Nehemiah: Building with old stones

By Adam Wyatt

An important thing to remember in the life and ministry of Nehemiah is that he did not simply build a wall. He rebuilt it. This is important for us to consider because of the way that he did it. Nehemiah simply reused what was there. He literally used the old stones that were there. He took what was at hand and repurposed them. Much of replanting is the same.

Too often, we think that reinventing a church is the same thing as replanting. That is sometimes necessary but this is not always the case. We do not destroy what is there in replanting. We slowly transition it back to health. In essence, we rebuild it using the stones that are already there.
In an existing church there are at least five “old stones” that are present within the church that can be used to successfully replant it:

  1. People. This is a big deal. There are already people in replant. Sometimes that is a challenge because they are often beat-down, disgruntled, and dysfunctional. But there are God’s people who deserve shepherding.
  2. A place. Not trying to state the obvious, but it is important to see a replant as a literal place in a community that has an opportunity to live the Gospel out in relationship with one another.
  3. Property. You do not have to find or build a building like you do in church planting. You already have one. It might not be updated, but you have a physical location.
  4. Principal. Generally, in a replant you have some sort of financial assets. They can be large or small, but use them to bless your community and plant Gospel-centered seeds around you.
  5. Potential. Remember, Nehemiah rebuilt the wall in 52 days. It had laid in ruins for over 140 years. But was rebuilt in 52 days! There was a great amount of potential there, but no one was able to see it.

As you serve your people, understand that there is potential there. God wants to restore and rebuild your church because there are people that truly need the Gospel. You have people in a place with property and principal—and because of that you have the opportunity to see potential as your see the providence of God poured out.

Published July 12, 2016

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Adam Wyatt

Adam Wyatt is the senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Leakesvile, Mississippi. A second-generation pastor, he has developed a love for the rural church in the Southern context. He loves his wife, his three beautiful daughters, good conversation, books and coffee. He is also pursuing his PhD in Biblical Theology from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City. Connect with Adam @pastor_adam