Strong Leaders Mine “Crisis” Moments

Leadership is a funny thing. Often it requires little more than looking at a situation from a different angle. Good leaders do this well.

When dealing with “crisis” moments we can either let them beat us up, or we can mine them for the gems hidden within. Leaders act. Others react. If you take control in the crisis you set yourself apart as a leader.

Find the Benefits

Most of our crises hold potential benefits. To find them, we just need to look a little harder than everyone else…

I spent an hour talking with a young pastor this morning. His church just lost their lease on a movie theater. The need to get out very quickly. Coincidentally they found a bargain on a building in the small town where they worship. The crisis of the move creates a fund-raising opportunity. People give more generously when faced with a common threat.

But that isn’t what bothered my friend. His problem is that he must organize a hasty move into a public school. He was worried about building teams to set everything in place for portable church services.

This is a minor crisis. Panic is a common reaction. But, it conceals an opportunity.

When Pulpit Announcements Actually Work

You can plea from the pulpit for help and normally see very little response from your people. Under normal circumstances, face-to-face recruiting works best. But inject a little crisis and your members will respond to a general call for assistance. So far so good.

But crises change people. When threatened, people usually rise to the emergency. Be it a flood, a power outage or an automobile accident, bystanders get involved. In church, this means that folks who normally qualify as spectators will rise to the occasion. Wise leadership finds ways to hang onto these new volunteers after the crisis passes. My point is that the difficulty helps identify people who may have resisted serving in the past.

I’ve been at this for a long time. We’ve been forced to clear out of a building with short notice. A power outage twice left us worshipping in the dark. Part of the roof of our converted bowling alley, in California, collapsed during a rainstorm while we held service. Several times we constructed buildings with volunteer labor (an intended crisis that brought loads of new volunteers to our team). Whenever we plant a church we create two crises: A. Lots of vacancies in the mother church. B. Tons of things to learn and do in the church plant. We even found a way to turn potential church splits into healthy church plants (refuse to fight and keep loving them).

Find a Need and Fill It

My young friend came into the conversation burdened by a perceived need to build a team that could cover every detail. He left determined to gather just a few leaders. He will assign each oversight of a portion of the job. After that, they will be on their own to work with whoever responds to the call from the pulpit. Of course, they will also recruit people personally. A lot of what they will do is challenge people to “find a need and fill it.”

Chaos will visit this church for a few weeks. But a wise leader finds opportunity in chaos! Think of this—many people got rich by betting against the stock market in 2000 and 2007. They acted while others reacted.

Agree, Disagree or Don’t Care???

Please sound off below. Remember the best stuff on this site often appears in the comments below–including yours.

8 thoughts on “Strong Leaders Mine “Crisis” Moments

  • June 21, 2017 at 7:10 pm
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    This is so true. I’v heard this put differently. Someone said, “respond, don’t react”. When we react, generally it is negative but when we respond, we must remind ourselves to be positive. Always have a positive outlook, even on so called negative things.

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  • June 21, 2017 at 7:51 pm
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    Chaos can be a good thing in that it “sifts” potential hidden or overlooked talents.
    Strong “action” leaders will be able to multi task and keep objectives prioritized; the most urgent vs. objectives that can wait until the base is set up.
    Some people perform in optimum capacity under pressure, some don’t. This imho needs to be discerned from the outset.
    I believe communication is key but on the other side of the coin … “micromanaging” too much input can make the body top heavy… and take out “the legs”
    Trying to keep 48 hours ahead of anything you want done is the goal.
    Redundancy is also imo important, having a back up to every operational detail.. in other words always plan for the worst and pray for the best.. Yes God’s Sovereignty reigns but that does not negate human responsibility.
    ORGANIZED CHAOS .. is fun and exciting it helps the “cream rise to the top”

    Pride will always be a key.. as long as we are not competing against each other and have Kingdom vision … God will provide beyond our needs.
    Seriously 3/4 of the battle is already won!….. glory to God … in that they have already secured a location, which in some places like Hawaii is difficult but not impossible for our God! (But is a major issue)
    Sounds like the strongest part of the storm has already passed. Hindsight is 20/20 when your in the mess it looks smells and feels like a mess, but from God’s perspective, from above it must look like a masterpiece that’s already done… we should all have that perspective .. you can when your not directly responsible.. lol

    Time belongs to Jesus, we just move through what He already has laid out ???.

    Btw I hate moving with a purple passion, but after that first step it flows and unusual numbers show up… all God
    I understand though the paralysis of analysis syndrome.. praying for a double portion of deliverance!!!

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  • June 22, 2017 at 3:32 am
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    Couldn’t agree more, crisis, both in our personal lives or church life, build character and leadership abilities, assuming we respond to the crisis with a combination of trust in the Lord and willingness to learn through it and from it.

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  • June 22, 2017 at 4:07 pm
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    For every adversity God allow s us to receive he provides an equal or greater benefit. Look look what God provided benefits upon Job.
    Identify, Organize, then Impliment your God given talents that are hidden in you. God made you a colaborater of his creation not the creator

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