Nehemiah 8 - Culture Building
Nehemiah 8 - Culture Building
What is Culture? Culture is a group’s implied MEANING or VALUE attributed to various experiences. Culture is like water to a fish - it surrounds us, it’s all we know. You are born INTO a culture, but you are not born WITH a culture. It is learned, adopted. It can be changed. EXAMPLE: In my family timeliness was a huge value. We would sacrifice an enjoyable family experience in order to be on time. We arrived anywhere we were supposed to be at least 15 minutes early. Not so in my wife’s family - they would loligag and meander until there was no possible way for them to be on time. They valued timeliness, but they valued the experience of personal freedom even more. My wife’s family was a very collective family, therefore the family’s timelines was only as good as the slowest member… they moved together. My family was individualistic, if you weren’t on time, you would be left at home. Those were CULTURE differences. That’s a very simple example, but make no mistake - CULTURE is a VERY POWERFUL THING and it’s a VERY PERSONAL THING. Now when Julie and I got married, things got very interesting. We found ourselves in a battle for the culture of our new family unit. Would we arrive early? Or would we arrive when we arrive? We are still trying to figure that one out. I would suggest to you, that the information revolution with the advent of the internet and social media has made a very BIG nation, relatively small. We wake up in the morning and we are confronted with situations experienced in LOUISVILLE, KY. We have to make a judgment call on Nancy Pelosi’s choice of a hair salon. AND each one of us is interpreting those events based on the culture that is dominant in our life. What happens when distinct cultures are slammed together in cyber space? How many of you have heard the term - CANCEL CULTURE? Today, online trolls can dig into your online past and find something you said that is OFFENSIVE to their culture and cause enough drama to get you cancelled, fired, or released from a team. Thus we find ourselves in the midst of a national quagmire that is NOT primarily RACIAL, it is NOT primarily RELIGIOUS, it is primarily - cultural. Various cultures jockeying for dominance and superiority, and the right to decide what the future of our civilization will look like. It’s not entirely unlike the first year of our marriage. The book of Nehemiah chronicles the second wave of Jews returning to Israel from Persia. The deportation into Babylon, then into Persia had systematically erased the ethnic and cultural distinctions that identified these people as Jews. Some were more Persian than Jewish, other’s were more Samarian than Jewish. What difference does it make? It’s make all the difference in the world if you are a leader. Leadership is influencing people to do what the leader believes is best, because they want to do it. So you have to work WITH, not AGAINST your teams values, aspirations, and goals. Nehemiah had successfully led them to build the wall in an unbelievable 52 days (I can’t remodel a bathroom in 52 days). What Nehemiah does next is VERY important - Now he isn’t building the wall… now he’s building the culture… which is far more difficult.