When disaster strikes

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Without wanting to sound apocalyptic, we know that we live in very uncertain days. One Christian leader has predicted serious inner city problems. Blogs provide a good forum to discuss such issues – here is some very balanced and sensible discussion about his prediction at Monday Morning Insight. It is certainly a very possible scenario – a prolonged recession, unemployment, repossions etc will bear down most on the people at the bottom of the pile, and they will not necessarily react with the patience that newsreel of 30’s soup kitchens seem to suggest. This recession will be likely be harder and longer than anything most of us have seen, and it will take many years to sort out and pay off the mess created by the kindly bankers and their mickey mouse money schemes. Spare a thought for unemployed in Japan, who have to sell nearly everything before being entitled to unemployment benefit.

In evangelism and ministry, it is crucial to have the ability to respond quickly to the needs created by disaster. ATS Tracts are geared to producing a new leaflet within a week of a critical tragedy. TheLife.com outreach site frequently redesign their home page within hours, around the needs and questions raised by a specific disaster.

Being prepared in advance is a key to effective action and ministry. When any disaster strikes, many people freeze and delay in making choices. On 9/11, of Morgan Stanley’s 3,800 employees, only 13 lost their lives, because their head of security had constantly drilled them into how to act in an emergency, so it became instinctive, as reported in How to Survive a Disaster.

Since disasters may happen with increasing frequency, we need to discuss in advance how our church, organization or website could respond in ministry to different emergency scenarios. It is worth pointing out that our response should be identical, whether or not we believe any particular disaster to be a ‘judgment’. The Bible encourages us to visit people who are in prison, irrespective of their guilt.

And see our post How people become Christians – it’s a process that very often starts due to a life crisis. Ministering to Felt needs in evangelism is vital and biblical.

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