Several years ago, Bruce Larson wrote in his book Wind and Fireabout the interesting life of sandhill cranes. And since I know your week would not be complete without hearing some fascinating information about sandhill cranes, I thought I’d share it with you.
These large birds, which fly great distances across continents, have three remarkable qualities. First, they rotate leadership. No one bird stays out front all the time. Second, they choose leaders who can handle turbulence. And then, all during the time one bird is leading, the rest are honking their affirmation.
That’s a helpful reminder of a good model we might want to follow at Shelby Crossings as we rally behind our new team of elders who have been led by the Lord to provide spiritual leadership for our congregation. We recently announced two “new” elders who were carefully selected through a process of nomination from the church body, evaluation by an elder selection team, and a time of seeking God’s will for His direction and guidance. Both of these men have served as elders before, and will join five other elders who are holdovers from previous years.
Our new elders are Todd Cotton and Tom Vines, and they will join Skip Coulter, Mark Young, Lafero Ralph, Joel Wallace and Ken Letson on our elder team for 2011-12. We also want to recognize and express our appreciation to the two elders who are rolling off, James Vines and Ryan Smith, who have served faithfully during some difficult times of transition in the life of our church the past three years.
It’s important that we realize, like the sandhill cranes, that we need leaders who can handle turbulence. This is especially important as we seek to be the kind of church that truly makes an impact on our community in an increasingly hostile world. We also need leaders who understand that leadership is to be shared, “team players” who understand what it means to serve one another. But most of all, we need to be a church that knows how to get behind our leaders and honk our encouragement. That’s a key ingredient in helping our flock continue to fly high.
This Sunday, March 27, as part of our worship service, we’ll have a short time of affirmation and prayer for our new elders, as we as a congregation rally around these shepherds and offer our support and encouragement. I hope you can be with us for this special time. I also hope you will be actively praying for The Church at Shelby Crossings, that God would keep His hand of blessing on our church and would lead us through these men of God.
And don’t forget to “honk…if you love Jesus!”
I’m praying for you, and I can’t wait to see you Sunday.