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10 Things to Remember While Leading Through the COVID-19 Crisis

First, simply…thanks for leading! Your congregation needs you to lead right now and you’re doing it. Like it or not…you’re doing it. So, thanks.

There’s been more innovation and change in the last 10 days in “we will never change” churches than could ever have been imagined three weeks ago.

Here are 10 Tips on Leading Well through Crisis

  1. Collaborate…with leaders inside and outside your church. Learn. Gain perspective. Capture ideas and encouragement. They’re trying to figure it out just like you.
  2. Over Communicate…with those you lead. Stretch your board or teams to help. Listen. (They have a lot on their minds, too.) Convey confidence. Over one-third of Americans are sheltering at home. Silence is never good from leaders in times of anxiety. (Romans 5:1-5)
  3. Pray…for the miraculous intervention of God. Leverage the occasion to create simple rhythms where you can invite people to pray with you. (Join the PLI team on Morning Prayers tomorrow, Friday, at 11 AM CDT on Facebook Live. You could replicate this daily or weekly with your leaders.)
  4. Seek…the welfare of the community, neighborhood, or city where God has placed you. LIft up your eyes. The fields are white for harvest. (John 4:35)
  5. Don’t forget…those closest to you. Leaders are always at risk of rushing off to save the world and neglecting the ones that mean the most.
  6. Let God form you! It’s a season of risk and uncertainty. Allow Him to speak into your soul. Allow Him to shape new convictions in you.
  7. Find coaches…formal or informal. You will need a dozen or more of them to coach you through the “never been here before” seasons. And, this is a “never been here before” season. They’ll help you think. 
  8. Adapt! Do what you do well but find new ways to respond to a world that’s changed. Give yourself grace. You’ll do it poorly at first. Don’t compare.
  9. Invest in Three Relationships. Jesus demonstrated it and modeled it. (Luke 6:12-18) Most leaders and most churches have neglected one of the three. Now’s the time to practice the neglected one. Learn to model all three:
    1. UP – Jesus prayed to the Father
    2. IN – Jesus relationally invested in and taught the disciples
    3. OUT – Jesus stepped into the crowds. Taught. Healed. Invited. Challenged.
  10. Remind yourself…when life gets back to normal, it won’t be normal. Things will have shifted. Your congregation will need to innovate again. (But this time they’ve had practice.) You’ll need new leadership skills. 

Quickly review the list. 

  • Congratulate yourself on the ones you’re already doing.
  • Which one do you or your team need to add to your focus? 

Again, thanks for standing tall. For stepping up to lead in the midst of great peril and uncertainty. And, thanks to the leadership teams that have thought with you/worked with you/innovated at rapid speed with you!

Join us tomorrow for Morning Prayers on Facebook Live at 11 AM CDT.

1,000 Young Leaders will launch its next fully digital, online cohort of 35 participants on May 1, 2020. If you’re spotting young women and men to invest in, tell them about 1, 000 Young Leaders and share their names with the team. Tip #10 above will be about more leaders among the baptized people of God.

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