Two Necessities When Facing A Crisis Moment: Empathy and Strategy

Two Necessities When Facing A Crisis Moment: Empathy and Strategy

Hi, Friends and Family.   Greetings and peace in the name of Jesus.  As we “Focus on Jesus and Follow His Plan”, I am reminded of the times when Jesus disciples would share their concerns with him or when he would draw them aside to help them understand circumstances and how to deal with them.


Today, a dear friend and family member in Christ contacted me.  In the end we better understood the concerns each one felt during this pandemic and had the common knowledge those concerns were not unique to either of us, both of us felt them.  Also, we evaluated the levels of risks we were willing to take, why, the consequences we should expect, and measures that could be taken to mitigate the impact.  In other words, we empathize and strategize with each other.  What a friend!


It is impossible to overemphasize the need to have the following three people in your personal community.  Every person needs someone who is your mentor or coach, someone into whom you are pouring yourself as a disciple or someone you are coaching, and someone who is a friend that is interested in you simply because you are you.  If your life is seeming a little lackluster, perhaps one or more of these three people are missing from your community circle.  Yes, God will supply all your needs and take you from death into life.  It is in God’s design, however, that he has created us to be “community creatures”.  Choose wisely who you will put into your personal community.


Then I remembered an article I had read earlier in the week by Sam Rainer on  When I checked, sure enough there it was.  You can see the original at the following website.  But I wanted to share it with you.


Two People Every Church Leader Needs in a Moment of Crisis

By Sam Rainer

June 9, 2020


“Lead a church long enough, and you will encounter a crisis. People sin. Satan roams. Life happens. Crises are inevitable results of a fallen world. All pastors and church leaders will run into a legitimate crisis at some point. Your church will face a split. You will be forced to resign by an ugly power group. A close staff person will have a moral failure. The types of crises are numerous. All pastors and church leaders have battle scars.

You can’t fight these battles alone. Obviously, Christ is sufficient for every crisis. His armor is enough to take a stand against any evil scheme. But we’re not created to battle alone. We need other believers—our churches—to stand with us. However, the crisis may come from within the church. So every church leader should keep two people close, especially in a moment of crisis.


In a moment of crisis, every church leader needs a friend. In the ministry trench, it’s encouraging to have someone with you, someone to empathize with your plight. The friend can look you in the eye and say, “This sucks.” A friend’s empathy encourages endurance. A friend’s empathy reminds of hope. A friend’s empathy reassures of a better future. 


In a moment of crisis, every church leader needs a mentor. In the heat of the moment, a leader needs a mentor to help with a long-term view and the very next step. When a wildfire blazes, you can’t see the forest or the trees. Not only does the high level vision disappear in the smoke of controversy, the heat drains you of much needed energy for the moment. The mentor can help you create a strategy to survive. The mentor can prevent you from charging into the wrong fire. The mentor can keep you from making emotionally-charged decisions. 


You will need others around you, but the friend and the mentor are especially important. The friend empathizes. The mentor strategizes. And a little empathy and strategy is often just enough to get you through the crisis.”


Thank you for reading this article.  I trust it will help you grow your leadership in spiritual maturity.  Following this principle will provide for you all the days of your life.  One of the others Sam Rainer does not mention by name is someone whom you are mentoring, your disciple(s).


The story of my dependence upon God during a particularly trying time financially for 10 years and my Co-Pastor’s similar experience later have been shared in an earlier post.  But I want to use that for an illustration.  That Pastor is now an expert at empathy and strategy with those he serves in the Church.  What he now does for his flock carries far into the extended families of those he serves.


It is a noble thing to trust God to deliver you.  It is nobler still to allow others to see you doing that as a role model for them.  The power of vulnerability is staggering.  Because, it is at those times the strength of Jesus Christ in you is clearly seen.  Having disciples and sharing with them the life lessons you have learned in a non-condescending way which is usually by example, not so much byword, allows the work you are doing to live beyond you.   Rightly it should.  You are blessed by those whose work was poured into you and the only way you can give it back is by giving it forward to the next generation of Jesus’ disciples.  Do not let the gift of God, Jesus Christ and the cross, and the gifts of God, the provisions for coping with the circumstances of this life and ministry, return to you void.  When used for others the fruitfulness of your harvest for the King will exceed everyone’s imagination and glorify our God.


A challenge for you: Be proactive make three lists, written or mental, written is better, of 1) those whom you are trusting to mentor you, 2) those upon whom you can depend as friends that are friends indeed not just friends when circumstances favor it, and 3) those whom you are mentoring to become more than you will be in your ministry.


Blessings and peace to you in Jesus Christ.

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