Reactive vs. Proactive
The news around the world is concerning to say the least. There is a lot of evil that continues to reveal itself and it has left many trying to understand what to do to thwart this movement. Some have turned to an old method of appeasement which is basically a way of saying, its going on over there and it won’t bother us here. Unfortunately, appeasement has proven over time to not work and has usually led to an even bigger mess for people to address. It brings to mind the difference in being Proactive compared to Reactive.
There is little difference in addressing issues of terror compared to issues of everyday life. Issues ignored have a tendency to continue to grow and become bigger problems left unattended. Health is that way, if you start noticing a problem and don’t address it, soon it could become a bigger problem. We even see this in ministry where churches, ministries, etc. have problems that start out as annoyances and people respond by just hoping they will go away. Unfortunately, rarely do issues disappear and in most cases they grow and become a larger distraction and a threat to the life of the ministry. There is not a more difficult job than to be a Executive Pastor standing in front of the flock knowing that many among the group have significant issues that are trying to be addressed behind the scenes. Dealing with these issues head on and being proactive is almost always the best course of action, but its not that easy.
Perception plays a big part in how ministries operate due to the very fact that 98% of the people involved are deemed to be “good” people motivated by their faith to join the ministry. This perception has a tendency to cause those that don’t know the “behind the scenes” story to develop a different perspective on what actually is going on. Pastors and Leadership must be proactive in addressing these issues and culling the bad from the good in order to not allow the cancer to spread among the organization. This takes a lot of courage as the very problem seeks to hide behind the veil of “ministry” or good. This will cause some unknowing people to not understand the actions that the Pastor or Leadership have taken in the best interest of the ministry. This perception is going to happen, regardless of the facts, and thus leadership must have the courage to be proactive regardless of the perception it may cause. The future of the ministry is at stake.
History has proven that being proactive succeeds much more often than the theory of appeasement. World War II was exacerbated by the world allowing Hitler to freely invade regions without any ramifications. It soon turned into a major mess and the second World War was the result. You also see it in recent history where New York City was attacked by terrorists. The immediate response was to take the battle directly to the areas that allowed these ideologies to develop. This proactive strategy provided a significant period of the fight happening “over there” instead of in our own backyard.
Dealing with worldwide disease is the same issue. We must be proactive in going into the developing world and address the root cause of disease or it will eventually end up right here with us. The ebola scare was clear evidence that a lax strategy to address problems leads to the problem eventually being more of an issue in more places. Poverty is the enemy of us all and a proactive strategy to address not only the symptoms or cause of disease is crucial if we want to see it eradicated and no longer a threat.
In the end, dealing with issues of terrorism, disease, and ministry have similar components. A proactive strategy is crucial if chaos is to be brought into control and leaders must have the courage to make the right decisions even if the road they choose may be fraught with misunderstanding and discord. Please take a moment to pray for our leaders in the world, country, and yes, ministries as they continue to try to bring calm in a sea of chaos.