Monday, January 14, 2013


My Daniel and I have been searching for a church since moving here to Virginia. No simple task, let me tell you. While theology is paramount, other factors influence such as style, location, and demographics. I wish I could say the Body of Christ is the same everywhere, but… well…
Anyway, this past Sunday we visited a church that I think might be the one. It at least warrants a couple more visits. Yay.
The pastor was giving his annual ‘vision’ sermon to the congregation for the coming year. He introduced it as his ‘Bellwether’ Address. I thought – what’s that? A name or something? Well, thankfully, he explained it. And it was cool.
A Bellwether is a select sheep from a flock the shepherd picks to train to be his assistant, in a manner of speaking. The shepherd spends extra time teaching this sheep his ways, commands, intentions, and the sound of his voice. After investing time and instruction into the Bellwether, the shepherd places a bell around the sheep’s neck and puts him back into the flock. Then, this chosen sheep co-leads the flock, responding and obeying the shepherd’s voice he’s been intently listening to for an extended time. When the shepherd calls, the Bellwether responds, and then the rest of the flock says – hey, there goes the Bellwether, let’s go too. It’s not that they don’t hear the shepherd as well. But they know they heard right when the Bellwether heard the same thing.
I’ve always heard pastors call themselves shepherds of their flocks, meaning of their congregation. But the pastor this morning stated emphatically – I am not the shepherd. Jesus is the shepherd. I am the Bellwether.
Light bulb. That suddenly made so much sense to me.
So, I thought I’d share. What do you think?
Happy Monday, Dry Ground friends! May your week be better than you can even imagine! (Eph. 3:20)
(photo by