How your church can respond and minister during a natural disaster

September 3, 2019

Natural disasters can wreak havoc on a community. While churches are not immune from the impact of these events, they play a vital role in ministering to the community before, during and after a calamity.

Here’s a list of several things that your church can do to minister and serve your community in the midst of a natural disaster.

  1. Prepare to serve your members.
    Before a disaster strikes, create a contact list of all your church members. If you already have such a list, make sure it is updated and includes their address, home phone, mobile phone, email address and emergency contact information.
  2. Know what resources you already have.
    Develop a resource list that includes people who would be willing and available to serve after a disaster, as well as equipment and other materials. Find out what resources exist within your local congregation.
  3. Check on each member.
    Following the disaster, contact each member to do a wellness checkup. Respond to any life-threatening issues first, and then try to resolve property issues like cleaning up flooded homes, removing fallen trees, covering displaced roofs, etc.
  4. Look for other opportunities to serve.
    Assisting your church members will probably create opportunities to help their friends and neighbors. This is a great opportunity to be the hands, feet and voice of Jesus during a difficult time.
  5. Use your facility as a shelter or respite center.
    If your church is accessible, free of damage, has power and has the appropriate facilities, consider using your building as a shelter or daytime respite center. Providing a place for people to take a shower, use the restroom, receive a hot meal or take a break is a way to meet many tangible needs immediately following a catastrophic event.
  6. Offer assistance to local officials.
    Contact your local government officials and first responders and offer to help with challenges they may be facing. No job is too small or menial. When they see that you can be trusted, they may turn to you for additional ways to help.
  7. Provide transportation.
    Transportation can be a great challenge following a calamity. If roads are deemed safe and passable, consider how you can help people get to doctor appointments, visit shelters or recovery centers, go to the grocery store and more.
  8. Point people to other resources for assistance.
    You won’t be able to meet every need in your community, so point people to other resources for assistance. Encourage people affected by the disaster to register with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), even if they don’t think they qualify. Registration is the first step to recovery.

Additional information and disaster preparedness resources are available from the Emergency Management Division of the N.C. Department of Public Safety. Additionally, Baptists on Mission, also known as N.C. Baptist Men, post updates to various incidents that the disaster relief ministry is responding to on its website. A training video on conducting clean up, mud outs and tear outs of flooded homes is available here.


by Richard Brunson  /  N.C. Baptists on Mission  
/  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

Better together: Missionaries and churches need each other

Recently, I spent a week in Europe with a missionary family from our church. For over 10 years, we have partnered with and supported this family as they labor in a very difficult mission field. While there, I attended a newly formed church that, by God’s grace, they had planted....

Reflect and ask ‘What are you thankful for?’

As a part of my personal devotion times with the Lord, I love to read and meditate on passages from the Book of Psalms. Many of the Scriptures in Psalms are expressions of praise and thanksgiving, and I often find myself praying these verses back to God as a way to express my own...

NC Baptists highlight church planting, ‘Who’s Your One?’

GREENSBORO, N.C. — North Carolina Baptists commissioned more than 100 church planters and were called to prioritize personal evangelism during their 189th annual meeting held Nov. 11-12 at the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center. The meeting drew 1,387 messengers and included two...

Annual Meeting day 2 highlights

More than 1,300 messengers from Baptist churches across North Carolina gathered at the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, N.C., on Monday and Tuesday, Nov. 11-12 for the 189th annual Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s (BSCNC) Annual Meeting. The theme of...

NC Baptists approve budget, pass bylaw amendments

N.C. Baptists approved a $30.5 million Cooperative Program (CP) budget for 2020 that increases the percentage allocation to the missions and ministries of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) for the 14th consecutive year. Despite an overall budget reduction of $500,000,...

Hollifield: ‘Get engaged in God’s great work’

Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) Executive Director-Treasurer Milton A. Hollifield Jr. exhorted North Carolina Baptists to “get engaged in God’s great work” during his address to messengers on Tuesday, Nov. 12, at the 2019 Annual Meeting in Greensboro. Evoking...

Annual Meeting day 1 highlights

More than 1,000 messengers from Baptist churches across North Carolina gathered at the Joseph S. Koury Convention Center in Greensboro, N.C., on Monday, Nov. 11 for the opening session of the 189th annual Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s (BSCNC) Annual Meeting. The...

Convention announces new focus on church revitalization

Members of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina’s (BSCNC) executive committee praised a plan announced by convention leaders to help pastors and churches across the state in the areas of church health and revitalization. During the executive committee’s regularly...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!