I was recently watching a History Channel special on the days of 9/11. They highlighted many of the issues and misconceptions they feel contributed to the disaster.
I think the church could learn some valuable lessons from those.
1. It can happen to us. The U.S. had gotten to the point where it felt it were protected “by the great bodies of water” that bordered its country. So it never seriously considered a group could infiltrate to that level.
If you lead in a church for any length of time, your borders will be breached. The enemy will find the weakness in the walls, and he will send groups or individuals to cause havoc and fear among you.
Know that you are vulnerable. Have a disaster plan in place—a plan that speaks to issues like a rogue leader, the moral failure of a key staff member, etc.
2. Have a clear communication plan—very clear. The day of 9/11, the Federal Aviation Administration and the U.S. Air Force couldn’t communicate. There was red tape everywhere, and the FAA couldn’t communicate clearly where the other rogue planes were to the fighter jets sent to intercept.
Establish a communication system that allows leaders to communicate to the right people at the right time. You need updated email lists, group text lists and an understanding who needs to be communicated to first and who is responsible for assimilating the process to others who need to be informed.
3. Have a planned response. This is like an emergency response plan. Certainly you can’t cover all the possible things that could occur, but there needs to be a plan that addresses the following:
Write out how you would handle these. Get it in place. Have people ready to do their part if it’s needed.
Artie Davis is the pastor at Cornerstone Community Church in Orangeburg, S.C. He heads the Comb Network and the Sticks Conference. He speaks and writes about leadership, ministry, church planting and cultural diversity in the church. You can find his blog at ArtieDavis.com or catch him on Twitter @artiedavis.
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