Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Prepare! One Simple Tip to Help Your Church

Sometimes we don't think about disasters until they strike home. If I could share just one simple tip for you to prepare for disaster it would be this. Share phone numbers and set up a phone tree to see that everyone in your church is checked in with after a disaster strikes.

How you do this is not as important as that you make sure that everyone is on someone's list. You don't want to learn after a disaster strikes that nobody checked on one of the widows or elderly members of your church.

One way to do this is to assign people in the church a manageable list of people to check in with. How many names are manageable depends on the size of your church and how many people you have who can volunteer to make calls. Just make sure you have current phone numbers and that the people who are supposed to call have access to telephone service. Sometimes land lines go down but cellular towers are still intact. Sometimes both are out of service.

Just for the sake of giving you an example, here is what a small church might do:
  • The pastor calls the elders and deacons and makes sure that they all have telephone access.
  • Elders and deacons each have a list of names to call. If a family/person cannot be contacted by phone, you might consider sending someone to their house to check on them. 
While we did not have this system in place when tornadoes ripped through our community in April 2011, within an hour of the first tornadoes hitting we had church members in our driveway checking on us. Phones and electricity were out and I was cutting trees that fell and blocked our street (a dead end) so I didn't hear my cell phone ringing. Having those church members care enough to check on us meant a great deal. I encourage you to develop a plan that would help to make sure that all of your church members are okay.

And don't forget to check on your neighbors too! In a later post I will share how a natural disaster can help you to connect with, and minister to, your neighbors.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Thanks to the Tennessee Valley Presbytery MNA Committee

Thanks to the Tennessee Valley Presbytery MNA Committee for allowing me to speak to the assembly last Saturday about my new role with MNA. I enjoyed visiting Highlands Presbyterian Church in LaFayette, GA and hearing Rev. Tom May open the word.

I am looking forward to visiting the Northwest Georgia Presbytery on January 30.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Free Subscription to the PCA Magazine, byFaith

Did you know that the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA) has a magazine? Did you also know that you could subscribe for free on their website? They do accept donations, but subscriptions are available at no charge.

The byFaith website has an excellent archive of articles, so be sure to check it out also.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Home Heating Safety

Embedded image permalinkAs colder weather kicks in, please remember to exercise safe practices with space heaters, fireplaces, or wood stoves. FEMA recommends that you keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from heating sources.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Disaster Response Article in byFaith Magazine

Mission to North America Disaster Response was recently featured in byFaith Magazine. To view the article, which discusses the MNA response in South Carolina flooding, click here.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Check Out the MNA Website

Be sure to check out the Mission to North America website for information about our parent organization. MNA coordinates church planting and outreach ministries to serve PCA churches and presbyteries in North America in their mission to grow and multiply biblically healthy churches.

MNA ministries include:
  • church planting
  • chaplain ministries
  • disaster response
  • ESL ministries
  • prison ministries
  • second career ministries
  • short-term missions
  • and more
Please visit the website and learn about all that the ministries that MNA oversees.