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.