Next To You On The Wall

Jimmy Dodd |

Dear friends,

I am continually amazed that it’s next to impossible to thoroughly enjoy a song apart
from community. It’s difficult to enjoy a new piece of music until we share it with
someone else. When they hear the song – and their eyes light up – then we can fully
enjoy the music. Why is the experience incomplete until we make that connection?
Because we were created for community. We were not meant to live, function, or enjoy
music – or life – in isolation. That is what made the pandemic so difficult for so many.
Sadly, isolation became a standardized form of living.

Those who have spent any time around me know that I have a deep appreciation for
the book of Nehemiah. I am privileged to regularly teach on the many leadership
principles scattered throughout the book. I practically enjoy Nehemiah 3, which at first
glance appears to be a boring list of names we can’t pronounce. Many who read the
Bible from cover-to-cover skip Nehemiah 3 as an irrelevant list of strangers. I would
passionately disagree.

Some of the greatest leadership lessons in all of scripture can be found in Nehemiah 3.
Next month I will have the privilege of leading the executive team of one of the most
successful restaurant chains in America at their home office. Our curriculum for the
day? Yep, Nehemiah 3.

Nehemiah is a leadership genius. He is asked to rebuild the walls and gates of
Jerusalem, a project that had failed for nearly 100 years under multiple leaders.
Nehemiah leads the rebuilding project and completes the task in a mere 52 days! He
does this by creating forty-one teams and asking each team to work on a particular
section of the wall where they would have some sense of personal investment. In most
cases, it was near their home. In other words, rather than face one overwhelming
macro-project, Nehemiah creates forty-one manageable micro-projects.

One of my favorite aspects of Nehemiah 3 is found in two little seemingly insignificant
words – “next to”. Those two words apparently trivial appear twenty-six times in just
this one chapter!

As we at PastorServe work to serve the Lord Jesus, we labor next to one another. We
serve next to pastors, churches, ministries and ministry leaders. We work next to other
ministries called to serve pastors and the local church. Above all, we minister, live and
breathe next to Jesus. His name reminds us that he is next to us every moment of every
day. In Matthew 1:23, his name is to be Emmanuel – God with us. John 1:14 tells us
that God in flesh lived among us. Jesus is the eternal friend who is forever next to you.

Personally, I need that encouragement each day. I need to be reminded that Jesus is
the faithful friend who sticks close than a brother (Proverbs 18:24). At PastorServe, we
could not do the work we are called to do apart from this truth. Jesus is next to us –
and many of his followers (like you!) are next to us on the wall of caring for pastors.

Thank you for laboring next to us on the wall. We are immensely grateful for your
commitment to walk next to us as a ministry partner. Thank you for being a part of the
PastorServe’s vision That No pastor would Walk Alone. We could not do the work the
Lord has called us to do apart from you, and apart from one another.

Next to You on the Wall,

Jimmy Dodd

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