How to Keep a Cool Head in a Hot Crisis

Putting out fires comes with the territory of leadership. It’s not an issue of if the crises will come or even when. The issue is how we respond. Crises can have serious consequences for our ministries and followers take their cues from leaders, so it’s important to respond with level-headed wisdom. Thankfully, the Bible has plenty of time-tested advice to offer.

Ask anyone who knows me well, and they’ll tell you I let out blood-curdling screams at the slightest provocation. Whether I’m rounding a blind corner in the office and nearly bump into a coworker, or see an oncoming car cross the yellow line while my husband is driving, an instantaneous shriek occurs. In my defense, I tell people I’m simply alerting others to danger. But with God’s grace, when a true crisis descends I shift into a cool, calculated mode.

3 Postures to Take in a Crisis

1. Stop. Even if it’s for a second, pause to pray. Crises are beyond us, and we need divine guidance. Many crises don’t require an instant response. Discern how much time you have to pray with your closest team members, seek God’s direction through the Word, and obtain the counsel of people with relevant expertise.

Proverbs 12:15

Fools are headstrong and do what they like; wise people take advice.

2. Drop. Before doing anything in an outward way, lay low to formulate a plan. Listen carefully to the input of others. Take your time to sift through various scenarios and action steps. Consider the consequences. Watch the wisest plan emerge. It’ll often be accompanied by peace and agreement with your team.

Proverbs 15:22

Refuse good advice and watch your plans fail; take good counsel and watch them succeed.

3. Roll. During the 9/11 crisis, Todd Beamer said, “Let’s roll,” after he and fellow passengers on Flight 93 developed a plan to storm the cockpit. Timing is critical, so determine when it’s best to take action. Don’t delay indefinitely and certainly not because of fear. Enact your prayed-through plans and trust God with the outcome.

Proverbs 19:21

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.

There’s no guarantee that when you prayerfully respond to a crisis, everything will go as you hoped. But there is a guarantee that God is sovereign and will accomplish His overarching purpose. And He’ll continue to lead through the next phase.

There are times when split-second decisions are needed. Make them to the best of your God-given ability. But whenever possible, take the time to ask God for wisdom and solicit input from seasoned leaders. When the fires of a crisis rage – stop, drop and roll. Stop to pray, drop to make a plan, and roll it out with a heart full of confidence in God.

“When the fires of a crisis rage – stop, drop, and roll. Stop to pray, drop to make a plan, and roll it out with a heart full of confidence in God.”

-Lisa Hosler

What’s been helpful to you in handling crises? Feel free to share your thoughts in the Comment Section below.

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