Multiplication Center

The COVID-19 Conversation You Need to Be Having

March 25, 2020


When I was in high school, ‘pivot’ was simply something I needed to do when playing basketball. Keep your pivot foot. If you didn’t pivot, the referee blew the whistle. Traveling. Turnover. To play the game, you had to pivot. (Except NBA players who often get away without pivoting.) 

Every leader is quickly realizing that if you want to lead in 2020, you better learn to pivot. And quickly.
COVID-19 is demanding that we rapidly shift, turn, and redirect – rethinking models, reallocating resources, and reengineering our organizations and churches. If we don’t, well, no whistle will blow, but we won’t be leading for very long.

The article below by partner for theology and culture at Praxis,Andy Crouch, was forwarded to me by two leaders in our XP leadership collaboratives (Beth and Dorothy). The article struck me in regards to what it means to pivot and lead in unprecedented times. 

This is a provocative read. An aggravating read. A necessary read.

As summarized by the Praxis Journal, Andy’s article provokes us to consider five important realities for leaders in this moment:

  1. The novel coronavirus is not just something for leaders to “get through” for a few days or weeks. Instead, we need to treat COVID-19 as an economic and cultural blizzard, winter, and beginning of a “little ice age” — a once-in-a-lifetime change that is likely to affect our lives and organizations for years.

  2. Due to the complex and interconnected nature of our society and economy, the majority of businesses and nonprofits are “effectively out of business” as of today, in that the underlying assumptions that sustained their organization are no longer true.

  3. The priority of leaders must be to set aside confidence in their current playbook as quickly as possible, write a new one that honors their mission and the communities they serve, and make the most of their organization’s assets — their people, financial capital, and social capital, leaning on relationship and trust.
  4. The creative potential for hope and vision is unparalleled right now — but paradoxically this creativity will only be fully available to us if we also make space for grief and lament.

  5. We write this out of love for Christian organizational leaders and their work, with humility in a time of considerable uncertainty, and a prayerful hope that we are proven wrong by God, in his gracious providence, working miraculously through human ingenuity in this season.

I encourage you to read Andy’s full article. Discuss it with your team. Identify your pivots. 

I also want to encourage you that there is no place that I have seen leaders more effectively problem solve COVID-19 for their churches than in virtual collaborative. If you need a collaborative to help navigate this season, let us know here. 

We’re standing behind you and praying for you.

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