Pastor’s viewpoint: July 7, 2018

Published 12:56 pm Saturday, July 7, 2018

Alexander the Great once said, “I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion.” And it’s interesting that our “leader” is Jesus who is the “Lion of Judah!”
Bruce Larson, in his book Wind and Fire, talks about sand hill cranes. They are large birds who fly long distances across several continents and he suggests three reasons for their ability to endure the hardships of such a journey.
First, one bird could not endure the hardships of the entire journey, so they rotate leadership. Second, the leader takes the brunt of the turbulence, so they choose strong leaders who could endure the turbulence. And third, whoever the leader might be, the rest of the flock honks their encouragement.
Geese fly in a V-formation. An engineer studied their flight patterns and, using a wind tunnel, calibrated the efficiency of their V-formation. Each goose, by flapping its wings, creates an updraft for the goose behind it. That gives the flock a 71 percent greater range than they’d have if they flew without the flock. So, the leader, who has no one in front and receives no updraft, falls back to allow another goose to “take the point.”
“[18] Whenever the LORD gave Israel a leader, the LORD would help that leader and would save the people from their enemies as long as that leader lived. The LORD would have mercy on them because they groaned under their suffering and oppression.
[1/They are long-term thinkers who see beyond the day’s crisis and the quarterly report. How far into the future do you plan for your life? 2/Their interest in the company does not stop with the unit they are heading. They want to know how all of the company’s departments affect one another, and they are constantly reaching beyond their specific area of influence. Do you go the “extra mile” when you are given some responsibility?
3/They put heavy emphasis on vision, values, and motivation. Are you constantly looking for new and better ways to do the things you do? And do you accomplish them with integrity? 4/They have strong people skills. Are the people you work with as, or more, important than the work you’re doing? 5/They don’t accept the status quo. The Bible begins, “In the beginning, God created ….” So, made in the image of God, we are created to be creative .
John W. Gardner, former Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, pinpointed five characteristics that set “leader” managers apart from “run-of-the-mill” managers. (Success Magazine)

Charles ‘Buddy’ Whatley is a retired United Methodist pastor.

and, with Mary Ella, a missionary to the Navajo Reservation in Arizona.