3 Ways To Lead Your Church Staff Through A Crisis


By definition, a crisis is labeled as a period of great difficulty in which actions must be taken for the good of the community affected. If your church body and/or staff happen to be the “affected community,” these actions immediately become much more crucial.

When a church is struck with a crisis situation, it usually comes as a complete shock to the congregation and often to the leaders as well. The truth of the matter is that there’s no one-size-fits-all instruction manual on navigating through a church crisis. This means it is more important than ever to have a strong leadership team on your church staff that can weather the storm.

If you are struggling to grasp the next steps for your congregation after a crisis, start by equipping your leadership team with these 3 principles:

1. Be available and communicate.

It is vital to communicate in a crisis situation, both to your church body and to your church team. Your congregation and staff will be discussing the situation regardless, so it is the church leaders’ responsibility to fill their conversation with truthful information.

Avoiding the elephant in the room accomplishes nothing but creating mistrust and gossip, which can become toxic for the church. While it isn’t necessarily easy, communicating the full truth of the matter at hand is a step on the right path and will start to bring the church closer in the time of crisis.

2. Be proactive.

If you are not careful, your leadership team could slip into a state of shock and become dormant in the crisis. Sometimes this happens once the gravity of the situation hits and church leaders are paralyzed with stress. However, this is the antithesis of what a congregation needs from their leadership during an emergency.

A church in crisis needs its leaders to be a united front that can reassure them that the crisis is just a season and that there is a plan. Take action and create a plan to lead your church staff and congregation out of the crisis, over-communicating every step of the way. The congregation will take peace in knowing their church leadership team is being calm and proactive in the face of the situation.

3. Invest time in your staff and church body.

When you invest time in your church team and your congregants during a crisis, the trust they have in their church body and their leadership will be preserved. Your staff must believe that it is possible to overcome this obstacle and have trust in each other to accomplish it. This can start by becoming closer as a team, possibly in the form of taking a staff retreat to flesh out some issues the church may have. This will give you an opportunity to take a deep breath, gain some perspective, and most importantly, listen to God.

Remember, He is ultimately in control and will guide your church through this crisis, but you must first stop and listen. Read the Bible together and take solace in its truth, which will buoy your church through this period of uncertainty.

When crisis hits, it’s imperative for your church to have a game plan. Take these principles as a framework for the journey ahead. The value of your church is not found in the ability to avoid disaster but in its ability to navigate its way through it. All thriving churches share this in common: a foundation firmly rooted in God’s word and a leadership team that is ready to take action.

Psalms 16:8 – “I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.”

How can your church leadership team stay faithful and proactive during a time of crisis?

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