How Christian CEOs Can Lead Well During Crisis

A memo from Buck Jacobs, founder of The C12 Group

So, there is a shakin’ going on. A shaking called a coronavirus pandemic. I don’t really know what to make of it. How long will it last? How far will it spread? How many will die? What about the economy? What can I do? These and other questions flow through our minds in a loop without clear answers. And here we are, Kingdom Leaders, right in the middle of it all, called to lead our families, associate leaders, employees, and customers. 

The scripture speaks of God “shaking things that can be shaken that the things that cannot be shaken may remain” (Heb. 12:27). He has a way of doing that in big and little ways. He shakes things. He is not a God of status quo. Why is that true? It is true because, in a static world, we would never grow or be conformed to the image of Christ, and there would be no need for faith. We could simply live “by sight.” That’s not His plan (2 Cor. 5:7).

I heard someone say that we are like tubes of toothpaste—we don’t get to see what’s inside until we’re squeezed. Shaking squeezes us, forces us out of our comfort zone, makes us uneasy, even fearful. In many ways, shaking shows what’s inside and in whom and in what we trust.

Since the beginning of C12, we have had several shakings: the savings and loan scandal and consequent market record drop, 9/11, the dot-com crash, the financial collapse of 2008, to name some. We could discuss the unique political culture of this time and the advent of the voracious 24-hour news cycle and an adversarial media, but the result is simply a shaking. God is still in control. This shaking will end. Unless Jesus comes back, life will go on.

As Christian leaders, what are our associates looking for from us while the shaking goes on? What do they need most? They need examples of faith and confidence in the God we cannot see and wise counsel that is grounded in His wisdom. They need us to be us! Some of them will be challenged as they have never been. Some of us may be as well. We will need to be like our Leader who naps in storms and who ceases the winds when He speaks. He will not be moved in this shaking or in any other in the future. This will pass. He is our rock, and He will stand.

Don’t be distracted by this shaking. Stand in your faith in Jesus and in His calling on your life to be a leader. And one small word of warning as we go through this shaking—Guard your heart. Some will give in to fear and doubt. They will become negative naysayers, and their attitudes can become very toxic. They will look for commiseration and reject optimism based in faith. Don’t buy into it. In past shakings, some Christian leaders have bought in, commiserated with them, adopted their fearful attitude, and paid dearly for listening to them. Be like the man quoted in Habakkuk 3:17-19: “Though the fig tree may not blossom nor fruit be on the vines; though the labor of the olive may fail, and the fields yield no food; though the flock be cut off from the fold, and there be no herd in the stalls—yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation. The Lord God is my strength; He will make my feet like deer’s feet, and He will make me walk on my high hills.”

Remember, anyone can praise the Lord and profess faith in Him when everything is going great, their bellies are full, and their pockets are stuffed with cash. We have a choice to lead by example and to be those men and women whose faith is real when our world is shaking. We need to be leaders who stand against the wind and act like the buffaloes who run toward the storm. These are the very days God had in mind for us when He created us in Christ Jesus. It is no accident and no surprise to Him that “there’s a whole lotta shakin’ going on.” 

June 25, 2020