PASTOR EPHRAIM WILLIAMS RETIREMENT CELEBRATION PAGE

Transitioning: Leading Your Church Through Change-Step 6

Pastor Reece unpacks the lessons from the Book of Nehemiah regarding leadership and change. Look at the video for the spiritual nuggets and you will be edified.

Speaker: Pastor Kenneth Reece

August 5, 2020

Pastor Kenneth Reece

Senior Pastor

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STEP 6
DEALING WITH OPPOSITION (Nehemiah 3 & 4)
A Learning Exercise
• People can handle only so much ______________________________.
• People feel ________________________ when asked to do something new.
• People think _________________________ about what they must give up.
• People feel _________________________ when they are asked to change.
• People are at different levels of __________________________ for change.
• People tend to ________________________ to their old behavior when the
reason to change is removed.
The Reality of Opposition
Anyone who is trying to do something for God will face some opposition.
When leading the church through transition, there will be opposition from the
following groups in the church:
• Those who do not _______________________ the change.
• Those who understand the change, but just don’t _________________ it.
• Those whose ______________________ you are messing with.
• Those whom the _____________________ controls.
• Those who just love to be ___________________________.

Two Steps to Take to Deal with Opposition
1. ____________________________ opposition.
Opposition will __________________________ you and cause you to
______________________ your vision. If you are expecting it—you will be
prepared.
Nehemiah’s opposition
A. Expect _____________________________.
“And next to them the Tekoites repaired, but their nobles would not
stoop to serve their Lord.” Nehemiah 3:5
B. Expect _____________________________.
“Now when Sanballat heard that we were building the wall, he was
angry and greatly enraged….” Nehemiah 4:1a
C. Expect _____________________________.
“… and he jeered at the Jews.” Nehemiah 4:1b
D. Expect _____________________________.

2 And he said in the presence of his brothers and of the army of
Samaria, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they restore it for
themselves? Will they sacrifice? Will they finish up in a day? Will they
revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish, and burned ones at that?”
3 Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said, “Yes, what they are
building—if a fox goes up on it he will break down their stone wall!””
Nehemiah 4:2-3

E. Expect a _____________________________.
“And they all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and
to cause confusion in it.” Nehemiah 4:8
“And our enemies said, ‘They will not know or see till we come among them and kill
them and stop the work.’” Nehemiah 4:11
If you think your opposition will go away without a fight, think again.
Key Truth #7: Don’t take criticism personally.
You will be criticized. It might as well be for doing the right thing.
“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please
man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
Galatians 1:10
The Reality of Criticism
• You cannot please everyone.
• You cannot please anyone all the time.
• You CAN please God.
Play to an audience of One. Remember
who your final and most important
audience is going to be.

2. Keep on ______________________.
Opposition will __________________________ you and _____________________
you. It causes you to become _________________________ with the urgent
rather than the important.
You become a “church fire fighter” rather than a “church builder.”
Nehemiah’s track record
A. Keep on _________________________________.
4 Hear, O our God, for we are despised. Turn back their taunt on their
own heads and give them up to be plundered in a land where they are
captives. 5 Do not cover their guilt, and let not their sin be blotted out
from your sight, for they have provoked you to anger in the presence of
the builders. Nehemiah 4:4-5
The reality is that criticism and opposition will drive you somewhere.
Let it drive you closer to God and you will become better;
let it drive you away from God and you will become bitter.
One of the key ingredients in our successful transitions is the commitment
of mature Christians in the church to prayer.
B. Keep on _________________________________.
Anyone who gets down tends to slow down—it is a fact of life.
One of the real dangers of opposition is that it can
______________________________ you.
“So we built the wall. And all the wall was joined together to half its
height, for the people had a mind to work.” Nehemiah 4:6

If the enemy sees that you will shut down whenever a threatening
cloud comes by, he will keep your skies just dark enough to immobilize
you. Stay at it. Keep on working.
C. Keep on ______________________________.
Nehemiah went out of his way to “incourage” his troops in the midst of
opposition:
“And I looked and arose and said to the nobles and to the officials and
to the rest of the people, ‘Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord,
who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your
daughters, your wives, and your homes.’” Nehemiah 4:14
Nehemiah “incouraged” the people with these key points:
• Don’t be afraid of your ___________________________.
• Remember that God is with you.
• Remember your ______________________________.
“You can define the greatness of a man by
what it takes to discourage him.” Jerry Falwell
D. Keep on ______________________________.
One of the ways opposition distracts us is it moves our focus from those
we are leading to those we ______________________________ lead.

16And the leaders stood behind the whole house of Judah, 17 who were
building on the wall.” Nehemiah 4:16b-17a
It is impossible to lead the team up the hill when you are constantly giving
your time and attention to those who refuse to join the charge.

If your people see that you have quit leading, they will quit
____________________.
Give your time to that which is ________________________, not just
what seems __________________________.
Don’t let the whiners set the agenda of your church. Don’t let the
complainers have the time you need to be giving to the workers.
“You only have enough tears for one group: Those who are walking
toward you or those who are walking away from you. Choose whom
you will weep over.” Bill Hybels
E. Keep on ______________________________.
“Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be
wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” Matthew 10:16
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing but
inwardly are ravenous wolves.” Matthew 7:15
Wolves rarely leave the area. They are still lurking in the darkness. This is
why Nehemiah decreed:
“Let every man and his servant pass the night within Jerusalem, that
they may be a guard for us by night and may labor by day.” Nehemiah
4:22b
We are to be guards by ________________________ and workmen by
______________________.
“Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight….”                             1 Peter 5:2a

Wrap Up
Physical law of the universe: All moving objects encounter ____________________.
The only object that doesn’t encounter opposition is one that is stationary.
2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you
know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let
steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking
in nothing. James 1:2-4
Key Truth #8: Be willing to let people leave the church.

 

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