Transitioning: Leading Your Church Through Change-Step 7

Pastor Reece continues his series on transitioning as a church. Some have a difficult time with change but God always has a plan.

Speaker: Pastor Kenneth Reece

August 19, 2020
Nehemiah 5:1-19'>Nehemiah 5:1-19

Pastor Kenneth Reece

Senior Pastor

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Follow Along with the Message


Vision is a Journey

Much like a trip, much like life, vision is
a major journey that requires constant
adjustments and course corrections
along the way.

The only thing more painful than learning from experience
is not learning from experience.
Nehemiah’s Course Corrections

1. Care for the _____________________________.
“Now there arose a great outcry of the people and of their wives against their Jewish brothers.” Nehemiah 5:1

Nehemiah’s complainers
• The “__________________ _____ _______ ______________” group.

“For there were those who said, ‘With our sons and our daughters, we are many. So, let us get grain, that we may eat and keep alive.’” Nehemiah 5:2
• The “__________________ _____ _______ ______________” group.

“There were also those who said, ‘We are mortgaging our fields, our
vineyards, and our houses to get grain because of the famine.’” Nehemiah

There is always a price for transition.
And there are always those who think the price is too high.
• The “__________________ _____ _______ ______________” group.

“Now our flesh is as the flesh of our brothers, our children are as their
children. Yet we are forcing our sons and our daughters to be slaves,….”

Nehemiah 5:5b
The very nature of change means that it is going to feel unfair to someone.
Possible Responses to Complainers
#1 __________________________ them as troublemakers who just like to complain.

You can measure a leader’s maturity by how he responds to complainers.

“As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then
twice, have nothing more to do with him,…” Titus 3:10
o When is it the right response?

⎯ If the complaining is coming from someone who believes
complaining is a virtue.
⎯ If the complaint is not legitimate.
o When is it wrong?
⎯ If the complaint is legitimate.

You can measure a leader’s maturity by how he responds to complainers.

Although Nehemiah was furious when he first heard their complaints, he was wise enough to think before he responded.
Jesus modeled the same behavior when He found the temple full of thieves.
John 2:13-16

The angrier you are about a complaint,
the more sensitive you need to be in your response.
#2 __________________________ them as people who do not understand your vision.

“I was very angry when I heard their outcry and these words.” Nehemiah 5:6

Don’t shoot your wounded people just because they are complaining.
The church is not a museum for perfect saints; it is a hospital for wounded sinners.

#3 __________________________ your care for them by making a plan to
provide for their needs.

“And I held a great assembly against them.” Nehemiah 5:7b
Meeting Agenda
1. Nehemiah _______________________ those who were out of line.
2. Nehemiah made the people follow through with their
3. In the end, ______________________ was restored.

“And all the assembly said ‘Amen’ and praised the Lord. And the people
did as they had promised.” Nehemiah 5:13b

It is easy during times of change for people to feel that they are not loved.

2. Negotiate _____________________________.
So I said, “The thing that you are doing is not good. Ought you not to walk in the fear of our God to prevent the taunts of the nations our enemies?

Nehemiah 5:9
There is a pivotal moment in most transitions where peace must be waged.

Groups for which peace must be negotiated:
• Between those who like changes and those who do not.
• Between those who are involved and those who feel left out.
• Between the old guard leaders who are resisting the changes and the
new guard leaders who are on board.

It is amazing how many times God raises up new leadership
when He wants to do a new thing.

3. Stay _________________ the _____________________.
The former governors who were before me laid heavy burdens on the people
and took from them for their daily ration[b] forty shekels[c] of silver. Even their servants lorded it over the people. Nehemiah 5:15a

Nehemiah’s Edge
Nehemiah was unlike the governors that preceded him. His behavior was markedly different. Here is how he stayed among his people, in unity with them:

• He did not take the royal _____________________ ________________________.

“…neither I nor my brothers ate the food allowance of the governor.”
Nehemiah 5:14c

• He shared his table with ________________________, ___________________,
and any __________________________ who were hungry.
“Moreover, there were at my table 150 men, Jews and officials, besides those
who came to us from the nations that were around us.” Nehemiah 5:17
• He treated his people with ____________________ and ____________________.

“The former governors who were before me laid heavy burdens on the people and took from them for their daily ration[b] forty shekels[c] of silver. Even their servants lorded it over the people. But I did not do so, because of the fear of God.” Nehemiah 5:15

• He ______________________ for his people.
“Yet for all this I did not demand the food allowance of the governor, because the service was too heavy on this people.” Nehemiah 5:18b
• He ______________________ on the wall beside the people.

“I also persevered in the work on this wall, and we acquired no land, and all my servants were gathered there for the work.” Nehemiah 5:16

Ways we separate ourselves from our people. People are not looking for a pastor who is a doctor.

They are looking for a pastor who is a person.
• Titles
“Elijah was a man with a nature like ours….” James 5:17a
• Dress

“For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance,
but the Lord looks on the heart.” I Samuel 16:7b
• Language and volume of speech
The world is looking for a Christian who is normal
Your community is looking for Christian leaders who are real.

Two leadership styles
• Ex-cathedra
• Ex-comradre
Martyrs versus leaders
A leader is ____________ step in front of his people. He is close enough to them to
still be one of them, and in front enough to still be the leader.
Wrap Up
Key Truth #9: Continually remind people why you are changing.
People need to hear vision again and again until it becomes a part of their soul.

People need to hear vision until it becomes ________________ vision—and then they still need to hear it, so they won’t forget.
To be purpose driven, you must keep purpose, target, and strategy in front of people on a __________________________ basis.

Key Truth #10: Continually affirm and appreciate people for the changes they
are making.

“You get what you encourage.”
Brag on people when they change. When you catch people doing something right and brag on them, they will go the second mile to do it again.


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