If you’ve never read the book Nehemiah, I’d encourage you do to so. Especially if you’re a leader of any sorts. You could pull this book out of the Bible, toss it up on a bookshelf of leadership books, and it would stand the test of time. Put into the context OF the Bible, though, it’s a wonderful story of leadership, delegation, working together toward common goals, and facing opposition. Something leaders everywhere get to deal with.
ME2U currently has an image of a broken down wall on our homepage. In the background of the page, we have a strongly built brick wall. Both of these images were picked on purpose, and I want to take a moment to share why. Consider the following summary of the book of Nehemiah:
Nehemiah was a Hebrew in Persia when the word reached him that the Temple in Jerusalem was being reconstructed. He grew anxious knowing there was no wall to protect the city. Nehemiah invited God to use him to save the city. God answered his prayer by softening the heart of the Persian king, Artaxerxes, who gave not only his blessing, but also supplies to be used in the project. Nehemiah is given permission by the king to return to Jerusalem, where he is made governor.
In spite of opposition and accusations the wall was built and the enemies silenced. The people, inspired by Nehemiah, give tithes of much money, supplies and manpower to complete the wall in a remarkable 52 days, despite much opposition. This united effort is short-lived, however, because Jerusalem falls back into apostasy when Nehemiah leaves for a while. After 12 years he returned to find the walls strong but the people weak. He set about the task of teaching the people morality and he didn’t mince words. “I argued with those people, put curses on them, hit some of them and pulled out their hair” (13:25). He reestablishes true worship through prayer and by encouraging the people to revival by reading and adhering to the Word of God. (Source)
Nehemiah was not a priest. He was not a prophet, a king, or a writer. He was the guy that tested the wine before the king drank it to make sure he didn’t get poisoned. It was quite an important job, but not one that you’d consider full of leadership potential. But Nehemiah’s heart is burdened, he speaks up, and is granted the opportunity to return to his home and get the wall rebuilt.
In my own way, I consider the relationships between adults and teens to be in a very similar state in the world today. Relationships are broken, whether it’s between a parent and their child or a coach and their athlete. Stories abuse, neglect, and friendships turned horrible are all too common in the news – and for every story IN the news, there are probably a hundred (?) that aren’t. There is tremendous potential in these relationships, but unless it’s channeled into valuable life lessons through effective communication and encouragement, they remain dormant.
ME2U is not the solution to these problems. It’s a tool to help the people that are the solution to these problems. A tool to help “rebuild the wall” of strong relationships between invested adults and the adolescents in their lives. It’s our aim to provide ways for adults outside the parental relationship to have a place to equip and encourage teenagers, but to do so safely and alongside parents in ways that don’t allow dangerous boundaries to creep up and then be crossed. We believe that youth pastors, coaches, mentors, “big brothers,” and even teachers have great opportunities to work with parents to raise up the next generation, and we want to foster that.
Does this endeavor ring home with you? Are you already part of rebuilding this wall in your own way? We’d love to share this journey with you. While we’d love for you to use our system to connect with youth in methods that promote safety, accountability, and persistent positive input, we’d also love to simply know that you’re alongside. Click here to join our mailing list, or simply drop us a note.
Let’s rebuild walls of strength and security into the lives of our families, and start the conversation.