“I shall not be moved” is a courageous statement when applied to saving faith in Christ alone. However, it’s a fool’s errand when a similar mindset guides the philosophy of security and crisis management for Christian organizations.
Romans 12:2 really should have an impact on Christian leaders. That is to say, Christian leaders should always be desiring to be “transformed by the renewing of their minds” from the pattern of the world as they seek the mind of Christ as it applies to security, risk, and crisis management. This, in turn, allows leaders to better “prove” what the will of God is; a will that is good (for the organization and its members), acceptable (in the situation currently being faced), and perfect (in the sovereignty of God).
I think it is important to note that much of what we call crisis management in Christian organizations really is more about “incident management” or “emergency management,” although the term “crisis” gets stuck on just about everything requiring an organizational response. This is because true “crisis management” requires change.
I would challenge Christian leaders to study what crisis is and what it is not. A true crisis facing an organization should lead that organization’s leaders toward change. That is why I am a strong proponent of crisis management being part of a broader security risk management program. Crisis management is intended to help identify, address, respond to, and learn from incidents facing organizations. This can be best accomplished when crisis management is tied to a comprehensive security risk management program.
If the goal of crisis management is to merely “handle” or “resolve” a situation, then the intent of a crisis management program and CM team has been missed. Worse, if organization leaders miss the opportunity to learn from the incident, the likelihood of repeating a similar incident becomes more likely in the future. This is because of a lack of learning (and thus, lack of change) in light of an incident left the leaders of the organization in the same place they were before the incident took place.
As leaders, may we all be encouraged to exhibit good stewardship as we capitalize on the opportunities God gives us for growth, especially during crisis. An excellent example of this would be Joseph in the Book of Genesis. In Joseph we see the culmination of lifelong learning through crisis. Joseph makes this clear in Genesis 50:20, as the growth and change he has experienced from one crisis to another led him to the opportunity of a lifetime as the second in command of all of Egypt, saving the nation from famine. As Joseph stands before his brothers, he clearly tells them, “As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.” THIS is the goal of a well-stewarded crisis management program as leaders both learn and change through crisis.
Sadly, when organization leaders choose not to learn from the incidents they face (and thus avoid change), they are more akin to the wicked and lazy steward in Matthew 25:14-30. In this story, the lazy steward squandered his opportunity to grow the Master’s investment in him by burying the talent he was given in the ground. In a similar way, Kingdom leaders are at risk of squandering the opportunities we have for multiplying the Kingdom when we chose not to learn and change through the crises we face. It is as if we are burying the opportunity (along with our heads…) in the ground. Thus, when the Master returned to settle accounts, all the other stewards were rewarded because they invested the talents they were given. However, the Good Master took away the lazy steward’s one talent and gave it to another who had proven his ability to steward well what the Master had given. In a similar way, when we ultimately stand before God and give account for what we did with the crises and opportunities we were given by God as good stewards of the organizations we lead, may we demonstrate to the Lord how we learned and changed though crisis to grow the organization and the Kingdom through our lessons learned.
Most of all, as we help our organizations develop excellent security, risk, and crisis management programs, it is my prayer for each of us that, through the crises we face, we might take the opportunity to seek the Lord and desire to look more like Jesus at the end of a crisis than we did at the beginning. And as we do this, may we each hear the Lord tell us one day, “Well done.”