Presbyterian Global Fellowship: The Work at Hand by Roger Dermody, Deputy Director of Mission
During a recent meeting of the leadership team, retiring Executive Administrator Curtis Kearns led a devotional looking at the story of Nehemiah. I was struck by the parallels between the work of Nehemiah and the work of the General Assembly Mission Council (GAMC.)
In Nehemiah’s day, the people of God faced threats from within and without. Their home was in shambles, and they needed to rebuild the wall around the city. I notice that in Nehemiah’s leadership, he made several very strategic decisions.
First, he defined the common vision – simply, the people of God needed to repair the wall. Second, he organized the work – each family would be responsible for repairing their own particular section of the wall. Third, he provided vital resources that helped the people accomplish their work.
I also notice what Nehemiah did not do. He did not tell the people exactly how to build the wall, how high it should be, nor what color it must be. The vision was pretty clear, and open to each family to interpret how best to repair the section of wall in their neighborhood. Further, while Nehemiah did provide some critical resources, he did not do the work for the people, nor did he give them everything they would need. Much of the work and supply of particular materials was left up to the individual families.
This is such an important parallel for work of the GAMC and our interaction with the local congregation. I believe the PC(USA) can rally around a common vision – namely that we are called by God to bring the Gospel to our neighborhoods. ...