This time of year I’m always amazed by the migration of the geese. Leaving the freezing cold of the north they will cover thousands of miles before reaching their destination. Their distinctive v pattern is not just some fluke of creation, in reality, it accomplished a number of very specific purposes.
Those in front rotate the leadership strain. When one lead goose gets tired, it changes places with one in the wing of the V-formation and another flies point. By flying as they do, the members of the flock create an upward air current for one another. Each flap of the wings literally creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. Scientists calculate that the whole flock gets a 71 percent greater flying range than if each goose flew on its own.
This system isn’t just about efficiency in the group, their concern extends to the weak as well. if a goose gets sick or wounded, generally two slip out of formation and follow it down to help and protect it. They stay with the struggler until it’s able to fly again.
Then there are the encouragers. The geese in the rear of the formation are the ones who do the honking. The repeated honks encourage those in front to stay at it. As I think about all this, one lesson stands out above all others: it is the natural instinct of geese to work together. Whether it’s rotating, flapping, helping, or simply honking, the flock is in it together…which enables them to accomplish what they set out to do.
The Church is designed by God to work the same way, different people, with different gifts, on the same path, following the same purpose. This Sunday we’re going to talk about the important role of Church leadership, and consider how God uses different people to carry on the great ministry of the Gospel.