Mar 26, 2020
Q: HOW CAN I LEAD MY FAMILY DURING COVID-19?
A: Do Something!
World War I and the Spanish Flu
In World War I approximately 16 million soldiers and civilians were killed before the Allied victory. Some historians believe that the war ended, in part, because of the 1918 outbreak of Spanish Flu of 1918 that infected thousands of young soldiers, many of whom brought this novel strain of Influenza back to their home countries.
No one could have imagined that the Spanish Flu would kill three times more people than the war itself with a death count between and 20 to 50 million people around the world.
Years ago, I heard disease control experts warn that pandemics historically strike about every fifty years or so, that we were overdue by fifty years, and that we should prepare accordingly. I also remember the public fear surrounding the Bird Flu (1997), SARS pandemic (2002-2003), Swine Flu (2009-2010), and the Ebola outbreak (2014-2016). None of these caused the public alarm we are experiencing today.
Listen to my thoughts on a Christian perspective of “Prepping” on the Men in the Area Podcast episode #328 where I share my layman’s strategy on the subject.
More than Faith Is Needed
While I agree with Christian voices shouting, “Faith not fear!” I empathically emphasize that faith manifests in something much greater. Faith rarely, if ever, stands alone. James 2:26 reminds us, “As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.” Faith without action is little more than foolishness even if fear is absent.
It’s like the drunk college guy jumping off a dangerous cliff into unknown waters and shouting, “Watch this!”
Famous last words.
“Faith without fear is only works when we exhibit wisdom over denial.
Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail
Proverbs 27:12 (NIV) warns that, “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.”
A pandemic is upon us. People are sick. People are dying. Whether you like it or not, government leaders have proclaimed our US President as a “Wartime” president.
Wake up! Snap out of your denial. War is upon us.
Your loved ones are looking to you for leadership. Do something.
Recognize that danger is upon us and act by faith with wisdom, without fear.
Do What? Thanks for Asking! 5 Practical Ways to Lead Spiritually
1. Set up Comms. In wartime the first thing an enemy wants to do is knock out or intercept enemy communications. The first thing you can do is set up “Comms” with those you love. Several weeks ago our family established a text thread that included our immediate family and their significant others We have had no less that 1000 texts go back and forth the last month. It has been our lifeline to each other.
2. Your Mask on first. I disagree with our media and government leaders admonishing the public not to hoard. I am prepared and am in total compliance with the “No hoarding” admonishment.
But I most definitely would not comply IF my family wasn’t prepared. Your lack of readiness may have you in a slight panic. Take a deep breath. Then go grocery shopping during irregular business hours (when crowds are smaller) before we have a total shutdown.
I share exactly what to buy on our “Dare to Prepare”. If you have been caught with you pants down (so to speak), you still have a Biblical responsibility to take care of your family’s basic needs of food, water, and shelter before you help anyone else! Take care of your people BEFORE you take care of others.
3. Build a New Normal (for Now). Many of you reading this are out of work or working from home. This is the case for Shanna who is on a temporary leave form her career as a flight attendant. We are physically ready but mentally are still making adjustments to a new temporary normal. Last weekend we crafted a new daily schedule, which I am happy to share at your request at email@example.com. I think it will be very helpful.
4. Social Non-Distancing. Last weekend we had a beautiful church service with the six other couples in our home group. We shared our lives, fears, and questions. We prayed for each other. We studied God’s Word. And we did it all virtually through an online app. There are many group video app choices—Zoom, Skype, Jitsi, OoVoo, etc. Choose the one that works for you, create a text thread for your group comms, and stay connected to your people.
Avoid social isolationism at all costs.
Although I think the live church service feed is an okay idea option for large churches, we need to connectivity more than ever. Men in the Arena is set up to coach you though this. If you need help, please ask us at firstname.lastname@example.org
5. Church for Men. We know that there are a lot of questions right now. It’s critical that we connect with other men to work through these questions to better navigate our families through these unprecedented times. Start a virtual team with men from around the country. Please look at our equipping blast from last week if you haven’t done so. If you would like to subscribe, simply go to our website and we will also send an E-version of our bathroom Book for Men.
We are looking for several capable men to help us during this season.
We also have a Team Leader’s Facebook Messenger thread that we will add any man to, no matter what curriculum he is using to lead his team. All you have to do is ask. We are in this together!
Brilliantly Disguised Opportunities
Chuck Swindoll once said, “We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.” This is not a time for us to stress out but to shine. Brian Doyle, founder of Iron Sharpens Iron Men’s Conferences told me, “Men are made for pressure!”
I couldn’t agree more. This is your chance to shine, your time to lead and your opportunity to bring peace to those you love amid crisis.