“When Sanballat heard that we were building the wall of Jerusalem, he was very angry and upset. He started making fun of the Jews. Sanballat talked with his friends and the army at Samaria and said, ‘What are these weak Jews doing? Do they think we will leave them alone? Do they think they will offer sacrifices? Maybe they think they can finish building in only one day. They cannot bring stones back to life from these piles of trash and dirt. These are just piles of ashes and dirt!'” Nehemiah 4:1,2
When Nehemiah began to rebuild the broken down walls around Jerusalem a few naysaysers began to say “nay!” They yelled “nay!” to Nehemiah’s vision of restoring Jerusalem to it’s former glory, “nay!” to bringing the scattered Jews back to Jerusalem and “nay!” to helping this city on a hill shine the glory of God to the nations like it once did.
They mocked, conspired, accused and, ultimately, planned an assasination on Nehemiah and an attack on the city. How Nehemiah responded to these naysayers gives us some strong clues and cues on how we can respond to the naysayers in our ministries.
Oh yeah, you will get naysayers in your ministry by the way. That’s something most seminaries don’t teach. But it will happen…probably several times over the course of your ministry career.
And, by the way, the more you seek to build a Gospel Advancing, disciple-multiplying ministry, the more the naysayers will nay. There’s something about a ministry that is advancing God’s kingdom that brings out the Debbie downers and the negatives Neds in droves.
So, as you seek to build your ministry according to God’s Acts blueprint, here are 5 simple and effective ways to deal with the naysayers that will inevitably attack you:
1. Pray them quiet.
“Hear us, our God, for we are despised. Turn their insults back on their own heads. Give them over as plunder in a land of captivity. Do not cover up their guilt or blot out their sins from your sight, for they have thrown insults in the face of the builders.” Nehemiah 4:4,5
Every time Nehemiah’s naysayers attacked him with words Nehemiah took it to the throneroom of God in prayer. He asked God to shut them up and shut their efforts down. He asked God to intervene on his behalf. He took their threats seriously enough to ask God to take swift and decisive action.
The book of Nehemiah is sprinkled with Nehemiah’s prayers. Many of these prayers are intercessory prayers on behalf of the Jews and in response to the verbal (and potentially physical) attacks of their enemies.
Is your life and ministry sprinkled with prayer? Are you consistently in his presence, bringing your requests, praying on behalf of those you are ministering to? Are you asking God to shut down the plans of the naysayers and advance his kingdom agenda through you and your team?
Make intercessory prayer a habit. It’s like an Air Force that protects the battleground of your ministry efforts. And recruit others to join you in prayer.
2. Don’t waste too much time responding to the naysayers.
“But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they mocked and ridiculed us. ‘What is this you are doing?’ they asked. ‘Are you rebelling against the king?’ I answered them by saying, ‘The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding, but as for you, you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it.” Nehemiah 2:19,20
Nehemiah tried to quickly shut them down and their false accusations of his efforts. He made it clear that he and the Jews had a historic right to the city. In the same way you and I have a historic right to make and multiply disicples.
In Matthew 28:18-19 Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations.…” Talk about a historic right? 2,000 years ago the King of kings and Lord of lords gave you and I the right to share the Gospel with everyone everywhere!
Kindly, gently and firmly affirm this right to anyone who tries to keep you from doing this in your ministry. Lovingly remind them that you are called to carry out the last and lasting mandate of Jesus…no matter how much resistance it brings.
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Source: Christian Post