The C's Have It

Gates and names that are challenging to pronounce. At first glance, it's doesn't seem as though there's too much to learn from Nehemiah 3. Yet, as Bert discussed in his lesson, all Scripture is God-breathed, so there's a reason—or reasons—those gates and names are mentioned. And, of course, lessons to be learned and applied, which Bert summarized as the five Cs and challenged us to make these principles part of our men's ministry and church: Cooperation: The Process of Working Together to the Same End From priests to goldsmiths to perfume makers, and from governing officials, gate guards and merchants, everyone came together with their eyes and hearts on one goal: Repair, restore and rebuild the wall. No one, regardless of their position, was above getting his hands dirty—well, except for those nobles.

Now, like then, we must show cooperation using the gifts that God has given us to build His church. (See Romans 12:3-8). It takes all to move our men's ministry—and church—forward, from those gifted in administration to those gifted in tech to those gifted as greeters—and everything in between.

Pray about where you might be able to use your gifts.

Coordination: The Organization of the Different Elements So They Work Together Effectively We see that those mentioned are all working in harmony—everyone is on the same page regarding how to finish the task. As we read about the work being done, we see throughout Nehemiah 3 words and phrases, such as "next to," "besides," "adjoining" and "opposite." People knew—and accepted—their roles, and understood how each job set up another and built on another.

Commendation: Praise or Award Involving Special Praise The people worked hard and the task mighty—and Nehemiah was aware of that. In Nehemiah 3:20, Nehemiah points out Baruch son of Zabbai, who zealously repaired another section. He also mentions those who "repaired another section"—those people who did extra work. Nehemiah lives out the words from Hebrews 10:24-25, where we're instructed to stimulate one another to love and good deeds and encourage one another.

Whether at home, at church, at work or with friends, commending people for their honest efforts is one of the most valuable keys to human relations.

Who can you commend?

Communication: A Means of Connection Between People This point seems universally known, yet how often are we faced with a challenge—be it at work, home or church—brought on by a lack of or poor communication. "I didn't know that." "That's not what I heard." "Didn't I say this already?" Most problems, as Bert told us, can be avoided if we make a point of communicating with each other. Working side by side, those on the wall knew and heard what was happening. Nobody was wondering what the plan was or what to do. Communication lines were open.

Completion: The Action or Process of Finishing Something The culmination of cooperation, coordination, commendation and communication. The challenge Bert put forth is to ask ourselves whether we want to be among those who start—and finish—well. To do so, we must continually be in the Word until we complete our assigned task.