Storyline #69: Nehemiah 1-2 “The City Life: CBSM in 2010″

Free resources for youth pastors and small group leaders:
1 – Nehemiah 1-2 – CBSM in 2010 (mp3)
1 – Nehemiah 1-2 – CBSM in 2010 (ppt)
1 – Nehemiah 1-2 – CBSM in 2010 (handout)
1 – Nehemiah 1-2 – CBSM in 2010 (sermon)
1 – Nehemiah 1-2 – CBSM in 2010 (commentary)
1 – Nehemiah 1-2 – CBSM in 2010 (service)

Have you ever gotten that haunting feeling that you forgot something that you needed, or worse yet…you left something on (like the oven) that could burn the house down?  That happened to me when I was in college.  I remember driving home with that nauseous feeling, but trying to wipe it out of my mind like every other time.  But this time, I rounded the corner to my apartment and saw 3 fire trucks outside, lights spinning, spot lights exposing my apartment, and hoses out.  I raced inside to see the damage I caused from leaving on the oven, but nothing in our place was harmed.  Everything was fine.  It was a dryer fire from the apartment beneath us.  Whew!

When we look at the book of Nehemiah, we have to remember that its setting is within a major disaster.  The city (Jerusalem), country (Israel), and castle (the Temple) are in ruins.  Nehemiah gets a report that the city was destroyed, and that his people (the Jews) are in trouble because the walls and gates of the city are torn down leaving the people wide-open for attack (1:1-3).  Could you imagine learning, while you’re away for a mission trip, that your city, your church, and your house were destroyed by the Iraqis, and your people and family are in danger?  God began to work in Nehemiah’s life to fix this terrible problem.

Just like they gave Nehemiah a report of God’s kingdom in Jerusalem, I want to give you a report of CBSM (Capshaw Baptist Student Ministry) and what’s to come in 2010.  First of all, CBSM is a student ministry that is always centered around one purpose: the glory of Jesus Christ.  Everything we do is centered around and pointed toward Him!  We are a growing student ministry.  For whatever gracious reason, God is growing our ministry like crazy every year.  Every January we’ve grown by at least 50% (Jan 08: 60 students, Jan 09: 90 students, Jan 10: 140 students).  We are unashamed and not embarrassed about our faith: we believe that Jesus Christ is God the Son, who lived a perfect human life on earth, died for our sin, rose from the dead 3 days later, and now rules as King from Heaven at the right hand of God His Father.  We believe that every word of the Bible is fully true, and that the church is the primary way to worship Jesus.

That’s who we are.  Here’s what we’ll do new in 2010.  We will begin to video our Wednesday worship services and put them on the net.  We will mix in systematic theology and doctrinal truth studies on Wednesday nights.  For Sunday morning small groups, I will give our students a little lighter reading to make sure they have read the highlights before we come to church.  We will also mix in several of our college students who are called into ministry, and allow them to teach the student ministry on Sunday mornings that fall around the holidays.  For our Sunday night ministry teams, we are adding two new ministry teams: a facebook team that will bomb facebook with CBSM info, and also an upload team that will get all of our videos on the net.  Our new events in 2010 will be a Missions Conference in March, an All-Nighter in April, and our Beach Camp in June.  But what about our city?  Nehemiah asked about the people and the city.  Our city has somewhere around 12,000 teens.  Only about 1,000 of them are regularly in church.  This means that roughly only 7.5% are involved in church.  We must reach them!  They need to be a part of CBSM.  We want to grow in numbers because numbers symbolize lives reached for Jesus Christ!

Back to Nehemiah.  Nehemiah’s life was rocked when he heard the news about the people and the city of God (1:4).  He automatically went to prayer.  Think about this when going through a horrible time of drama and disaster.  Nehemiah first praised God for who He is, and what He has promised to do (1:5).  Then Nehemiah confesses sin for how he and the people of God have sinfully rebelled against Him (1:6-7).  Lastly, Nehemiah makes huge requests to God on behalf of the people and for the glory of God (1:8-11).  I believe God is calling CBSM to a year of prayer as we praise Him, confess our sin, and ask big!  We want CBSM to glorify Christ in all we do, we want CBSM to expose and turn us from our sin, and we want God to use CBSM is ginormous ways to reach our city for our King, Jesus Christ!  I love how Nehemiah ends his prayer section and this chapter with “I was a cupbearer to the king.”  The cupbearer was to be the king’s taste-tester of all his drinks…checking to make sure none of it was poisoned.  Nehemiah wasn’t a priest, wasn’t a prophet, wasn’t a preacher or a pastor, but Nehemiah was a normal dude with an average job living a comfortable life…unless he drank poison of course!  You are about to witness God do something extraordinary through someone who is very ordinary.  If you judge your spiritual potential based on your own abilities, then you aren’t accounting for a powerful God who desires to use you in ways from His potential!

Nehemiah is thinking so deep about all the drama and danger going on back home in Jerusalem that the king notices his frowny face, asks him what’s wrong, so Nehemiah says a quick prayer and tells him (2:1-5).  This is ridiculous (a good thing)!  The king gives Nehemiah permission to leave his post, to quit his job, to go back to his land, to use the king’s resources, and to rebuild his people’s city walls.  Only God could work something out like that!  I believe that when we are fellowshipping very closely with God in prayer, praise, confession, and requests…then God certainly may reveal something “ridiculous” for us to do for Him!  And God will provide you the means to make it happen.  Are you listening closely and dreaming big as to what God could do through your life for His glory?

Lastly, Nehemiah snuck back to his homeland during the night and inspected the city for all the work he would have to do (2:9-20).  And that’s exactly what we want our students to do…kind of.  We want you to inspect, look around, watch, pray, think, evaluate, and suggest to us what we can do better to make this a ministry that reaches more students for the glory of Jesus!  This isn’t MY youth ministry!  I’m the student pastor.  Our students are the youth ministers…they are in the schools ministering to the youth every day!  We all must take ownership in CBSM and build a proper kingdom that praises Jesus!

Ultimately, we rely on Jesus to do all of this for us.  Jesus’ trade ironically was that of a carpenter (Mark 6:3).  Now how cool is it that Jesus said HE would build His church (Matt 16:18), and that He’s away building a place for us (John 14:2).  Nehemiah is pointing us to Jesus.  Who builds His kingdom?  He does!  How does He do it?  He does it through His laborers…and that’s us!  We are the hired crew, the work force, and the construction workers.  Does the future of CBSM excite you, the condition of our city sadden you, the call to pray challenge you, the potential of God rock you, and the inspection of our ministry provoke you?  Let’s team up together, take on the city for Jesus, and reach every teen around for His glory!

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