October 20, 2022

Formulate Contingency Courses of Action

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Keep Calm and Reduce Risks:

When we were building the house that we live in, we wanted to be on-site, and part of the construction. The builder was a friend of ours and told me that we could come as long as we got “the white card.”  This is a certificate that identifies who you are on the site if you need to be high visibility for everyone else, so this person is less likely to be injured. It’s a way to be extra aware to protect your business, your employees and clients.

In my experience, this is something that pastors and leaders need to pay attention to as well. We need to be able to evaluate our circumstances and assess risk in order to reduce threats.

Identifying the Mental and Emotional Threats:

In ministry, the threats are often different from working construction… There is less risk of physical injury but we still need to be aware of the mental and emotional needs of our staff. Often we prepare ourselves and our teams for the wrong potential crises. When I became a pastor, I thought the biggest dangers were things like being caught up in glory or money or immoral relationships, so I did what I could to reduce risks of these dangers. However, I did not consider burnout, and I did not see it coming. Burnout is actually far more common for most professions than any of the dangers I was worried about.

So how can we avoid the unpredictable and the unseen dangers? We can look and plan ahead, we can speak to others more experienced in our field and well-being coaches, we can build good communication within our team to create risk alerts (think of modern cars, with noises and lights that alert us of all sort of dangers; unfastened seat belts, unclosed doors, sometimes even our vehicle is getting too close to an object) and then, when a risk does arise, a good leader will approach with calm and confident leadership.

Questions to Reduce Risks:

  • Where are the danger zones in your world?
  • How can you prepare or prevent these dangers?
  • What is your typical response to dangers when they arise? How could you improve?

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