Like Nehemiah, who refused to abandon his assignment from God to rebuild the wall around Jerusalem despite incessant interruptions by critics and naysayers, so must Christians hold fast to God's call to ministry in their lives. "Don't ever compromise your calling," said Morris Chapman, speaking at Southeastern Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.
"Never has there been a generation which needs so desperately to see integrity in the church, in the Christian and in the ministry," said Chapman, president and CEO of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee. "Throughout your lives you will be among those who try to call you down from the wall, call you down to a lesser purpose. Don't ever go down ... don't ever go down off the wall," Chapman admonished the near-capacity audience.
When the ministry seems impossible, Chapman urged the seminarians to remember Nehemiah's resolve and commitment to his task and how God honored his faithfulness by raising the walls around Jerusalem from rubbish in just 52 days. "The work to which God has called you is the work of the impossible - that which would not be done except that you're empowered by the Holy Spirit of God," Chapman said. Nehemiah's task of rebuilding the walls around Jerusalem was not just a job, but a ministry that called for sacrifice.
"Responsibilities didn't break his spirit," Chapman said. "The privileges didn't build his ego. Like all good leaders, he carried more than his share of the burden and took less of his share of the credit." Chapman called for pastors who have strayed from preaching God's Word to return to the sacred Scriptures of the Holy Spirit-inspired Bible. "Preach the Word," Chapman exhorted, "not book reviews, not politics, not economics, not current events, not the philosophy of life, not unproved theories of science — preach the Word of God!"