Three Things Effective Leaders Should Do In A Crisis
Have you ever wondered in times of accelerated change, turbulent seasons, and uncertainty what church leaders are supposed to be doing? I believe the first place to look is in the pages of scriptures, the Bible.
When I need guidance, I’ll look to proverbs. When I need encouragement, I’ll look to Psalms and the synoptic Gospels. When I want to know how all of this ends, I’ll look to the Book of Revelation and Daniel. When I want to know what leaders are supposed to do in a time of crisis, I’ll look to 1 Chronicles 12:32.
From the tribe of Issachar, there were 200 leaders of the tribe with their relatives. All these men understood the signs of the times and knew the best course for Israel to take. (NLT)
When living in times of uncertainty, church leaders need to observe their surroundings, pray, read the Bible, understand the seasons, ask questions, and make critical decisions. With that said, there are three things effective church leaders are supposed to do in challenging times.
Understand the Times
The Men of Issachar understood the times they were living in. In other words, they were able to exegete or interpret what was going on nationally as well as locally in their communities and act on it. There was a saying regarding prayer decades ago— “when you pray, pray with the Bible in one hand, a newspaper in the other hand.” However, in the Twenty-first Century, we might say “pray with the Bible in one hand, and a smartphone in the other hand.”
Likewise, effective church leaders must interpret their world. This applies to a national level such as the economy, transition of government, disaster, significant trends, and how this might affect the church. Similarly, on a local level, there needs to be a demographic and psychographic study of the community; leaders must know their (field) community and its changes, know what’s affecting the community, and as the community changes, the church needs to adapt, the church needs to reach those who are changing demographically as well.
This is significant because effective Church leaders not only exegete their local world they live in but national as well.
Knowledge of What to Do
The Sons of Issachar not only “understood the times,” but “they knew what Israel should do.” Also, effective Church leaders in the twenty-first century must be able to take what they understand around them, along with the Scriptures, and apply that understanding in times of intensified and accelerated change.
In Proverbs 4:7 it says, “the beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom, and whatever you get, get insight.” It is here leaders need to filter their knowledge and understanding of their world through a biblical worldview and apply it by the power of the Holy Spirit. This is the wisdom and insight necessary to be an effective leader making wise decisions.
This concept or big picture (a biblical worldview/framework) is required and will direct leader’s decision-making and knowledge of what they should do.
Servant Leadership & Lead
Effective leaders lead by examples, as the Lord led by example, serving, and doing the Father’s will. This is the epitome of servant leadership.
Many years ago, I worked for a company worth millions of dollars. As I attended an orientation meeting, the District Manager began describing their organization chart, leadership, and the company’s success. I assume like many secular successful organizations, at the top there was a CEO/top management, middle management, lower management, and workers. However, to my surprise the pyramid was upside down, the customers and workers were at the top and senior managers were below. This organization credited its success with the structure of the organizational chart and the leadership philosophy of serving. John Maxwell coined the phrase “everything rises and falls on leadership.” I believe someone in leadership read and studied the Bible and understood the biblical principle of servant leadership.
Jesus says, “but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant”, Matthew 20:26. This scripture is not only relevant in the twenty-first century, although it was penned two thousand years ago, it is also revolutionary. Because leaders aren’t just being served, but they are serving and putting believers and their assistants first.
As effective leaders in the church, let’s discern “the sign of the times,” and make decisions that will bring Christ glory, edify the church and turn this world right side up.