This morning we gathered as a staff and spent some time praying for everyone affected by the devastating tornadoes that swept through Moore, Oklahoma last night. In seeking to live out Mark 12:31, our staff has been busy today putting together a plan to help our body step up to be the hands and feet of Jesus to those who are in need.
3 Ways You Can Be Involved With Disaster Relief
The author of 1 Thessalonians 5:17 reminds us that we are to “pray continually” and we see again in Philippians 4:6 that we should “not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” With this in mind, the most effective way a believer can be involved with any disaster relief is to continually pray to our Creator that holds the whole world in the palm of His hand.
As often as you can pray for those affected by tragedy and heartache, please do. You can pray alone, as a family, with your community group. The important thing is that you “pray continually.” Psalm 34:17 reminds us that God hears our prayers, so be encouraged that your prayers are not in vain. To quote our pastor Todd Wagner, “The day we start to believe that prayer is a form of inactivity is the day that all our activity will be done in vain.” (Ps 1271-2; Hebrews 11:6)
A large part of any disaster relief effort is responding to the enormous financial needs of those affected by the disaster. Todd shared with the body this morning in “The Current” (Watermark’s weekly email communication with our members) five reasons our giving together is more productive than responding alone.
- Giving together gives the glory to the body, which exists to glorify the Church Head, Jesus Christ.
- Giving together increases the renown of God’s people as we continue the tradition of the early church in providing for the needs of others in our community and world. (Acts 2:44-45, 4:32; 1 John 3:17-18; 2 Corinthians 8:12-15)
- Giving together builds and strengthens partnerships between the larger body of Christ and deepens the commitment to work together and to learn from one another.
- Giving anonymously through the body allows the individual giver the opportunity to give in a way that removes any nefarious motivation – God alone gets the glory. (Matthew 6:1–4)
- Giving anonymously through the body removes the direct donor/solicitation issue that: a.) Consumes much of the receiving organization’s time. b.) Can cloud an individual’s judgment in giving, which is often done without consulting others, or out of a desire to not disappoint the person or organization make the request. c.) Considerably reduces the opportunity for receiving organizations to recognize the giver in a way that scripture cautions. (James 2:1-7)
To help you as you pray about how to give Todd also has shared in the past that there are some downsides to “giving anonymously together including:
- Giving this way can be seen as an attempt by the body to control peoples giving habits.
- Giving this way inserts a layer of separation from donors and organizations that could threaten the awareness/relationship the giver otherwise would have with the organization.
However you choose to give. Give prayerfully, with trusted and vetted ministry partners, for the good of others and the glory of God.
Knowing that many of you would like to be a part of the disaster relief efforts by making a financial contribution, we have established a relief fund to assist those specifically affected by disasters – like the recent tornado in Moore, OK – and will direct 100% of these monetary gifts to trusted ministry partners that we have vetted and maintain relationships with who are expert in assessing and coordinating relief, rehabilitation and development.
If you are interested in joining us in giving wisely and in what we believe is a God glorifying way visit our: disaster relief fund page.
Matthew 25:34-40 calls us to serve those in need, if you feel led to volunteer in person you can connect with one of our partners on the ground in Granbury, TX and Moore, Ok with the Samaritans Purse.
- Granbury, TX – SP’s base of operations there is located at Stonewater Church on 911 E Hwy 377, Granbury, TX. If team size is 10+, call 817-408-5345 the day before arrival. Teams must arrive by 7:30am, bring a bag lunch and water, be prepared to help with debris cleanup at this time.
- Moore, OK – the link to sign up for SP volunteer opportunities is http://www.spvolunteernetwork.org/getting-started.aspx – Team leaders should sign-up to lead a team through the SP website and then build a team to take, shepherd, and serve alongside. Once a team leader signs up, SP’s staff will contact the leader directly to determine the team size, makeup, skill set, and dates to serve. Please let us know if you decide to lead a team at Shoran@watermark.org.
Everyone Can Be A Part Of Disaster Relief
We are always encouraged by how our body responds to those in need and are blessed to be able to connect you with ways to do so. Each of the ways listed above is equally important in serving those affected by disasters, and we encourage you, your family, or your community group to be involved in any way you can.
Thank you for living out Matthew 5:16.
If you have any questions please leave a comment below.