Communicating in a crisis: How to speak the love of Christ following a tragedy

Police tape

Communicating in a crisis: How to speak the love of Christ following a tragedy

By Terry Wilhite, Communication Strategist
Special to The Alabama Baptist

We as Americans are reeling from yet another mass killing.

What we do right now matters. Eternity could be in the balance for someone who sees the love of Jesus and the Hope of Glory in us at this very moment.

We — as ones who represent Jesus Christ — have an opportunity to minister and share. Our neighbors, our friends and the world must see our difference – our hope – in times of crisis. While we may be thousands of miles from the murder scene, or not far at all, we can be very close to those who are hurting and helping.

Perhaps a few reminders are in order for us as we communicate the love of Jesus. In crisis communication, the don’ts are as important as the do’s.

•Stop now and pray for all involved. Especially pray for first responders and their families, those whose love ones have died and those who are being treated now at hospitals. Pray for leaders who are now barraged with mountains of decisions that must be made.

•Love and show grace with your words. Refrain from political commentary and remarks of judgment and don’t forward these type comments on social media or participate in a back and forth with those who are offering idle talk.

•Point people to Jesus but don’t beat them up with Scripture. Share the comforting words of the Bible in a loving, graceful way.

•Share lovingly and in your own words and life experiences how one can accept Jesus as Savior and how He carries our burdens and our sorrows; Jesus is not our best hope, He is our only hope. By entrusting our lives to Him we can have personal victory in times of crisis and the strength we need to go forward. “Because He Lives, we can face tomorrow…”

•Be available to listen. Open your mind and heart, your home, your house of worship for prayer. Crises are our best opportunities to be available to share the hope that is within us. Be available. Listen. Pray with others.

•Be one. If we call on Jesus as Lord and Savior, let’s stand together, put religious differences aside and show the nation and the world what unity in Jesus is all about.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Terry Wilhite is a communications strategist who lives in Loxley, Alabama. He often deals with crises and crisis communication. His e-mail address is: and his web site is