We have discussed Nehemiah’s passion, prayer, and planning, but now we will focus on his patience. In replanting things generally need to change. Derek Kidner once said “Sometimes it takes a stranger to see sharply what has been softened by familiarity.” As you engage in replanting, you must seek to change and shape the church culture but you must do so with patience.
Everything cannot be changed overnight. Ed Stetzer is helpful here: “Patience is always a virtue when it comes to enacting change in an established church. Be mindful that the church did not plateau overnight and it will not ‘rev up’ for growth overnight either.” We need to understand the culture, but do so with patience.
Nehemiah waited at least 3-4 months while praying and planning the beginning stages of his ministry. Additionally, he spends roughly 10 years in Jerusalem doing the work. Nehemiah was committed to the long-haul of ministry. If we are to fully engage in replanting and do so effectively, we must be patient. Continue praying; continue planning; but be patient.
If we see replanting as a long-term commitment and endeavor we are able to see the value of our work through the lens of patience. Replanter, be patient. As the legendary coach John Wooden said once, “Be quick, but don’t hurry.”
Published July 6, 2016