If you are a leader of a charitable or philanthropic organization you likely began 2020 with a whole set of goals and objectives that were thrown out the window before the first quarter ended.
The goals you set for yourself were likely very good, “S.M.A.R.T” (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, timely) goals that no doubt would have brought you and your team closer toward the Kingdom vision you have for your organization and the world.
However, the world we live in today is very different from the one in which you made your plans. You could not have predicted the extent of the economic and social fallout of COVID-19. While God knew you would have to change course, you did not. And now you find yourself in a leadership position no one hopes to face: leading through crisis.
While it may be tempting to ignore your leadership development needs at this time and, instead, prioritize fundraising or focus your efforts on the field, it is important to lean into what God might have for you in this season.
I love what Arrow Leadership’s recent blog post has to say about the potential benefits of constraints in a time of crisis:
“Times of crisis and uncertainty usually bring constraints. In the case of COVID-19, there are many unprecedented constraints. Public gatherings and movement have been restricted. Staff and volunteers may be limited. The ability to physically meet with people is a constraint. Funds may be a constraint. Your list may be unique and long...In A Beautiful Constraint, Adam Morgan and Mark Barden share story after story demonstrating how constraints can be leveraged to launch people and organizations into amazing breakthroughs.”
“Creativity, thinking outside the box, reframing problems, innovation, renewed focus and collaboration are all positives that can flow from constraints. If you are a Christian leader lamenting a constraint, is it possible your limitation could actually lead to a new insight or approach that might be helpful, beneficial and even…beautiful?”
Arrow gives us five helpful application questions for you and your team to consider:
1. Could there be a pre-existing issue God wants you to address? Sometimes God can use constraints to focus us on priority issues we need to address before we are ready or able to receive more provision.
2. How could you reframe your thinking about your constraint? What would happen if you moved from “we can’t because…” to “what if…” thinking? Identify the question that frames your goal in light of your constraint. Is there opportunity in this constraint?
3. Whom could you engage or learn from to help you think outside the box of your constraint and circumstances? Who is facing the same problem? How could you collaborate?
4. How can your constraint or weakness be an opportunity for God to demonstrate his sufficiency and for you to depend on him in a deeper way (2 Corinthians 12:9)?
5. How does prayer fit into your constraint? Prayer helps break our self-sufficiency and brings us and our limitations to Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord who provides.
If you’re looking for more resources like this, check out Arrow Leadership’s COVID-19 Toolkit. "These free tools and resources have been developed and curated to provide timely, practical, biblically-anchored help for you, your team and your organization during these challenging times.”
May the God of all grace give you everything you need to be and do all he is calling you to be and do in this season.