Hurricane Katrina and our MBC churches
September 20, 2005
Hurricane Katrina will be in the forefront of our nation’s news for many months, maybe years to come. I have been very blessed to see and hear of the generosity that is pouring out of our Missouri Baptist people. When tragedy hits, you can count on our people to respond – whether it is a tornado in Missouri or Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf.
We will continue to do all we can to keep you apprised of ministry opportunities and need. Let me suggest that you regularly visit http://www.mobaptist.org/home/mbcdr for daily updates. We will post them on this web page as we receive information.
Many of our Disaster Relief team members will be deployed for up to three weeks at a time. They will return home for a couple of weeks and return to the disaster sites again. Many of our Missouri Baptist Associational Camps have opened their doors as temporary shelters for hundreds of those fleeing Louisiana. Check with your local association office and volunteer to work and witness in these camps.
You can support the various relief efforts by giving a Disaster Relief gift through your church to Missouri Baptist Convention Disaster Relief (MBCDR). Every penny of every dollar given will go to Disaster Relief. Unlike other charitable relief agencies which need to deduct from 15 to 18 percent for “administrative costs,” 100 percent of your MBCDR gifts will be applied to the relief efforts and victims.
Did you know that we have had 347 Southern Baptist churches and 107 missions either destroyed or damaged severely? There is a need for Missouri Baptist Convention churches to enter into two- and three-year partnerships with these damaged churches in order to re-establish ministry and physically rebuild them. More details on this opportunity will be coming as we obtain the list through our North American Mission Board partnership.
If you want to personally and physically work on one of the Disaster Relief Teams, visit www.mobaptist.org/home/mbcdr and fill out the application. The list of physical requirements are listed there as well.
Now, back to the home front … YOUR CHURCH.
October has become a month for believers to remember, bless and honor “those who labor in the word and doctrine,” as expressed in I Timothy 5:17. This is why October has been designated as Pastor Appreciation Month. Should you appreciate your pastor? The Scripture teaches this to us. Consider:
Your pastor(s) are gifts that God Himself has given
• “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” Ephesians 4:8-12 (NKJV)
If your pastor(s) serve with a joyful heart, it is good for you!
• “But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.” Heb. 13:16-17 (NKJV)
Would God be pleased if you blessed your pastor(s)? How can you bless your pastor(s)?
• “Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. For the Scripture says, ‘You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,’ and, ‘The laborer is worthy of his wages.’” I Timothy 5:17-18 (NKJV)
• “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in the power of your hand to do so.” Proverbs 3:27 (NKJV)
These are just a few of many passages that instruct us to be a blessing to our pastor(s). Many churches bless their pastor(s) and wives with special love offerings to show their appreciation. Why don’t you encourage the personnel committee of your church to bring a “Blessing Plan” to your church family. If you don’t have a Personnel Committee, then I would encourage the Chairman of the Deacons at your church to be the leader in this effort.
It’s great to receive a blessing, but it’s even greater to BE a blessing.