Natural disasters: How your church can respond

September 11, 2018

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 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 or 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 the don’t think they quality. 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 from Baptists on Mission on conducting clean up, mud outs and tear outs of flooded homes is available here.

Baptists on Mission is also seeking individuals who would serve as a disaster relief communications contact from every N.C. Baptist Church. This individual would be responsible for sharing information about disaster relief needs in your church and community. To learn more or register as a contact, visit the Baptists on Mission website.


by Baptists on Mission
  /  Baptist State Convention of North Carolina

The beauty of adoption

Mom and dad never called me their adopted son. I was just their son. I was born into an unfortunate situation, but I was adopted into a blessed family. In 1966, adoption was not as highlighted in the American church as it is today. In the spring of 1998, I was a seminary student...

Resolve to pray for and encourage your pastor in the new year

Resolve to pray for and encourage your pastor in the new year Happy New Year! I know that those are welcome words for many of us, myself included. Given the events of the past year, we are all ready to return to some semblance of normal, although normal will undoubtedly look...

Speaker added, registration open for 2021 Disciple-making Conference

Church leadership coach, and author Will Mancini has been added to the lineup of speakers for the 2021 N.C. Baptist Disciple-making Conference, which is scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 23-24, in a hybrid format. Registration for the conference is now open.   Mancini,...

20 ways to prevent and resolve conflict in the church

The COVID crisis, combined with heightened racial and political tension, has triggered unprecedented conflict throughout our nation, as well as in the local church.   Churches are literally dividing over masks, racial policies and political positions. As a result, pastors are...

How you can be an advocate for life

Throughout Scripture, God demonstrates that He has a particular love for orphans. Psalm 68:5 tells us, “A father of the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in His holy habitation.” The brother of Jesus Christ, James, informs his readers in his epistle that orphan care is a...

Pastor, resolve to care for thyself in the new year

Church consultant Win Arn once surveyed members of about 1,000 churches asking the question, “Why does the church exist?” Astonishingly, 89% of those surveyed responded that “The church’s purpose is to take care of my family’s and my needs.”   I thought, “That can’t be right.” So...

Top 5 resources for January 2021

Every month, we spotlight five helpful resources for you as you seek to walk closely with the Lord and make disciples. Many of these resources are created by the staff of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina (BSCNC) to help meet the ministry needs of pastors and lay...

A ready-made family discipleship plan for the new year

The new year is a perfect time for parents to seek the Lord about how He would have you to lead your family. Since parents have been given the wonderful privilege of being the primary disciple-makers of their children, the Lord desires for them to instruct them when they sit at...

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

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

Stay connected by signing up for the N.C. Baptist monthly newsletter.

Select Language ^

Share This

Share this with your friends!