14 Jan '13
Ezra's and Nehemiah's: We need one another
A common theme I hear from highly qualified business people and other professionals today is "Why won't the church let me use my gifts in its ministry?" Many feel marginalized and underutilized. Some feel like they are not wanted at all on the ministry side.
Not that they are not allowed to minister. Ministry folks are often glad to let professional folks minister in ministry slots they have created that they need to be filled. That is not what these professionals are asking. They want to be able to use the skills God has given them in ministry - not filling slots the church has created!
Many ministry professionals lack experience and gifting in leadership, business, strategy and management. They don't like to admit it but it is true.
Many professionals lack experience in preaching, teaching, counseling or theological intricacies.
Perhaps given those facts, we need each other! Playing to each other's strengths and complementing one another. Actually making room for each other and not being threatened by one another.
Ezra was a spiritual leader and a good one. He was terrible as a leader or administrator! So God provided Nehemiah who did not pretend to be a priest, but who had amazing administrative and leadership gifts and who got done in a short time what Ezra could not get done in years. They needed each other, they played to their strengths and the people were stronger for it.
Ezra was a priest. Nehemiah was an executive of the king. Ezra's and Nehemiah's need each other. Too often they have not found a way to work well with each other. The church is the purview of the Ezra's and the world of the Nehemiah's.
We need the Ezra's and Nehemiah's in our churches to appreciate one another, trust one another and allow one another to play to the strengths God has given. Our congregations might, like the people of Israel in Nehemiah actually be better off because of it.