Herding Geese

I just finished a day and half in a wonderful retreat with the other associate ministers from Omega Baptist Church where I serve. As I was walking through the beautiful grounds at the Cox Arboretum (no relation, unfortunately), I saw a sign that captured my attention and through which God spoke. Posted along one of the walking paths was a sign introducing one of the park employees, a Border Collie. His job is to herd the geese that inhabit the park. He is trained to herd them – without hurting them. The Lord immediately drew a parallel between this Border Collie and those of us in the ministry. We are like this little dog. We are called to herd people, to lead them where they need to go. We are called to preach a word that nips at their heels. We are to deliver a word that urges people into flight. And, we are to do it without hurting them.

This is the challenge of ministry – delivering a word that challenges, rebukes, encourages, exhorts – without causing harm. It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that we are able to herd the geese.

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