Hippos to Honeybees
by Dr. Dave Coryell; C.E. USA - Executive Director, World C.E. - General Secretary
I arrived in Munich with great expectations for the next two weeks. I had been invited to speak at the 2019 Osterkonferenz in Gunzenhausen before speaking about World Christian Endeavor in five Bavarian cities to celebrate C.E.’s centennial anniversary. Following an incredible weekend, I arrived in Kempten and met my host, Thomas Müller. Thomas provided great fellowship, endearing stories, and excellent German food. Thomas also shared his favorite hobby - beekeeping! Thomas keeps thousands of honeybees in several different locations. I learned some incredible insights about the honeybee from Thomas. It takes over four million pollinated flowers to make one KG of honey. Bees regulate a hive’s temperature by the coordinated flapping of their wings. Also, their lives exist to care for the hive before going out on a mission to pollinate flowers so plants and trees can bear fruit. Consider what honeybees and followers of Christ have in common! They both belong to something larger than themselves. Christians belong to Christ’s church while honeybees are connected to a hive. Believers in Jesus use their gifts to build up the church. They also go into the world every day of every week to share the gospel through words and deeds in order to grow God’s Kingdom and see the Holy Spirit bear fruit in the lives of people.
We began to use a metaphor to describe Christian Endeavor a little over two years ago. The metaphor is that God uses C.E. to help churches turn young people from Hippos into Honeybees. Thomas helped me understand how perfect this metaphor really is! Hippos eat close to fifty KG of vegetation every day. This daily habit has caused phrases such as “Hungry as a Hippo!” Hippos eat and eat as they grow to their enormous size. Many churches allow adults to do the majority of the leading while young people arrive and consume games, food and a nice Bible lesson. Some of these things are fantastic, but without the opportunity to apply what has been learned, the young person begins to grow like a Hippo. God has designed His people to be Creators like the Honeybee and not just Consumers like the Hippo.
I began my role as World Christian Endeavor General Secretary in December of 2016. My position’s purpose is to work with the W.C.E. Board to develop and carry out a plan to network, strengthen and expand Christian Endeavor. Since starting my position, I have been taking steps to direct our leadership back to Christian Endeavor’s core purpose - unleashing young people for Christ and the Church. Imagine a global church network stretching across all inhabited continents. Picture in your mind a common vision with young people doing ministry to grow God’s kingdom through this network. Consider the difference this network makes as people are inspired, equipped, and encouraged through this message.
Be sure to check out next week's blog as we explore how to Grow the Hive!