Length: 3-minute read
COMMUNICATION is critical in CRISIS:
A 3-minute study from Nehemiah
What is the first thing a leader must do during a crisis?
Make a plan.
(Oops… actually it’s prayer. After prayer, make a plan.)
Then a leader must communicate that plan clearly, comprehensively and extensively.
That is why in a war, the enemy will destroy and disrupt communications.
In a coup, they will take over the radio and TV stations (in the old days).
This is because without communication, there will be confusion and chaos.
So whether it is a church crisis or national crisis or a global crisis like a pandemic, COMMUNICATION IS CRITICAL.
The best communication is direct communication.
When Nehemiah was building the wall, he was not only brilliant in organizing, mobilizing and defending but he was also vigilant about Communications.
Nehemiah 4:18 (NIV)
18 and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me.
Nehemiah made sure his Comms guy was beside him all the time. He made sure he had his trumpet with him. Today, we are not using a trumpet but Instagram, Telegram and Twitter.
(Trump’s trumpet is Twitter and he surely understands the impact of direct communication.)
Nehemiah 4:19–20 (NLT)
19 Then I explained to the nobles and officials and all the people, “The work is very spread out, and we are widely separated from each other along the wall.
Two circumstances when Communication is vital: When the work is expansive and the people are separated.
Exactly like Heart of God Church (HOGC) now.
We are 5,000+ people and we are separated.
20 When you hear the blast of the trumpet, rush to wherever it is sounding. Then our God will fight for us!”
- Communication summons mobilization.
The people will “rush”—they will rally. It is the modern day Navy’s equivalent to “General Quarters!” or “Battle stations!”
- Communication gives direction.
The people will rush to “wherever it is sounding”. The trumpet is not an alarm, it is a call to action. If it is an alarm, people run away. When it is a trumpet call, people will rush to where the fight is.
- Communication provides concentration.
A concentration of sunlight can light a fire.
Communications will concentrate resources and focus the people on one single point to achieve a breakthrough.
- Communication enhances unity which calls in reinforcements—God Himself.
I saved the best point for the last.
Communication unites. And when there is unity, God enters the fight.
Everywhere in the Bible, we read that when the people are “in one accord” or “in one heart”, God comes.
The worst thing you can do in a crisis is to be polarized. Unfortunately, we see this happen all the time. Oppositions and opportunists will seize the moment to attack.
HOGC, if we want God to fight for us, we stay united.
To stay united, we must keep communicating.
Update: A year after writing this article, the principles still hold true.
In May 2021, Singapore experienced a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic and went into another stay-home season. Our young people innovated and introduced LIVE Audio Services to the church. This new way of direct communication saw close to 3,000 members tuning in to the voice chat. In this season, our new Audio Service is my “trumpet”.
Beyond the reach, it is personal and organic. Some of our members said it was like having a personal phone call with the Senior Pastors. They loved it. Though we were separated physically, direct communication connected and united our church spiritually.
Pastors and leaders, you don’t have to be crippled by the crisis.
Keep communicating. This crisis can become a call to unity for your members.