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How to Lead Through Crisis

If you lead long enough, eventually you’re going to find yourself leading through a crisis, and it’s at this moment that leadership is needed most.

Even an average leader looks great when momentum is on their side and things are going well. But a crisis or downturn has a way of revealing the true identity of a leader.

Great leaders lean into crisis because they intuitively understand that crisis is an opportunity for change and could be their greatest leadership moment.

In the consulting work I do with The UnStuck Group, oftentimes it’s the pain of a crisis or downturn that helps churches realize that they’re stuck and motivates them to seek help. Pain, oftentimes, can be a great motivator for change.

While crisis is a window of opportunity for incredible leadership moments, the approach you take to leading through crisis matters.

1. Lean into who you already are.

I can’t stress this enough. The most important question to ask during a crisis is, “Who has God called us to be?”

Too often, churches search for a silver-bullet tactic that will solve their pain. It doesn’t exist. Instead of searching for an easy way out, press into who God has uniquely called your church to be and your core identity.

Then begin making everyday decisions filtered through that identity and what it will take to be more of who you already are.

2. Take on a posture of humility.

You know who listens to a know-it-all? No one.

If you want to be heard in a crisis, then take on a posture of humility and lead with questions, not answers.

3. Listen first, speak second.

Many churches begin implementing too quickly in a crisis due to their desire to move past or away from pain as fast as they possibly can.

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paulalexander@churchleaders.com'
Paul Alexander, a ministry consultant at the Unstuck Group and has more than 20 years of experience serving in the local church. He has served on the Sr. Leadership Teams of some of the nation’s leading mega-churches. Currently, Paul is serving as the Executive Pastor at Sun Valley Community Church, a large multi-site church located in the Phoenix area.