Leading Through Crisis
Sometimes the answer to our prayers come in unexpected ways.
God used a senior citizen to give birth to the nation of Israel.
He brought down the walls of Jericho with singing and dancing.
And He gave us life through His death.
Like I said, He definitely answers prayer, but He has developed a reputation for doing so in some pretty unorthodox ways.
What are the prayers you’ve been praying for your business? And in the midst of a terrible circumstance such as Covid-19, could God actually be bringing fulfillment to those prayers?
I certainly do not believe God authors pain and suffering, but He does allow it. In allowing it, He promises to use it for good.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28 (ESV)
I know a lot of people are wondering what good could come out of this pandemic. Especially in-regards to business. We’ve talked to quite a few people this week who have had to layoff large percentages of their employees. We’ve heard of some instances where every employee was let go.
To better understand the real dynamics of how Covid-19 is affecting businesses, we spent hours on the phone talking to Kingdom business owners this week.
This is what we learned from them:
- There is rarely a one-size-fits-all solution in the Kingdom.
Part of walking with God every day is being still enough to hear His voice. We cannot run our businesses and lead our people well during these days, solely based on what the “other guy” is doing.
There may be another leader that you look up to immensely. But what they need to do during this time may not be what God is asking you do.
We talked with five businesses this week that have all been featured in Kingdom Impact Films. We were surprised to learn that all five of them were approaching the Covid-19 pandemic in different ways. Some businesses had to lay people off, others did not. Some were considered “essential businesses” and others were not. Some businesses easily transferred to working from home, while for other companies, that migration has been a struggle.
When we asked these leaders what encouragement they would offer other leaders during this time, they all pretty much unanimously answered, “make sure you’re hearing from God for yourself!”
One leader even said, “there is no chapter in the Bible that addresses Covid-19. But there are a lot of chapters that address the character of God, so we have to lean into that.”
That seems to be the peace that is carrying these leaders through the storm. They know whatever decision they arrive at, they got there listening to the voice of God. And as one of them pointed out, “sometimes the more something doesn’t make sense in my human understanding, the more peace I have about it from the Lord.”
- As leaders, we have to roll up our sleeves and lead by example.
Some leaders we talked to were taking 50% cuts to their pay for the foreseeable future. Others were hosting Zoom meetings with no makeup on and their kids running around in the background – just to make sure their employees know they’re not exempt from the struggle.
What does “going first” looks like for you in this season? True character emerges when the rubber meets the road. What are your people seeing in you? This difficult season is an incredible opportunity to build trust with your teams. Let them know you’re in this with them!
- God will always move more powerfully in our failures than our successes.
We all want to provide the best company culture out there. But what happens when we literally cannot meet together to do that? What happens when you don’t have all the answers? When the parts of your business you are most proud of… come to a grinding halt?
You keep going and trust God to fill in the gaps.
One leader said, “It’s only at the end of your rope do you usually look up to God and ask for Him to step in. And we are all at the end of our rope. That’s when Christ’s sufficiency starts to become real to us.”
It is in those environments of stress that we really begin to lean on the Lord and seek Him for every step. So, yeah, there are a lot of things we would all do differently right now if we could. But just keep moving forward with what you’ve got. Get creative with how to make your culture virtual. Find ways to show your employees that your core values matter now more than ever. It will not be perfect, but it is in our inadequacy that God is magnified most.
So back to God answering prayers in unorthodox ways.
One business we talked to told us that the pandemic had caused a surge in generosity within their culture. Employees were volunteering to take on an unemployed status to give hours to their co-workers that needed the money more.
Two businesses had employees who had never set foot in a morning jumpstart, start to attend this week.
Some leaders have had employees openly ask them about how they handle anxiety. They shared from their heart about how their faith brings them peace.
As challenging as this time has been (and we do not want to make light of it), God is also moving in unprecedented ways. In fact, God even promised us He would move like this during times like these.
“If my people who are called by my name humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.” – 2 Chronicles 7:14 (ESV)
So what prayers have you been praying for your business? Take some time today and ask God to show you how He might be answering right now.
As we close this post out, we wanted to relay some great ideas we’ve heard for keeping company culture alive and well. Doing most work virtually is a challenge, but here are some creative ways our friends have worked around this.
Tips & Tricks on How to Love Your Employees From Afar
- This may seem obvious, but make sure the office is being cleaned if your employees are still coming to work! Even if you have to pay the cleaning crew for extra hours or more in-depth cleaning, this is the most fundamental way you can show you care.
- If one of your employees is under the weather, drop off a care kit (medicine, tissues, tea, blanket, cough drops, soup, etc.) on their front door. Do not stay to visit!
- Start a group text with your immediate team if you have not already. This is a more intimate way to stay up-to-date and check in on one another.
- If you have some employees that have to keep reporting to work in-person, drop off encouraging notes or prayer letters. (And keep six feet apart!)
- Similarly, for those employees still reporting in-person, pick a local restaurant that is still open and have lunch delivered to them! You help a local business and feed your hardworking staff!
- Pick a team to highlight once a week. That team gets to share pictures from home of their family or pet, funny stories, etc.
- Help connect your employees with mental health resources. For people who struggle with anxiety, depression or other mental illnesses, this time could be hard on them. Check out MD Live as a benefit you might offer and highlight your other health benefits as well. These are some other website and apps we love: Caroline Leaf, Abide, and Calm.
- We all have room to grow when it comes to budgeting our money. Right now, it’s especially important that we spend wisely. Dave Ramsey provided a great post on what to do with a stimulus check if you receive one. Share this with your employees and offer what help you can, to empower them to make wise financial decisions!
- If you’re working from home, host a theme day for your online meetings. Plan a pajama day, hat day or Fancy Friday (to replace casual Friday) and give people an excuse to put on real pants.
- Whatever rituals or traditions you can carry to an online platform, try it out!
This article was compiled from input from these six businesses.
SigmaPro Engineering – Fort Worth, TX
Elizabeth Lee Bridal Boutique – Euless, TX
Jasper Ventures – Tyler, TX
Baessler Homes – Greeley, CO
Capstone Homes – Ramsey, MN
St. Clair & Massey Orthodontics – Lubbock, TX