Equip your church with the resources to be a Ready Church. Commit to respond to crisis needs in your community and to share the Gospel while doing it. In the future, when a family or neighbor experiences a fallen tree, or an unexpected basement flooding, will your church be ready with a team of volunteers to provide relief?
Cast a vision among your church members and call for people within your church to take the next steps to respond. This can be done through a focused sermon or sermon series.
Some sermon ideas for this include Luke 10 (The Good Samaritan) and Matthew 9:35-38 (Jesus’ care, compassion, and commissions).
Next steps include:
- Have your church members fill out this interest form to let you know what their interests are and if they have any skills to offer. If you would like to digitize this process and develop a database of volunteers, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for a resource suggestion to manage this information.
- Develop an inventory of your church’s resources by filling out this inventory form. What does your church have that can be leveraged for the sake of the community? This can include resources like a van, shelter, food, comfort, care, finances, hygiene items, fun, entertainment, belonging, education, etc.
- Download the Church Opportunities and Action Sheet to get ideas on ministry opportunities your church can get involved in.
It is important to connect with people within your church to monitor the needs that may arise in your community. Also, connect with other local churches, the SBC of Virginia, emergency management, and community leaders.
Once you have all of this information gathered and a volunteer base who are prepared and ready to respond, your church is ready to meet needs as they come up. Remember, your resources and your volunteer base will dictate how often and how long you will respond to a local community crisis. SBCV DR stands ready to consult and partner with you as you respond in your community.
What is a "Ready Church?"
A Ready Church is a church that commits to respond to crisis needs in its community with an equal commitment to sharing the Gospel. The commitment is the critical ingredient–not resources, buildings, or talents.
How is Ready Church different than Disaster Relief?
- Ready Church meets “smaller” needs. A crisis is an event or situation that causes human suffering or creates human needs that cannot be alleviated by those impacted (for example, a house fire). A disaster occurs when so many people in a community experience a crisis that the community cannot effectively respond to the disaster without help from outside the community. Disaster Relief is designed for wide-spread crises. Ready Church is designed for a local church to address small-scale crises in its community.
- Ready Church responds to local needs, under the direction of the local church (or perhaps a group of local churches if you partner together with other churches.) Disaster Relief responses tend to be more widespread and are under the direction of the Relief Ministries Coordinator.
- While Disaster Relief has a minimum age of 18 to respond, minimum age for a Ready Church response is decided by local churches and is based on the type of crisis.
- Disaster Relief has MOU’s (Memorandum of Understanding) with government and private agencies (FEMA, Salvation Army, NAMB, etc.) that cause it to be somewhat inflexible out of necessity. Ready Church is highly flexible and can be customized to fit the context of each church, community, and crisis.
How will SBC of Virginia help my church become a Ready Church?
- Trainings: SBC of Virginia’s Disaster Relief ministry provides occasional trainings in evangelism, spiritual first aid, flood recovery, feeding, and chainsaw, etc.
- Networking with strategic partners and experienced Disaster Relief workers for coaching and how-to’s.
- The SBC of Virginia is able to provide Disaster Relief equipment and resources to SBCV churches.
While the local church “steers the bus” and is the final authority on the actual project(s), the SBC of Virginia can empower each church involved through supplying resources and ideas to better impact its community. However, the work accomplished by a Ready Church is performed by the local church or a group of churches.
SBC of Virginia wants your church to know it is not alone in reaching its community. We are right beside you and are here to celebrate what God does through the local church and promote the power of a Ready Church!