Gregory L. Hunt, Leading Congregations Through Crisis (TCP Leadership Series). Chalice Press, 2012.
I always recommend volumes from the The Columbia Partnership Leadership Series. The authors are carefully chosen because of their combination of in-depth knowledge and exemplary experience. This book is built around six case studies that illustrate the essential principles of handing congregational crises.
Part I: The Anatomy of Congregational Leadership in a time of Crisis – Hunt explains the nature of congregational crises. Next, he distinguishes between leadership, management, and crisis care, and how to properly integrate all three in a crisis.
Part II: Crisis Leadership from Onset to Resolution – Discusses how to deal with chaos, put the congregation on the road to recovery, and “find a new normal” as the crisis is resolved.
Part III: Special Considerations for Congregational Leaders – Instructs leaders on how to learn from crisis, how to “get in front of” crisis through prevention measures, how to marshal faith resources and experience God in crisis, and how to lead through a crisis without burning out.
The appendix includes a list of resources on crisis management.
This volume can be used by a team of leaders in the throes of a current crisis to assess what they have done well, understand what they have not done but need to do immediately, and pinpoint other important principles for their situation. Hunt offers this hopeful reminder:
You don’t have to create a leadership recipe from scratch. The accumulated wisdom of leaders across time can be distilled into key principles. You can build on these principles as you customize your congregation’s response. Your congregation can deal with whatever happens and grow stronger as a result. (xiv)
This is an excellent resource, a first read on the subject.
On July 12, 2009, 23 youth and adult sponsors from First Baptist Church in Shreveport, La., were involved in a tragic bus accident, leaving two dead and others seriously injured. Rev. Gregory Hunt suddenly found himself leading a congregation in crisis. From that grueling experience, Hunt has crafted a book pastors need to read even as they hope they’ll never use it. Putting Christ and mission at the book’s center, Hunt examines what happens when crisis strikes and how pastors and congregations can prepare for future crises. Ten different types of crises — ranging from violence to natural disasters to internal congregational strife — provide insight into how pastors can lead congregations through harrowing times into a healthy future.
About the Author
Greg Hunt is a highly-regarded speaker, consultant, and writer. He leverages his wide-ranging work in the worlds of church, community, business, academia, counseling, and relationship education to help people think holistically and purposefully about their lives, relationships, and organizations. In September, 2009, after 30+ years of pastoral ministry, Greg transitioned into full-time work as President of Directions, Inc., a non-profit he and his wife, Priscilla, formed to serve organizations, couples, and individuals and create a more life-friendly world.
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