By Don Owens
After a tornado hits your town you have a lot of time to think about how you might have been better prepared. In my reflections, I realized I received no training to deal with this or really any type of crisis situation from any ministry conference I attended, any of my seminary training, or any message I had heard a pastor or teacher give. I think the most important thing someone can do is to pass on information they have learned from their own life experience, especially when it can save lives! Not only should we be prepared for our own congregations in the event of a natural disaster; we need to be ready to serve our communities in tangible, practical ways. It’s an opportunity to show them the love of Jesus at a critical time. Consider implementing these types of training for your staff and volunteers on a regular basis.
1. Get first aid training
This is probably one of those items you consider from time to time but have not made a priority. Now more than ever, you need to have this available for your entire congregation. If you can, offer it for free or at a discounted price. You just never know when this training could save a life. Perhaps you can host these classes for the community at large.
2. Set up an emergency plan
When a natural disaster hits your hometown you don’t have the ability to send out a message to everyone telling them to meet in a specific location to begin assessing what needs there are. By setting up an emergency plan, members will know what to do and how to do it, even if they can’t communicate with you.
3. Offer training on how to minister to others in crisis
The times people have the most questions about God is in a crisis. Equip your people to be able to minister to others in crisis and not just on a daily basis. Offering your people some training on how to deal with the tough conversations can go a long way in showing someone the love of Christ. Offer different sessions perhaps with Christian counselors, EMT workers, or other medical personnel.
This article “Three Things Every Church Should Do – In Case of Emergency!” by Don Owens was excerpted from: www.volunteercentral.com web site. February 2009. It may be used for study & research purposes only.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”