“The captain of the Costa Concordia was distracted by guests he had invited onto the bridge in the crucial moments before his cruise liner rammed into rocks off the Tuscan island of Giglio”, one of the ship’s senior officers has claimed. Perhaps all the details my never be disclosed but what we know for certain is that several people lost their lives and hundreds more were injured on January 13, 2012 as “The Costa Concordia” ran ashore. The reality is that a minor miscalculation of our bearings and disaster is lurking around the corner. For the cruise liner captain it is a sunken ship; for an airline pilot it is a crashed plane; for the race car driver it is a multi-car pile up; and for a ministry leader it is a plummeting ministry. What do these have in common? Each can result in the loss of lives and at best, years of trauma.
There are three things UYWI helps leaders to learn from the Costa Concordia tragedy. First, stay the course that God has laid before you. If the ship had staid on course the tragedy could have been prevented. For urban leaders it is easy to venture off the course when training and resources are limited while the needs are so great. UYWI has stood beside thousands of leaders for the past 18 years equipping them with the training and resources necessary to meet the needs of their flock. Secondly, use the tools that God has placed before you. The pilot had the right tools, but because he was distracted he did not leverage them properly. Too often this happens in the lives of urban leaders, they loose sight of the tools God has placed in their toolkit because of fatigue, being overwhelmed and lack of training. UYWI has a track record of helping leaders to maximize their strength and minimize their weaknesses. Finally, arrogance leads to blindness. The captain was in the best position to pinpoint the danger lurking ahead, yet pride made him oblivious to obvious destruction. One of the strongest assets that UYWI brings into the lives of urban leaders is collaboration and partnerships. Bringing leaders out of isolation and helping them establish community is essential to them having sharp vision to build efficient and effective ministries.
We can learn a lot from the Costa Concordia. “In fact, the lifeboats, even the ones that did get lowered, they did not know how to lower them and they cut the ropes with axes,” were the words shared by one of the passengers regarding the ill-preparation of the crew of “The Costa Concordia”. UYWI is committed to making sure that these words will NOT ring true of urban leaders.