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C3 WENTWORTHVILLE BLOG

Herd Mentality


When we think of a Herd, what does that look like? Perhaps the image of sheep, mindlessly following one of their own comes to mind.


In the animal kingdom A herd is a large group of animals that stick together for protection. By moving around and living together in a big group, they protect themselves from dangers like predators.


We humans instinctively form herds as well for much the same reason… but they look different.


Sometimes as we align ourselves with those around us we can see positive outcomes - living in a City we see the upside of human herding - with increased job opportunities and access to services. Living together can certainly have a wide array of great outcomes. The truth is that it is not always so positive however. Recently we have see the effects of herd mentality as people have become swept up in conspiracy theories or crazes. Crypto Currency for instance became the all consuming passion for many investors seeking to grab hold of the next big thing.



The story of the book of Acts however is a exploration of what happens when we choose to take our direction from a shepherd, rather then the herd.


Pentecost was a Jewish festival and part of the cultural religious observance of the region - these people were meeting together in the tradition of their fellow countrymen. As Peter was preaching it was to people who were part of a herd, it was a religious herd, they were devout, committed to pilgrimage and other religious expressions of their commitment to God.


But Peter had a message for them. He shocked them! He tells them that they killed God’s promised saviour, they killed the Son of God. Far from being safe in the herd, Peter tells them that they are living as enemies of the God they are meant to be showing devotion to.


Following the herd can take us to unhealthy places! The next part of Peter's message was key - he had good news for them.


God had a bigger plan!


Peter’s good news is that God always had a bigger plan, that by dying and rising from the dead, Jesus has conquered death, there is no longer anything that we need to be afraid of…



We don’t need a herd!! We need a Shepherd!


With Christ gone who would be the shepherd we so desperately needed? The Holy Spirit is Jesus’ gift to us… a Shepherd to be with us every moment, everywhere. This is the story of Acts - the gift of another way, a shepherd we could follow instead of instinctively falling in line with the rest of the herd.


During Jesus ministry, he call himself the good shepherd, now Peter is telling the people, that Jesus is giving to humanity, the Holy Spirit of God, so that they can experience God as their shepherd every moment and every where.


But we need to give up finding out identity and purpose in a herd… instead we need to find our identity with our Shepherd, God himself.


Peter then tells us the response the people need to make…


• REPENT! This means change your mind, realize the herd doesn’t really know the way to true life.


• It means confessing our foolishness and sin and our need for a saviour and shepherd.



• We need to accept the forgiveness that flows from the sacrifice of Jesus on our behalf.


• We need to accept the place Jesus has for us in his flock




• We need to believe and trust that the Holy Spirit is for you as well, a gift for all who trust themselves to the Good Shepherd Jesus






Take heart church! The herd mentality is real, but so is the gift of the Holy Spirit. Join with us in church each week as we continue to explore what life looks like with the Holy Spirit deeply involved in our worlds!

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