Thursday, March 6, 2014

Leadership Lessons from the Sandhill Cranes

“We are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.” Ephesians 4:15-16

My friend Neil introduced me to the majestic Sandhill Crane many years ago on a cold sunny day in December. He said, “Look up! Do you know what those are?” as dozens of large birds soared overhead, almost out of sight because they were so high. They made a constant, distinct, high pitched gaggle as they flew south for the winter.

So when I was running last week, and heard the familiar high pitched gaggle, I knew I would see the cranes when I looked up. Have you ever tried to run and stare up in the sky at the same time? I probably looked like I had been drinking to the other runners on the trail. It was worth the inconvenience, because God reminded me of how the growth of body of Christ, the church, depends on “the proper working of each individual part.” As I studied the cranes, I noticed how they constantly changed leaders. The first bird, or leader, does the most work by breaking the air/wind for the other birds. Therefore, God designed them to constantly rotate the hard work of leading, just like God designed His church to function.

We attended a Christian gathering recently where one of the young men was greatly relieved to learn how to share the leadership of the group with everyone, just like the Sandhill Cranes. Everyone was learning to practice their priesthood, bear one another’s burdens, listen to the Holy Spirit and rest under Christ’s headship. Remember and imitate the Sandhill Cranes!

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