When faced with a crisis, King Jehoshaphat’s first choice was to seek God. At the same time, he fully recognized that his role as a leader was to empower others in the way of the Lord and acknowledge God supremely. Part 2 of this series shows how Jehoshaphat involved others in fulfilling God’s plan during the crisis.
Encouraging the Soul
Crisis is known for its elements of surprise, threat, and limited time to make sense of what is happening (Ulmer, Sellnow, & Seeger). When people feel overwhelmed and fearful, they look to their leaders for encouragement and guidance. In 2 Chronicles 20:20, “Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe His prophets, so shall ye prosper.” For King Jehoshaphat, nothing was more important than pointing his people toward God in faith. Good leaders comfort their people in the Lord and organize them to prevent and mitigate the crisis threat.
Delegation and Collaboration
Because a crisis brings chaos into any social unit, it demands consultation, delegation, and collaboration. It is the crisis manager’s role to initiate this process, just as King Jehoshaphat did in 2 Chronicles 20:21. “And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever.” King Jehoshaphat consulted God through His prophets and singers as a crisis response strategy. Good leaders acknowledge their limitations, consult with their colleagues, identify experts, and delegate roles to help prevent and contain crises.
Acknowledging Crisis Partners
While a crisis can be chaotic, it is time-bound. The Bible is clear that after Israel witnessed victory over their enemies by God, “On the fourth day, they assembled themselves in the valley of Berachah; for there, they blessed the LORD” (2 Chronicles 20:26). As a crisis manager, King Jehoshaphat knew to give God the credit. By calling an assembly, he acknowledged God, who gave them a public victory over their enemies. Good leaders know when and how to give credit for the sacrifices and effort of their stakeholders.
Opportunity in Crisis
In the Chinese language, the word “crisis” translates to Wēijī, which means “dangerous opportunity.” This means that a crisis brings challenges with equal opportunity. In 2 Chronicles 20:29, the Bible records, “And the fear of God was on all the kingdoms of those countries when they had heard that the LORD fought against the enemies of Israel.” The unconventional way King Jehoshaphat and the children of Israel responded to the crisis provided an opportunity to glorify God. When God’s people manage a crisis His way, His name is glorified.
The next time you face a crisis, think about how you can seek God’s guidance and work with others to overcome it. How might that crisis present new opportunities alongside the challenge?
You can read Part 1 of this series here.