentioned in Nehemiah three. No work, some work and enthusiastic work. No work, some work and enthusiastic work. I want to ask you two questions. I want you to think about these. First, God notices all three kinds of work, no work, some work enthusiastic. Let me end with these two questions. Which phrase describes your involvement in God's work? Let's just get right down to it right now, which phrase describes your involvement in God's work, no work, some work or enthusiastic work?

Let me ask you another one. Another question. Which section of the wall are you building at Saddleback? Which section of the wall are you building in your home church, in your family? Now, literally God hasn't asked you to build a wall but he does expect you to be involved in his work on earth. You know, a lot of the work that you and I do throughout our lives really pretty pointless. A lot of work on earth is really useless in the long haul. A lot of work that people do is really worthless in light of eternity but God's word promises this in I Corinthians 15:58 "Brothers and sisters always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord". "Always give yourself fully". That means zealously, enthusiastically, passionately.

Give yourself completely to the work of Lord because you know that your work for the Lord is never wasted. That makes working for God different than every other kind of work. It's never wasted. He said, "Well, nobody even sees what I'm doing". Doesn't matter. Others may not see what you're doing, but God does. I hope you'll take these six principles on how to get people to work together. What our world needs today is people who do the exact opposite culture. Right now people work against each other bridge builders. People who create harmony, people who teach others how to work together, they are rare and the Bible says that if you do that it brings glory to God. What honors God the most is when we work together standing shoulder to shoulder and we get along, it's our greatest witness to the world. Let me lead you in prayer. Let's bow our heads:

Father, we thank you that your word is practical that even in a list of names of people who built a wall 3000 years ago, we can learn principles of how to be better people, how to influence others, how to lead, how to reach goals and tasks by developing them into smaller goals and break in and down into in the chunks. And I pray that we'll apply these principles in our homes, in our schools, in our work, in our lives, in our ministries, in our church family. Help us to not think that we are invincible that we can do everything by ourselves, help us to realize that we need each other and to practice these principles, building a team spirit and working together, knowing that what we do is never in vain.

If you never opened your life to Christ, I always like to give you an opportunity to do that. You can say:

Jesus Christ, I wanna know you. I wanna open my life to you. And as much as I know how I asked you to fill me with your love and your purpose. I want to learn to trust you and follow you the rest of my life in your name I pray. Amen.

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