I spend a lot with influencers in my professional work. One thing this pandemic has done is it has allowed us to multiply ourselves. Normally, when you speak or attend meetings, you physically travel to a place and deliver a message. I had one client in particular who, a couple of weeks ago, was able to speak in three different places at the same time. That would have never happened under “normal” circumstances; but it’s become the norm for so many leaders during this season of crisis. It’s interesting to see how crisis drives us to solutions that allow us to have a deeper impact—effect more people more effectively.
I’ve seen three main categories of people during crisis. Firstly, there are the people who back off the gas: they slow down. They figure, “Things are bad, so we’d better just hold our horses.” Secondly, there are the people in survival mode—they’re just holding on, hoping to get through it by staying the course.
But then, there are people who are trying to thrive—to come out stronger on the other side. This third group is the one we must identify with as leaders. There’s a window of opportunity in crisis. Why? Because, sometimes, when God tries to get our attention and speak to us, we don’t hear it, because we’re so busy. Crisis forces us to listen better.
We all want to know what’s going to take place after this is all said and done. But in order for us to see what’s going to take place, we need to change our perspective. God wants to call us higher so we can actually see. Just like John the Revelator was told to “Come up here” in Revelation 4, we must move from where we are now if we want to glimpse what God has next for us. This is a season in which God really wants to speak to us; and sometimes, we need crisis to hear Him more clearly.
God gives us each instructions. These are not so much one-size-fits-all instructions as they are individual instructions. If we want to be in that third group of people, we have to be busy discovering the vehicles God wants to use to visit the people He’s trying to reach. Did you catch that? Vehicles of visitation. You and I get to play a role in the kingdom of heaven coming to earth! When we listen to God’s leading and use this season to thrive, we’re going to see a lot of creative ideas begin to flow—new, unprecedented ideas! That gets me excited!
I think the first thing is to come to terms with, if we’re going to be in that third group of people, is the fact that God wants to speak to us. Sometimes, we’re so wrapped up with the crisis itself that we can’t hear His voice. As long as we focus on the negatives, we’re not hearing what He has for us. Don’t put a limitation on how God speaks. Even if He speaks to one person one way, it doesn’t mean He speaks to you the same way. God always tailors His voice to our individual personality. God’s a lot bigger than what we think. If we are opening our minds for Him to speak, I think we hear Him in a lot more places than what we would expect.
Whether you’re in business or ministry, you CAN thrive in the midst of crisis. It takes an open mind, a willing heart, and a listening ear—all surrendered to God—to be used of Him during this time. When we’re listening to and obeying His voice, finding creative solutions will come naturally; and we’ll find ourselves not just surviving, but showing the world the abundance of the kingdom of God works—even in the midst of crisis.
Martijn van Tilborgh is the co-founder of Kidmin Nation, owner of Four Rivers Media and Kudu Publishing, and is a renowned author, speaker, and leader in the marketing and communications space. books as handbooks worldwide in leadership development.
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