As I was re-reading Nehemiah today, I thought, “What does it really matter who built what section of the wall?” While that specifically may not matter to us today, there is significance to be discovered in this list. We find here the varied classes of people who played the same role in the project: male & female, young & old, wealthy & poor, slave & master, priest & merchant. Even more significant than bringing a community together, is that God knows each of these persons by name, lovingly knit each one together, and gave special purpose to their lives. While repeated names often have us wondering who’s who in the Bible, God knows exactly who they are and what they were created for. God knows how each life is connected and impacts others.
If we kept a list of all the people we met, no one would really care… unless of course one of those names turned out to be famous. Famous by our standards has very little lasting impact or kingdom significance. In fact, by God’s standards the most significant names on such a list would be those who introduced you to Jesus, nurtured your faith, or covered your life in prayer.
In rural ministry, we daily have many opportunities to become a significant name in the life of a young person. We may not ever know the impact we made, but God already does. The way we choose to interact with people of new generations will train them how to disciple younger generations.
What seemingly insignificant relationships or events from your youth have shaped who you are today? Can you think of some insignificant contributions you’ve made in another person’s life that in the end had a big impact? What are some seemingly insignificant ways you can engage in relationships with new generations for the sake of God’s Kingdom?