A good example of teamwork is found in the Old Testament book of Nehemiah. In chapter three forty-two teams of workers and thirty-eight named individuals and hundreds more unnamed worked together to rebuild the broken walls of Jerusalem.
People from all walks of life were involved in building the wall. The high priest and fellow priests did not consider manual labor beneath them. They took the lead and set the example for the people (verse 1 and 28). Rulers, nobles, and city officials who could have ordered their servants to do the manual work, labored alongside the common people (verses 9, 12, 17, 19). Men and women worked side by side to accomplish their work (verse 12). The word next is used twenty-six times in Nehemiah chapter three gives us a picture of commitment, cooperation, harmony, and unity. Each group of workers knew where to work, understood their tasks, and expeditiously completed them.
Nehemiah 6:15 tells us that this seemingly impossible task of rebuilding the walls was completed in fifty-two days. This would not have been possible if the people had not worked earnestly. The word earnestly used in verse twenty of this chapter is translated from the original language and means to be hot or to blaze up. Sometimes the work God has called us to do may not always be easy. We must never give up when the going gets rough. We need to get hot in our work for God instead of the cold performances that seem typical of a great many church people.
It needs to be pointed out that there is always a group that chooses to avoid work. In verse five of this chapter we see a group named the nobles of Tekoah who would not work hard on the walls. They were a pathetic bunch. They were obviously both proud and lazy. They would not humble themselves to work and were not energetic enough to work. They used their position not to help people but to gain honor to themselves. But the common folk of Tekoah were not like their nobles. They did not let the fact that some were shirking their duty keep them from doing their duty.
The church today needs workers. There is work to be done. Success in completing the task assigned depends on everyone doing their share. Working together can accomplish great things for the glory of God.