Learn the Lessons of Nehemiah
ABOUT YOUR LEADERSHIP
LEARN THE LESSONS OF NEHEMIAH!
As you consider the lessons learned from Nehemiah, ask yourself how do they compare with the way you got started in this work?
How can you apply these lessons to the outreach you are involved with? Which step or steps did you miss? What do you plan to do differently as you consider these principles?
Follow the links below to view the helpful lessons you can learn from Nehemiah.
See The need
BE PREPARED AT ALL TIMES! The Bible tells us to be prepared to give an account of the hope within us at all times. Be prepared to share your vision with anyone who will listen.
He saw the problem.
His first response was to weep and pray for wisdom before the living Lord of Heaven.
Then he mourned, wept over the problem and prayed to God. Now his natural first response is to REPENT!
It is very important that you see the need before you begin to help others. I remember that in the beginnings of Last Harvest, my eyes were opened to the needs of those suffering from life-dominating problems as I “looked” at the problem.
I was in an office overlooking a parking lot where women were coming and going from the abortion clinic next door. I watched them go in non-chalantly and come back out four hours later broken and devastated.
My experience of watching those women hobble to their car where they would sit for an hour weeping and sobbing broke my heart.
Watching a young girl come out of the clinic only to find that her boyfriend was no where to be found.
She sat on the curb of the street with her head in her knees weeping in the heat of the hot Texas summer sun.
That picture burned in my mind and motivated me to action. On that hot summer day, God prompted me to go downstairs and take a cold drink of water to that girl.
I invited her to come in where it was cool to use the phone. Once inside she began to weep and tell me her life story of abuse, incest, and now this boyfriend who had made her have the abortion.
When she left, with tears in my eyes, I began to write down what was in my heart.
What has brought you to this place of wanting to help others in need?
What is your prayer for wisdom?
Have you wept over abortion? (have you ever seen AbortionNo.com ‘s actual abortion video?)
Have you repented over abortion? Have you repented over the complacency, indifference and apathy we see in the churches?
Share your vision with others
Put your vision on paper. Refine it. Pray over it. Share it with others. Tell it to everyone you can. Pray over it again. Watch God bring the results.
When I began this outreach, I first wrote a simple one page purpose statement. I took that purpose statement and created a brochure that essentially said who and what Last Harvest was going to be.
I mailed personally signed letters to close friends and family inviting them to share in the blessings that were to come.
I refined the purpose statement into a one minute and three minute expanded presentation.
The bottom line: BE PREPARED AT ALL TIMES! The Bible tells us to be prepared to give an account of the hope within us at all times. Be prepared to share your vision with anyone who will listen.
Costs of providing help to others
What costs (financial, time, people, family, things) are you going to incur as you do this work of helping others?
COSTS? Yes, nothing in this world is free. Frankly, while much of the prolife movement is based upon the original hook we all used which was “free services” aimed at drawing women away from the abortion center that was charging them even for the pregnancy test. It was also based on the fact that most CPC orgs and churches are non profit 501-C3 orgs which by default are not supposed to “charge” for services. However, conducting a recovery course will involve possibly several cost factors:
Refreshments (If 3-8 people attend your group: imagine purchasing a large bottle of Sprite and some cookies. Cost only $4.56. However multiplied by 10 meetings means your cost could be $45.60 easily.
Kleenex® (*Every class historically uses a bunch of tissue. With men this may not need to be used till the breakthrough occurs later in the course, but I can assure you men will need tissues too! That could set you back $3 – $5 per session; over 10 weeks that could be $30 to $50)
Handouts (*10 people x 2 handouts would require 20 copies at $10c a copy.) Workbooks ($10 – $15 – $20 per student)
Advertising (much advertising is word of mouth and through your church. However, you may have to pay local radio or cable advertising time.),
Let’s assume that you have expenses of $400 per support group. Divide the number of participants in the course and let each one give a donation to cover their part of the course for supplies. We find that an average class can easily pay for all its expenses on a suggested donation of about $25 – $40 per person. Even for someone without steady income could stretch for $5 a week over ten weeks.
The important factor is that when a person has to pay for something they value it more. When they pay for their workbooks, they tend to use them more and fewer throw their books away.
The benefit of charging for the books and expenses: Clients who purchase a book or pay a fee, have a vested investment in their healing.
No matter if it is a small or reasonable fee, it makes a real difference in their attitude toward the materials and the course. You are giving it to them. They are your books. The client is then likely not to feel ownership of the book as her own.
The problem of not charging for books.
1. Your clients will have no vested interest in the course.
2. The client doesn’t own the courseware or feel obligated to the organization.
3. This will make them more likely to not follow through with the course or homework.
4. This can end in the client dropping out of the course prematurely.
About the Money you will need
Raise the money, gather your team of coworkers, locate where and when the group will meet.
If you follow the format of FREE ME TO LIVE you will quickly realize the need for women’s groups we suggest the use of handkerchief dolls, a baby casket, bags with long tie strings which are tools used in the course.
For a men’s group you may want to have a cross made of 4 x 4 wood so that men can “nail” a ribbon or ‘broken heart’ paper to the cross to symbolically let go.
Obviously, you will need these things organized, acquired and ready before you start a group.
Check with your local mortuary or funeral home. They are providers of casket lines.
Tell them what you are doing and that you are creating a memorial service for the men that have lost their offspring due to abortion and miscarriage.
We have seen a number of groups be given a casket because the funeral home understood the importance of the work being done.
Others have had a carpentry-able man build them a casket which is then lined and covered before use. Be creative.
Again, for men you may not want to use the ‘Casket” but use something tangible that he can nail, burn or dig to bury. However, get these things done before you start a group.
These are the actual notes I have provided my own facilitators for years. Read over these notes to gain more of a perspective of the ‘bigmo picture’ of what goes into a support group.
Before you start any gro>up, it is important that you prepare both yourself, your co-leaders, your Crisis Center or Church and your spouse and children for the work you are about to do. There may be a wealth of support available to you.
Check your own heart. Is your motivation correct? Why are you wanting to help? If you have not been called by God, and confirmed by others, then reconsider now.
The last place you want to be is inside a recovery group with serious hurts asking for help if you are not called to be there. You can do great damage to the individuals if you are not right with God.
Is there unconfessed sin in your life? Is there an area you have not allowed yourself to deal with? It is far better to deal with it before the group than to get inside a group as a leader only to fall apart because of your own pain.
Establish your CARE TEAM with people who you can trust and know well enough to work with during the group. Never, Never, Never attempt to lead a support group of multiple women alone. You need multiple eyes and ears to read all the body language when a class is in session.
Among your team of co-leaders, I recommend you insure that your team offers: sympathy – (I care about you), empathy – (been there done that and know what you must be feeling right now) and objectivity – (someone to keep the class on track)
Have you gone through the course once for your own self? We highly recommend that before you lead a group, that you take our < a target="_blank" href="htp://freemetolive.com/men/the-course/">online course and work through it page by page with your own CARETEAM leaders.
While this course has been written for women, as a male leader, read through the pages of deep content because many of the precepts and object lessons will be part of the Men’s Restoration course.
This will do two things. Help familiarize each of you with underlying Bible-based structure and course flow from the participants perspective. Help you deal with any issues that need to be address before you attempt to help others.
If you plan to order a copy of FREE ME TO LIVE, then make sure you have all your books and tools in place. Allow at least 3 weeks for your books to arrive unless you are prepared to pay high shipping costs. A typical Next day are can cost $70 or more. All books are shipped UPS because of the high loss rate we have experience with the Post Office. To order, visit www.FreeMetoLive.com
What are you going to do for the closure exercises. We recommend finding a local retreat where you can go for a weekend away from the kids. Give the participants a time to get awy from their everday stresses so that they can have quality time to deal with their letting go exercises.
If you need help locating a local retreat center, contact area churches who often use retreat centers for their youth and adult getaways. The ideal retreat will offer you a private area for your meeting (ie free of interruptions from other guests) and access to a pond or small lake. These are excellent places to hold the letting go object lessons.
For the letting go exercises, you will need white helium filled balloons with long strings of white string. These should be filled the day you are planning to use them.
When I am in a city away from home, I normally locate a grocery store near the meeting facility that has a rose or flower department.
They normally have helium balloons. For the stones throw, we suggest creating a number of soft handmade cloth bags with large draw strings.
If you are not “artsy-crafty” then have your wife or one of her friends help prepare some soft bags for the men. I guarantee they will not like these bags once they hang them on their neck.
Memorial Grief-loss Service
For the memorial service, you will have to be creative in preparing for a men’s letting go service. Unlike women, they may not want to walk to an altar carrying a handkerchief doll.
Instead, you may want to allow them to draw a picture, cut out a montage or something that resembles a baby.
Allow them to decorate it like they wish and then in a somber service have them take that object and “bury it” in their backyard, plant a tree, or flowers or something tangible that will help them realize they have honored the child that they helped create and destroy.
Also, don’t forget a CD player and sound system to be able to use the audio vignettes that are part of the My Memorial Kit (2 CDs) or MP3’s of your own choosing. Men respond to music just like women. Allow them to hear the audio vignettes found online at MyMemorial.org
What are you going to offer in the way of followup to the Men’s Restoration course?
The individual needs to be grounded in a Bible believing church to be able to receive long term discipleship, Bible training, growth and spiritual maturity.
If the individual is not connected with a local church, please advise them to access Bible Sytematics study, worship, and connect with other members.
Additionally, we recommend getting them into groups like Celebrate Recovery, Search for Significance, Bondage Breaker, Bible Study Fellowship, Biblical Counseling Foundation and others.
What do I mean by Biblical Systematics? Unlike churches that teach topical social studies, find a church that is committed to teaching systematically through the Bible, letting the Scripture stand alone.
Rather than add or take away from Scripture, Biblical Systematics insure that the Word remains true to its self. Like the Bereans, you are able to “check it out” against the Bible’s own words rather than some preacher’s personal opinion.
Be prepared for the purpose.
Never work alone
Always work as a team. To build your team means finding other people, like yourself, who are called and gifted for a part of this work just like you.
Share with everyone you know. Get interviewed on radio. Appeal to the public to join with you. Watch God raise up the workers.
Two heads are better than one (and three are better than two), so it’s probably worth your time to find other heads that share your passions and interests and pool your efforts.
Where do you find them? Join the various blogs and discussion boards we list on our resource page.
You should consider joining that discussion board, or create one on your donor website to post your questions and ideas.
Certainly the social media networks are a key place to connect with others. Build a FACEBOOK page for connecting with other directors and male support leaders. Others will drop in and before you know it a community is born.
For after abortion care, consider joining the A.R.I.N. Directory After Abortion Recovery Directory and be sure your are listed on Find Pregnancy Help which allows you to list under the catagory After Abortion Help or other categories to be sure your center is found and referrals are sent to you. learn more!
Learn from other male leaders. A Father’s Great Love: Kurt Ramspot, Warren Williams: Fathers & Brothers
Attend National and Regional Conferences, Trainings, Workshops conducted by the prolife community:
CareNet Annual Conference
Heartbeat International Conference
Other networking ideas
Your local newspaper or website will list grassroots mini-communities and movements already in place. Attend local events to find contributors to your cause.
Churches, synagogues, and other places of worship often hold community events tied to social causes. Connect with other after abortion care leaders in your immediate area.
You can also join virtual communities on social networking websites including Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Newsvine, Digg and Stumbledupon. Search for articles and personal profiles that flag the terms “after abortion helpr” or “post abortion recovery.” Just be careful what personally identifiable information you give out to members.
Remember that the goal of proactive networking is not to sit around talking, but to rally support for your own ideas, and spark directed action toward the goal of healing the women and/or men coming to your support group.
Keep your heart guarded at all times
Understand whose you are. Because you are of Jesus, you have an enemy who will devise plans and schemes to kill, steal, and destroy you.
Don’t operate in fear, but do operate with a covering. Get with your Pastor. Ask him to cover you spiritually. Organize a prayer team who will cover you, your family, your coworkers as you do this work.
“For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, to hew for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.” – Jeremiah 2:13.
In Jeremiah’s day, cisterns were underground reservoirs where rain water was collected for use. Eventually the mud settled at the bottom of the cisterns and the clear upper layers could be used as a source of drinking water.
Perhaps this metaphor brings to our mind non-believers who are vainly trying to quench their spiritual thirst by drinking from the world’s cisterns.
The Samaritan woman who met Jesus beside Jacob’s well is a good example of the human inclination to look for fulfillment and love “in all the wrong places.”
However this divine message, delivered through the prophet Jeremiah, was addressed to God’s people.
Despite all that the Lord had done to free them from slavery and lead them out of Egypt to the land of milk and honey, His people eventually forsook the fountain of living waters “to drink the waters of the Nile.” (Jeremiah 2:18).
Egypt and the Nile are metaphors for the world and what it has to offer. Like the Israelites, we too have experienced the goodness of the Lord.
Like them, we are inclined to forsake the fountain of living waters and to hew for ourselves broken cisterns that can hold no water.
Thankfully, God is constantly calling us back to Himself. And in this passage He reminds us, once again, that what the world has to offer cannot satisfy the deepest yearnings of our hearts.
When hearts change – things happen
The fact that His people had hewn for themselves broken cisterns was merely a symptom of a deeper problem.
God was grieved because His people had “forsaken the devotion of (their) youth and the love of (their) betrothals.” (Jeremiah 2:2).
Having forsaken their first love, any efforts to keep their adulterous passions in check became an exercise in futility.
Their self-destructive behavior merely exposed what had already occurred internally – a change of heart and affections.
When I first gave my heart to Jesus, I naively assumed that I would never again have to deal with the issue of my love and commitment to Him.
Since then I’ve come to realize that there is a need for constant vigilance: “Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life.”
The Hebrew word for heart (leb) refers to more than just our feelings; it is taken from a root word that is best translated “the inner man” – which embodies the mind, will and emotions.
Why did the writer of Proverbs exhort us to “post a guard” over our hearts? Because our hearts are prone to misplaced affections. And when the integrity of our inner being is breached, it threatens our emotional, mental and spiritual viability.
Sometimes the things that diminish our passion for God are “good” things that are not sinful or wrong in and of themselves – which is why it is easy to be caught off guard.
Recently, I received a letter from an outstanding Christian leader and a dear brother in Christ, who noticed an irony in his own spiritual life:
The busier he was in serving God through various leadership positions, the less intimacy he experienced in his relationship with Christ. Having been there myself, I understood what he was talking about.
Countless others have lost their passion for God on the altar of their profession, motivated either by a desire to serve humanity or simply out of a need to feed their own egos.
Like Martha, we become caught up in our service for its own sake. We forget that true service (which, by the way, is derived from the same root word as worship), is an outward expression of our love and devotion to God.
Because it is something which flows from a heart that is in tune with God’s heart, it is never self-driven.
Always keep your focus: WHOSE ARE YOU?
“I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot endure evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false; and you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary. But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” – Revelations 2:2-4.
How was it that the church in Ephesus could toil and persevere in the Lord’s work, stand up against evil in their day, be vigilant against false doctrine, and endure persecution for His name’s sake, only to discover in the end that God was not pleased with them?
Because in the final analysis, the heart of the issue is the issue of the heart. The one thing that God had against the church in Ephesus was the fact that they had left (not lost) their first love.
God has promised that He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). So whenever our love relationship with the Lord begins to grow cold, it is always because somewhere along the way we have moved away from Him.
In my experience, this is rarely a conscious decision or a willful act of abandonment. Instead, we give our hearts away a piece at a time, often without even realizing what is happening.
Gradually, our love for God diminishes. Service to God and to others becomes a heavy burden. In time we may even become totally apathetic to the things of God, unless He graciously intervenes in our lives – and He will if we ask Him to.
Never give up – Keep going
If we recognize that this is what has happened to us, how can we start over?
How do we go about restoring our spiritual passion? God’s prescription for restoration is simply this: “Remember therefore from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first.” (Revelations 2:5).
The first step in personal spiritual revival is to humble ourselves before God and repent.
Repentance means a change in attitude which should result in a change of behavior: There must be a willingness to walk away from our love affair with the world.
A period of relative obscurity and insulation from the pressures of public opinion may be helpful. We do this not to withdraw from the world, but to draw near to God (James 4:8) so that we can give Him our undivided attention. And in drawing near to God, His Spirit will rekindle our love for Him if we “do the deeds we did at first.”
As in any other love relationship, our relationship with God is a romance sustained by discipline; we cannot have one without the other.
Romance is nurtured by the discipline of spending regular time with the One we love. We sit in His presence and gaze at His wonderful face.
We observe His mysterious ways and marvel at His love and wisdom. We listen to His gentle voice and share with Him the deepest secrets of our heart.
We read His love letters over and over again until we know them by heart. We find out what He is interested in, and join with Him in doing them until we learn to love what He loves.
And then one day, we will discover that once again we are in love. And Jesus, the Lover of our soul, is once again the most important Person in our life!
Just Do it!
Don’t wait for someone to tell you to get started: JUST DO IT!
When you do start your outreach, please pray about networking with us and let us help you along the way!
If you need a field-proven and time-tested resource, please consider Free Me in Live or plan to use our online restoration course for men.
NEXT: Learn now how to keep safe boundaries with the one you serve.”