The Ministry of Sunday School in Times of Chaos

Friday 6th March, 2009

Kentucky has just experienced the worst natural disaster in the history of the commonwealth. The winter ice storm led to hundreds of thousands without electricity and as a result without heat, water (electricity is required to purify and pump it), or employment. It was so bad in some whole western Kentucky counties that residents were told to go somewhere else for five weeks.

These are the very times in history that God desires to make Himself known. And in many cases, His people have shown His love! Disaster relief teams (hundreds of people) have responded from all over Kentucky and something like twenty-two other states. They have voluntarily given their time and energy to help people through preparing hot meals, chain saw crews, and so much more. And in the process, they have had about two hundred opportunities to share the good news of Jesus Christ. As a result forty-two persons have accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord. I have heard some of the testimonies, including a woman in her eighties and two men in their nineties! Wow, what a great God!

In addition to these hundreds of disaster relief volunteers, pastors, deacons, Sunday School teachers, and others have checked on members, neighbors, family, friends, and even people they didn't know. The body of Christ reached out in love and concern. They helped where and how they could. Meals were prepared and shared. Those with electricity shared with those without. My family had a young adult at our house for a few nights. Neighbors helped neighbors. I had a neighbor who cut limbs out of the street for me from one of the two trees we lost. I had no chain saw and no way to get one at the time.

And in the weeks following the disaster, I have heard testimonies of churches whose attendance has spiked. One this week told me that they had guests in every age group this past Sunday. There is insecurity in our nation right now due to our economic downturn. The loss of jobs, the decline of investment income, and the recent weather-related impact upon Kentucky's economy has led to people who are searching--searching for answers, for reassurance, for hope, for relationships, and even for God.

In this time of chaos, God's people must stand up and be counted. They must reach out and care. They must mobilize in love. They must look for and listen to needs around them. They must respond to what they see and hear. They must realize that the harvest is already white. Ask people how you can pray for them. Ask how you can help them. Then mobilize your Sunday School class or Sunday School as a whole to help.

Don't sit back and wonder what you can do. Plan your response. Be ready when these times come. Develop your communication and response plan. Be sensitive to the Spirit's leadership. Pray. Have love. Do love. Be revolutionary!

For additional ideas about responding with care, check out these blog posts:

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