Someone sent me an email with a cool powerpoint show that included an interesting analogy about community. They wrote “This relates to what you are talking about at church during the CONNECT Forty Day Spiritual Adventure.”
The presentation begins with a slide that says, “We have a lot to learn from geese.” Each slide that follows provides information about the reasons that geese fly in a “V” formation and the lesson we can learn from it.
- By flying in “V ” formation, the whole flock adds at least 71% greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.
Lesson: People who share a common direction and sense of community can get where they are going quicker and easier because they are traveling on the thrust of one another.
- Whenever a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and resistance of trying to go it alone and quickly gets back into formation to take advantage of the lifting power of the bird immediately in front.
Lesson: If we have as much sense as a goose, we will stay in formation with those who are heading in the same direction as we are.
- When the lead goose gets tired, he rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point.
Lesson: It pays to take turns doing hard jobs, with people or with flying geese.
- These geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.
Lesson: We need to be careful what we say when we honk from behind.
- Finally, when a goose gets sick, or is wounded by gunshot, and falls out, two geese fall out of formation and follow him down to help and protect him. They stay with him until he is either able to fly or until he is dead, and then they launch out on their own or with another formation until they catch up with their group.
Lesson: If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other, protect one another and sometimes make new friends who seem to be going in our direction.
I once heard someone say, synergy is best explained as, ‘One plus one equals more than two’. That is so true. In a church the implication become even greater because the combined impact of our efforts is eternal in its consequences.