I loved coaching my boy’s baseball teams. One of my favorite seasons was when I was the assistant coach to my friend Red. He loved coaching baseball, and he did a great job. Red had been doing it for over twenty years. But Red had another love in addition to baseball. Birds. Oftentimes he would stop a practice and say, “Hey, boys, do you see that bird over there? It’s a common grackle.” Or he would point out a flock of Canada geese, make us all listen to them, and then tell us some interesting fact. I learned a lot about baseball, birds and relationships from my Coach Red.
One interesting fact I learned from Coach Red was why geese fly in a V-formation. Have you ever noticed that V? God had a good reason for including that as part of their instinctual behavior. As each bird flaps its wings, it creates uplift for the other birds behind them. Scientists tell us that by flying in a V-formation, the whole flock is able to fly much farther than they could on their own, at least 71 percent more compared to a single bird. By moving together they created an unseen power.
What Coach Red was describing was the unseen power of relationships. Just like geese, when leaders come together and move in a common direction, there is an unseen power at work that allows them to get more done with less work than if they’d tried going it alone.
Now, if we were to ask one of these geese flying in a V-formation, “What is it that you are doing that has led you to fly so fast with such ease?” The goose might say, “I just flap my wings really hard.” And that would certainly be true. But what the goose might not be aware of is the invisible relational dynamic at work among the larger flock—the hidden power that allows him to fly farther as he travels with other geese in a unified formation.
Over the years I have seen this same kind of unseen power in the networks of NewThing. When leaders come together and move in the same direction the unseen power of God’s Spirit is at work. They are able to start more churches, raise more money, and attract higher caliber leaders than they ever could on their own. Like geese flying in a V-formation they are experiencing the added blessing of a larger movement of relationships. Being a part of a network within NewThing allows us to get where God is leading us more quickly and easily than we could on our own. Jesus explained it this way, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20).
That is the unseen power of relationships.