Who’s in your herd?

By Shannon Reese

When African lions are hunting to kill, their primary goal is to separate an animal from its herd.  Together, the herd can be formidable; isolated, a single animal falls prey.  

Satan is described as a roaring lion seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8).  As an enemy of God, he comes to steal, kill and destroy (John 10:10).  One way he does this is to target leaders and keep them from connecting with others. 

Why?  Because he knows God’s mission is accomplished when leaders are connected in community.

The twelve disciples. 

Peter and John. 

Paul and Silas. 

Aquila and Priscilla.

These and countless others have realized that life and ministry are better together.  It’s not easy; but it’s better.

  • Together, we are stronger (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12)
  • Together, we complement one another’s strengths (1 Corinthians 12:12-13)
  • Together, we better endure suffering (Acts 16:23-32)
  • Together, we glorify God (Matthew 5:16-17)

An old African proverb says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” 

At the time, we might think that we want to go fast and alone, but this was never God’s design. He designed us to go far… together.

If you’ve ever experienced pain in a relationship, you know that it can quickly lead to isolation.  When leaders become disconnected and/or isolated they are prime candidates for spiritual attack and failure.  

Pastor and leadership consultant Eric Geiger says that when leaders are disconnected they remove themselves from being cared for by others, being confronted by others and being taught by others.  And this is a recipe for disaster!  

If not cared for, a leader can seek out the “comfort” of unhealthy substitutes when difficult seasons come.  If not confronted by others, sin can fester in the darkness and, like a cancer, wreak havoc on the body.  If not taught by others, arrogance and pride can inflate to life-threatening proportions.    

So how do we prevent the dangers of isolation from becoming ours?  

We connect.  We ask for help or encouragement.  We admit our weaknesses, missteps and vulnerabilities with trusted friends.  We move toward others when we’d rather move away.  We allow ourselves to be corrected and then turn back to a  pursuit of holiness.  We posture our hearts to learn from and alongside others.  

When we connect with others resisting the temptation to be alone, we stand against the evil one’s ploys, free to continue the mission God has entrusted to us.

Consider this:

  • In what ways has the enemy used the wounds of a friend to keep you isolated?
  • How have you experienced isolation in leadership? 
  • What can you do this week to reach out and overcome this isolation? 

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