General Ferdinand Foch, regarded as a World War I hero, sent the following dispatch to his superiors at a time when his army was in deep trouble: Hard pressed on my right. My center is yielding. Impossible to maneuver. Situation excellent. I attack.
Foch's words illustrate courage instead of fear, faith instead of capitulation, and resolve instead of paralysis. And his counter-intuitive counter-attack successfully thwarted a strategic enemy advance. Could these be useful words for men and women of spiritual influence in these days of economic meltdown?
When things get scary (and they are) the instinct of most church and organizational leaders is to circle the wagons, cut back, and wait out the difficult times. That is the business way, and it usually makes sense.
But Ferdinand-Foch-type leaders also use crises; they recognize that bad times can produce fresh ideas and new ways to pursue the mission of "making and growing disciples," something the Christian movement hasn't been doing very ...1