What causes a priority to be moved higher on your church’s list?

  • When the old church roof leaks again, but this time into the sanctuary during Sunday worship… the new roof gets bumped up the Trustees’ list.
  • When a faithful elderly member can no longer descend the stairs to her Sunday school class….the long-overdue elevator lift suddenly receives funding and gets done.
  • When a teen injures his head during a basketball game, and no first aid kit can be quickly located….the Youth Ministry Team quickly invests in more kits even though they had been low on their budget wishlist.

These urgent challenges may not be disasters, yet they shape church priorities. A disaster is an event which in a matter of seconds, minutes, hours, even days, damages the ability to sustain life without assistance. Disasters may include: tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, fires, earthquakes, explosions, toxic spills, nuclear accidents, civil unrest and other community-wide occurrences. These disasters may be either natural or human in origin.

Has your church and community made planning for disasters a priority? “Why should we?” you say? We’ve never had a disaster here before! Sadly, this is the most often stated reason for dismissing the need for such planning. Any church that has been through a flood, fire or tornado will tell you, “If only we had prepared better, the human suffering, damage and time to recover would have been much less.” Now they know better, and have prepared with a church Disaster Plan, shared in training, and reached out to their community. Click here to learn how Franklin Grace UMC turned a disaster into ministry opportunity. 

This church, Franklin Grace UMC, will again host the Mission and Justice Summit on Saturday, March 21. There, you will find disaster preparedness and response training for local churches as well as many other mission workshops and resources.

Disasters have happened, and disasters will happen. We cannot stop them. We can prepare. We can plan. It is time to place disaster response planning high on your church priority list THIS year. Your Indiana Conference Disaster Response team has resources to help you. Training, free curricula, and questions to begin the conversation.

To learn more contact your Conference Disaster Response Coordinator, Rev. Cindy Garver.