Tag Archives: Nehemiah

Building Our Walls (CLOSER)


Image

Time

30-45 minutes

Description

This closer is best used at the end of an event where you have been studying Nehemiah.  It asks participants to make a commitment to their team, a major initiative, a mission, a goal, etc. by writing it on a “brick” and sticking it to a wall where others are also adding their bricks.  The final result is a visual representation of a wall of commitment built by all the participants.

Scriptures

  • Nehemiah 6:15-16
  • Nehemiah 9:38, 10:28-33

Materials

  • Printouts of the file “Building Our Walls – Brick Commitment Cards.”  (One copy for every two participants.  You can find this file on the Lesson Materials and Downloads page at www.teachingthem.com.)
  • Scissors or other cutting tool
  • Markers (several for each group or table of participants)
  • Flipchart paper
  • Masking tape
  • Worship instruments and sound system
  • Bible

 

Preparation

  • Print out the Brick Commitment Cards.
  • Cut them in half along the black line.
  • Tape two sheets of flipchart paper together, and then tape them onto a wall where everyone can see them.  If you have a bigger group, use more sheets of flipchart paper.
  • Draw a scene at the bottom that represents the rubble of torn-down walls, and write “from RUBBLE” at the bottom and “to RAMPART” at the top.  (See the photo at: https://teachingthem.com/2013/02/15/building-our-walls-closer/)
  • Tear off pieces of tape and have them ready at the front so that participants will be able to stick their commitment cards to the wall quickly. (You might want to make the tape into circles so that it goes behind the paper.  It will look nicer.)
  • Ask a worship leader to lead the group through two songs to set the mood before they make their commitments.
  • Pass out commitment cards and markers to each group or participant.
  • Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script and instructions (or modify to suit your needs):

  • (Have a volunteer read Nehemiah 9:38, 10:28-33.)
  • “When the walls of Jerusalem were built after only 52 days, the people made a binding agreement to protect what they had worked so hard to build up.”
  • “Their commitments included not intermarrying with pagan peoples, not trading on the Sabbath, allowing the land to have a Sabbath rest every seventh year and cancelling all debts, providing tithes and offerings for the Temple and the priests and Levites.”
  • “When you build something good for the glory of God, you want to protect it, right?”
  • “The Enemy is going to attack it.  That’s guaranteed.”
  • “So, you need to think about how he will try to tear down your walls, and you’ve got to make a commitment to strengthen them there.”
  • “And you can’t just reinforce the walls; you’ve also got to guard the gates, because if the Enemy can’t go over or through your walls, he WILL try to get in through your gates.”
  • “The gates are the way that things come into and go out of the city.”
  • “For us, our gates are most likely our ears, our eyes and our mouths.”
  • “The Enemy uses these three gates to destroy many good works of God.”
  • “Through what we hear, what we see and what we say.”
  • “A little gossip, a little rumor, a harsh word, a hasty email, an inappropriate or condemning photograph – these are his tools.  Guard against them.”
  • “I would like to ask each of you to also make a personal commitment to protect what you have worked so hard to build while we’ve been together during this event.”  (Hand out a “commitment brick” and a marker to each participant if you haven’t done so already.)
  • “These sheets of paper are ‘Commitment Bricks.’”
  • “We are going to use them to build a wall of commitment here at the front of the room.” (Point out the flipchart paper where you would like them to bring their commitment cards.)
  • “When Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem, all the walls were rubble.”  (Point to the “RUBBLE” on your flipcharts.)
  • “But he helped the people to build the rubble into a rampart!” (Point to the “RAMPART” on your charts.  A rampart is a strong defensive wall around a city.)
  • “I’ve asked the worship team to lead us in a few songs to prepare our hearts.”
  • “After we have worshipped, I would like to ask you to take a moment to pray about what your commitment should be.”
  • “Then, write the commitment on your brick and sign your name.”
  • “I have tape ready at the front of the room, and I would like you to bring your Commitment Brick up here to cover up this rubble and build a wall of commitment by sticking your brick to the wall.”  (Have the worship team lead.  Then encourage everyone to pray, write down their commitments and tape them on the wall.  When everyone is done, have them stand in a semi-circle around the commitments.)
  • (Ask a volunteer to read Nehemiah 6:15-16.)
  • “When Nehemiah arrived in Jerusalem, all he had was rubble and a group of people who had given up hope of building their walls.”
  • “The people were discouraged by the rubble.”
  • “It was a constant reminder of their weakness, their shame, their failure.”
  • “But Nehemiah saw the rubble and had hope!”
  • “He realized that the rubble meant that they already had all the materials they needed to build the walls right there waiting to be used!”
  • “They didn’t have to build a stone quarry and find ways to transport large amounts of stone.”
  • “They had everything they needed, and it was already distributed around the city in all the right places!”
  • “He cast his vision with the people, and in 52 days, they took that RUBBLE and made it into a RAMPART! (a strong, defensive wall).”
  • “Maybe the rubble you see around you has been used by the Enemy to discourage you and to cause you to lose hope.”
  • “But I want to encourage you today!”
  • “You have all the resources you need to build your walls!”
  • “With God’s help, even this rubble can become a rampart!”
  • “Let’s thank Him for His good work in our hearts and minds today!”  (Praise the Lord with some applause or other method appropriate to your context.  Then, ask the senior leader to say a prayer to close the time.  Dismiss participants after the prayer.  You will probably want to transfer your Commitment Wall to a visible place around your team or to post it online as a reminder of the commitments that have been made.)
Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Closer, Engagement

Project Management Series – Nehemiah (DEVOTION)


This series of devotions is designed to be completed over several days.

 

Devotion – Project Management Series (Nehemiah)

Project Initiation & Planning

In your groups, read the following Scriptures. Then answer the questions below.

  • Nehemiah 1-2
  • What steps did Nehemiah take to initiate and plan this project?
  • Who are the people in these roles: project manager, team, customer, sponsor, stakeholder?
  • What agreements does Nehemiah make with different groups or individuals?
  • What requests does he make from different groups or individuals?
  • What is the project scope?
  • What can we learn from how Nehemiah managed this project?

 

Devotion – Project Management Series (Nehemiah)

Project Execution

In your groups, read the following Scriptures. Then answer the questions below.

  • Nehemiah 3
  • Create a project plan for building the wall. For each task, identify:
    • Owner
    • Duration
    • Due Date (assume an overall project deadline of 4 months)
    • Cost/Budget
    • Who Pays?
    • Put the tasks in order and identify predecessors and successors (be creative with this, since it’s not clearly stated).
  • Identify the critical path by placing asterisks by critical path tasks.

 

Devotion – Project Management Series (Nehemiah)

Risk Management

In your groups, read the following Scriptures. Then answer the questions below.

  • Nehemiah 4-6
  • What unexpected events threated to take the project off plan?
  • Which threats were internal to the team, and which ones were external?
  • How did Nehemiah deal with them?
  • How could he have prepared for them in advance?
  • What can we learn from Nehemiah’s example?

 

Devotion – Project Management Series (Nehemiah)

Risk Management

In your groups, read the following Scriptures. Then answer the questions below.

  • Nehemiah 7:1-5, 70-73; 8:1-18; 9:1-3, 38; 10:28-39; 11:1-2; 12:44-47
  • What things did Nehemiah do that would help to ensure the sustainability (ability to be maintained) of the project?
  • How do you think these would help?
  • What promises did the people make?
  • What can we learn from these Scriptures?

 

Devotion – Project Management Series (Nehemiah)

Project Close-Out

In your groups, read the following Scriptures. Then answer the questions below.

  • Nehemiah 12:27-43
  • How did Nehemiah celebrate the completion of the project?
  • What can we learn from Nehemiah’s example?
  • Why do you think celebration and close-out might be important?

 

Devotion – Project Management Series (Nehemiah)

Monitoring & Evaluation

In your groups, read the following Scriptures. Then answer the questions below.

  • Nehemiah 13
  • What happened after Nehemiah returned to Babylon?
  • What promises from Chapter 10 did the people break?
  • What could Nehemiah have done to prevent these problems?
  • What is the importance of monitoring and evaluation for the success of a project?
  • How should it be done?

Leave a comment

Filed under Bible study, Challenges, Devotion, Evaluation, leadership, Management, Nehemiah, Overcoming obstacles, Planning, Priorities, Problem solving, Project management, Resources, Solutions

Guard Your Gates! (OBJ LESSON)


Time

20 minutes

Description

This object lesson teaches about the need to protect our hearts and minds from the evil things that might get in them.

Materials

  • Small box
  • Heart-shaped object
  • A handful of candy or a few candy bars

Preparation

·You might need a confederate when you try to tempt the “gate-keepers” to let you into the city.Talk to one of the older children ahead of time, and let them know you want them to let you in the gate after you’ve tempted them some – maybe when you offer the candy.Ask the child to keep this a secret.

·Practice the script.

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “I am going to tell you a story from the book of Nehemiah.”
  • “In the time of Nehemiah, there was a temple in Jerusalem, but there were no walls around the city.”(Ask for a few children to volunteer to come be your temple.Have them stand together and hold the small box in the center.)
  • “This box represents the Ark of the Covenant.”
  • “The Ark was the most important thing in all of Israel.It represented where God came to meet with His people.”
  • “Now, without walls around the city, the temple was unprotected.”
  • “At any time, the enemy could just walk in and steal the Ark of the Covenant, because there was nothing to keep the enemy out.”(Pretend to be the enemy, and show how easy it is for you to come in and steal the Ark.)
  • “Now, the Ark of the Covenant is gone today.No one knows for sure what happened to it.”
  • “I think that’s because we don’t need it anymore.You see, God replaced the building that was called “The Temple,” with our hearts.He now meets with us in our hearts instead of in a building.”
  • “The Bible says that God removed our ‘heart of stone and gave (us) a heart of flesh.’” (Ezekiel 11:19 – Replace the box with the heart-shaped container.)
  • “And our enemy is Satan.He wants to steal our hearts so that God can’t use us for His purposes.”
  • “So, the temple is like our heart today.What did Nehemiah need to protect the temple?”(Walls)
  • “Right!And Nehemiah was smart.He put together a team of people, and they began building those walls.”
  • “But if Nehemiah needs physical walls to protect the temple, what do you think we need to protect our hearts?”(Spiritual walls)
  • “Exactly!We need spiritual walls!Well, just like you build physical walls stone by stone, you build spiritual walls piece by piece when you do good things for God.”
  • “Can anyone give me an example of a ‘stone’ you might put in your spiritual wall?”(Look for examples of spiritual disciplines and good works for God.As kids mention them, have them come up to be part of the wall around the temple.Examples include: Bible study, giving, helping others, prayer, meditating on God’s word, solitude, going to church, worship…Keep taking examples until you have a complete wall around the temple.)
  • “There!We have our spiritual wall to protect us from Satan’s attacks.If we didn’t have our spiritual walls up, Satan could come right in and steal our hearts.”
  • “Walls are good to have, but we are missing something.We also need gates!”
  • “Without gates in the wall of Jerusalem, the good stuff, like food and supplies couldn’t come into the city.”
  • “In the same way, without gates in our spiritual walls, there is no way to let in good things like God’s Word.”
  • “So, we need gates – can anyone think of what our gates might be?Where does the good stuff come into our minds and hearts?” (Ears, eyes, mouth)
  • “I’m going to make these people our gates keepers.”(Pick two or three pairs of children and have them hold hands to designate that they are the gates.Make sure you include your confederate if you are using one.)
  • “Having gates is good, because they let the good stuff in, but they can also let in bad stuff.Your gates are the weakest part of your spiritual wall, and Satan will try really hard to get in through them.”
  • “Can anyone give me some examples of things Satan might try to get past your ear gates, your eye gates or your mouth gate?”(Take examples, and if needed, supply the following:

omusic with bad lyrics

obad scenes in movies

oprofanity

opictures in magazines

ogossip

orumors

othings you might feel jealous about

omean words

othings that might make you feel bad about yourself

odrugs or alcohol (because they make you do things you wouldn’t ordinarily do – like open your ear gates and eye gates to really bad stuff)

oother peoples’ personal things that are not to be shared (like a diary)

oviolent scenes)

  • “Wow!Satan has thought of a lot of stuff to try to get in through our ear gates, eye gates and mouth gate.”
  • “Let me show you how he works.”(Go to one of your gate-keeper pairs and try to tempt them to open the gate to let you in.)
  • “Hey, guys!How are you today?Say, I would really like to get into that gate.Would you mind opening it for me?”(Assuming they say, “no,” try some of these temptations.)

o“Aw, c’mon, do it for your friend!We’re friends right?You don’t want to be uncool do you?”

o“Wait until everyone hears what a loser you are!”

o“What if I offered you this candy?Would you open it for me then?”

o“You would be my best friend ever!”

o“Those guys over there let me in all the time.”

o“If you let me in, I’ll give you something really cool!”

o(Add other temptations that you think might work.If no one succumbs to the temptations, use your confederate to get into the city.)

  • “HA!I knew I could get in!Now that I’m in here, I think I’m going to set up camp.”
  • “When Satan gets into your heart and sets up camp, the Bible calls it a stronghold.A stronghold is the place in your heart that Satan holds, and it’s where he attacks you from.”
  • “There is a story in the last chapter of Nehemiah in the Bible that tells about when one of Nehemiah’s enemies came to live inside the temple!”
  • “Nehemiah had left the country for some time, and while he was gone, some of the people who were friends with Nehemiah’s enemies let a man named Tobiah move in!”
  • “That’s like letting Satan live in your heart!Who wants that?”
  • “The good news is that Nehemiah was a man of God.When he found out that Tobiah had moved into the temple, he kicked him out of the temple and out of the city.Then, he bleached the place and filled it up with temple furniture and offerings.”(Nehemiah 13:4-9)
  • “So if Satan gets past our gates with his junk, what do you think we ought to do?”(Throw him out just like Nehemiah did!)
  • “That’s right!Kick him out of your heart and mind!Then close those gates, and don’t let him in again, because if you keep letting him in, he’s not just going to want to live in your heart – he’s going to want to steal it for himself!”(Demonstrate stealing the heart-shaped container from the temple.If, as often happens when I conduct this object lesson, you are mauled by the children, it’s best to give up the heart before you incite a riot.)
  • “So, how many of you are going to be careful to build your walls and guard your gates from now on?”

5 Comments

Filed under Christianity, Coping skills, Hands-on, Obedience, Object Lesson, Satan's tactics, Spiritual Growth, Spiritual Warfare, temptation