Our area is facing a major hurricane in a few days. Stores are sold out of bottled water, bread, and canned goods.
Yet, as my daughter pointed out, there was plenty of dry shampoo.
People who would normally survive on coffee and Coca-Cola are buying enough bottled water to feed a small church plant, but they are not buying dry shampoo.
So, our only assumption is that they are using all that bottled water to wash their hair.
I’ve seen churches put their church management software to good use during times like these.
If you’re tracking gifts, talents, or abilities, and you have customized your options as needed, you could potentially run a report on all people who have the ability to board windows or use chainsaws.
I’ve seen churches use their forms feature to give people a way to communicate needs. I’ve seen them use their needs feature to organize help.
Today, though, I want to talk about what we should expect from the local church during this time.
If you’re a church member, or even if you haven’t been to church in years, you may have expectations of the church.
They should be a shelter.
They should provide food.
They should provide water.
That’s not the role of the church.
The role of the church is to connect you to Jesus.
While, many churches have great facilities to shelter people, there are just as many with no kitchens, no showers, and facilities that would make sheltering less than ideal.
What churches should do is offer prayer. They should offer to tell you about a God who will sustain you. And, if able, directions to the nearest official county shelters.
County officials are paid to monitor weather and road conditions.
Hospital employees get paid to treat your medical conditions.
Church employees get paid to help you know Jesus – and make sure there’s soap and toilet paper in the bathrooms. But mostly to help you know Jesus.
Churches should use their social media channels to provide ways for you to connect with Jesus and provide quick links to official news sources.
I have a friend who works for our city government. I’ve been told that their priorities for power restoration are official shelters, hospitals, and police and fire stations. Churches aren’t on that list.
It’s important to realize that church employees also have homes (despite popular belief, we don’t live at the church), and that they may not have power or ability to communicate.
But it’s also important to realize that church employees are probably losing sleep. Because it’s more than a job – it’s a calling. A calling to serve and love people.
Your local church may look different during a disaster. Church leaders may not be able to navigate flooded roads. Downed power lines may make it impossible to print a bulletin or follow normal communication channels. A few years ago, a hurricane hit our region and several churches were closed the following Sunday morning. The churches that were open operated with “skeleton crews” and limited resources, but it didn’t stop them from sharing The Gospel.
We’ll weather this storm. The effects won’t last forever.
God is steady and unchanging.
And the church will do what it takes to give you what you need. You need Jesus.