It would be difficult to conclude Paul was not an effective leader. He was the arguably the most successful church planter of all times. Paul managed to plant churches and write books we are still using today.
There is an interesting story in Acts 19 of a time of crisis. The sub-heading in my Bible calls it “The Riot in Ephesus.” Have you ever witnessed a riot? It even sounds chaotic.
And it wasn’t a small riot. Notice this verse: “About that time there was a major disturbance about the Way.” Acts 19:23
Specifically interesting to me is the response of Paul.
Read it for yourself:
After the uproar was over, Paul sent for the disciples, encouraged them, and after saying good-bye, departed to go to Macedonia. And when he had passed through those areas and exhorted them at length, he came to Greece. Acts 20:1-2
Paul did three things:
- Called together the leaders of the people.
- Encouraged them.
- Continued working to accomplish the mission.
Paul demonstrates for us the role of a leader in times of crisis – or even in times of uncertainty or times of change. People need to hear from their leader.
Everyone is looking for assurance everything is okay. They want to know things are moving forward. People want to hear the leader has confidence.
In other words, they want leadership.
Leader, if you are in a time of difficulty or exaggerated stress right now in leadership, the worst thing you can do is to run and hide. The best you can do is to reengage the people you are trying to lead.
Leadership helps people process the pain of their circumstances, gives them hope, encourages them, and challenges them to continue.