Many vocations receive specialized training in crisis management. It’s critically important for 911 operators to keep calm as they handle one crisis after another. It takes quite a bit of skill for a counselor to speak to someone contemplating suicide. Firefighters, policemen and EMTs are highly trained to handle a variety of crises.
Not every crisis has a happy ending. It is estimated that over the course of their careers, oncologists will break bad news to patients more than 20,000 times. When you meet with the boss, sometimes you don’t receive a raise; you receive a pink slip. Oftentimes the police must notify the coroner and the next of kin at the scene of a crime. Christians are well aware that when you live in a veil of tears, there will be sorrow.
You can’t help but be struck that Jesus was a man of the people. He didn’t hide in an office and produce excellent looking service folders and newsletters. He walked and traveled. He visited and taught. He was visible and approachable. People knew who he was. Crowds followed him! Even a high ranking local official asked him for a favor. Would Jesus consider helping his daughter who was on her death bed? It was a crisis.
How would you grade Jesus’ crisis management skills? He didn’t seem in a hurry, although the crowds certainly slowed him down. He paused long enough to heal another woman. Meanwhile, the girl died. Rather than console a distraught father, he encouraged him to fear not. He then rebuked the crowd for their extreme emotionalism. The girl was only sleeping.
Not everyone is cut out for crisis management, but the Christian pastor possesses these skills by virtue of his faith and theology. Sin is a crisis. Nothing could be more threatening than eternal damnation. Otherwise pious parishioners grow faint in the face of mortality. The pastor’s divine call give him countless opportunities to engage in crisis management. Every crisis sharpens the senses and galvanizes relationships! The girl lived. So will we.