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

15 vital things you can give your pastor

October is pastor appreciation month. As a pastor for 25 years, here are some ideas for things your church can give your pastor:Give him a place.Give him a place where he is free to preach the gospel.Give him a place where he is accepted for who he is, not compared to who he...

Why I’m excited about this year’s Pastors’ Conference

The past year has been difficult. The world we live in today looks quite different than it did just 18 months ago. Many things we were accustomed to doing have either disappeared, been restricted, or have changed, for better or worse. One of the biggest changes was the separation...

The local school: A great place for church ministry

For the most part I really enjoyed school. However, there were some aspects of the time that I enjoyed more than others. I enjoyed the learning, the socialization, and of course, the sports. I found most of the assignments manageable with the exception of writing papers. Sitting...

Ready or not, here they come! Evaluating your church with fresh eyes

Is your church ready for guests who may visit your church after first watching online? Are you ready for members who may return after an extended COVID-19 break? What steps can you take to make a great first impression and reintegrate those who want to reengage with your...

Why personal evangelism is a key ingredient for turnaround churches

Many pastors and churches today are struggling. Pastors are discouraged, and some are leaving the ministry altogether. It’s been estimated that more than 80% of churches are plateaued or declining. Yet, some churches are seeing a turnaround. A fresh wind is blowing. These churches...

Looking forward to being on mission together

In late August, a series of organizational changes were unanimously approved by our state convention’s executive committee aimed at advancing all of us forward as a movement of churches on mission together. We’ve been working toward implementing these changes, and I hope that our...

Fostering and adoption: Why forever matters

“Which one is my mommy now?” I never imagined a child asking someone to point out who their mother was. However, the little blonde-haired girl named Ally, who I was holding that day, had already lived with three different families in the span of 15 months since she and her sister...

10 principles for leading in church revitalization

Many churches in our world today are in deep need of revitalization. In order to lead your church in revitalization, there are some basic principles you must follow. Here are 10 principles for a revitalizer: Be humble. You must swallow your pride, humble yourself and love even...

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!