For the Propagation of the Gospel, Part 2

This is the next installment of my previous post, For the Propagation of the Gospel. I had initially planned to give more than one item in this post, but my reasons for changing my plans will be obvious to you, I hope.

Items 1 and 2 appeared in the prior post. I give you:

  1. The Southern Baptist Convention Helps People in Disasters As No One Else Does. Southern Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers are in Oklahoma. They have been working in Granbury, TX, and in West, TX. When a disaster shows up, the yellow caps will not be far behind. How well do you know SBC Disaster Relief?

    1. SBC Disaster Relief is a volunteer organization. So many people involved in the broader world of disaster relief are paid to be there. It is truly remarkable that SBC DR volunteers do what they do. Disasters are not scheduled in advance. Right now people all over our region are dropping everything, traveling long distances, and giving their time all day for several days, and all of this with a few hours’ notice and for nothing in return. That says something about what Jesus Christ has done in the hearts of Southern Baptists.

    2. SBC Disaster Relief is primarily a ministry of our state conventions. As someone who has advocated for leaner, smarter, more efficient state conventions in the past, it is important for me to note that I believe in the work and the mission of our state conventions in Southern Baptist life. Disaster Relief is a shining example of why state conventions are important. It is at the state convention level that units exist, are mobilized, are largely funded, and are staffed. Volunteers are trained by state DR organizations and are called out by them. Of those few people who are paid to administer our DR efforts, most of their salaries are paid out of the in-state portion of your Cooperative Program gifts.

    3. SBC Disaster Relief is the third-largest disaster relief volunteer organization in the US (or maybe the second), behind the American Red Cross and (perhaps) The Salvation Army in terms of the number of workers. I think this is amazing, especially since Disaster Relief is the main emphasis of ARC and TSA, but is something that many people don’t even associate with Southern Baptists.

    4. Whatever small amount of overhead there is for SBC Disaster Relief is covered entirely by the Cooperative Program and other sources: 100% of your gifts to SBC Disaster Relief actually goes to help victims of disasters. That’s not true about money that you might give through many of the other organizations that you see on television. It is logically impossible for you to find any place to give that will get more of your money to actual disaster relief in Oklahoma than if you give through this link.

    5. The Southern Baptist Convention carefully trains and equips our Disaster Relief volunteers so that they are really able to make a difference. Training is important, because disaster situations already have enough chaos without people’s importing into the area their own additional chaos in their responses to disasters. Every SBC volunteer has been through yellow-cap training. Most have been through specialized training beyond that level. My wife volunteers with SBC Disaster Relief. If the amount of hours I spend babysitting the kids is any good measure of it, our volunteers are well-trained! And that’s a good thing, because effective work in a disaster situation is far more likely to open doors for the gospel than is ineffective (or counterproductive) work.

    6. SBC Disaster Relief is more than mobile kitchens. Southern Baptists have a full panoply of disaster relief services to offer in times of crisis. Not every state will have every kind of unit (because, again, DR is primarily the ministry of the various state conventions, but here’s a list of just a few of the kinds of units that SBC DR can activate:

      1. Mass Feeding
      2. Chainsaw
      3. Cleanout
      4. Temporary Roofing
      5. Child Care
      6. Chaplaincy
      7. Communications
      8. Shower/Laundry
      9. Water Purification
      10. Asset Protection
      11. Box Ministry

      I’m sure that there are more than these, and I don’t even know what all of these are. Southern Baptists have a diverse and effective response ready when disaster strikes!

    7. SBC Disaster Relief exists for the propagation of the gospel. Southern Baptist DR volunteers train to share the gospel. They are encouraged to share the gospel. They are able to promote and to extend the ministries of local churches in disaster-affected areas. They build goodwill for Southern Baptists in areas that have been historically difficult for us in gospel work (ask about SBC DR volunteers in New York City, for example). DR has great potential for the propagation of the gospel.

So, as you think today about what you’ll do for the victims in Moore, OK, don’t forget about what you’ve already done, just by being a contributing part of a Southern Baptist church. And if God should lead you to do more, I can’t think of a better place for you to give and serve than through the Disaster Relief organizations of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Comments

  1. Dave Miller says

    I appreciate this series on various levels. I know that our convention is far fro perfect, but we have a lot going for us – some very good reasons for people to not only be a part, but to actively participate.

    Of course, right now our disaster relief effort is front and center once again. DR made a huge difference in Iowa during the 1993 floods – gave us credibility that we otherwise never had.

  2. Dale Pugh says

    Ii had the privilege of working to form the first disaster relief team in the Northwest Baptist Convention after the MLK Day Earthquake in Los Angeles. Gary Floyd led out in our efforts. It was some the hardest and most emotionally draining ministry I’ve ever done. It was also some of the most rewarding ministry of my life. I encourage you all to consider taking up a special offering to give to your local DR team as they respond to these disasters. It will be money well used.

  3. says

    Bart, thanks for this post. Most in our church do not come from SBC backgrounds, so these kind of things are always helpful in helping them understand just what the SBC is. I sent it out to the church.

    Ronny

  4. says

    The church I pastor just joined the SBC in March. Thanks for this information. It will assist me in helping our church better understand how our ministry/outreach is greater now that we are cooperating with other churches. Pray that this will be used to expand their vision in reaching others overseas and at home.

  5. Frank L. says

    Clarification: Is it true that any gift to OK Disaster RElief will go 100% to the effort in OK. That is, no administrative fees will be taken from that amount to pay salaries, etc.

    I know that is a “common belief,” but does someone know if this is the gospel truth?

  6. Bart Barber says

    I can’t find a postable link for a comment, but if you’ll look at my Facebook page, you’ll find video of Brian Williams and Harry Smith talking about SBC DR:

    “If you’re waiting for the government, you’re in for a long wait. The Baptist Men are going to get it done tomorrow.”

  7. Jess Alford says

    Bart,

    Thank you for the continuation of this series, It is truly God’s work.
    I would be a volunteer if I could see.

    Bart, by posting this reveals alot about your character. I thank you
    so very much, God bless.

    You would be one of the first ones to say it’s not about us, it’s about the hurting.

    • Dale Pugh says

      Jess, check with your local state Baptist Men’s group. I’m certain they’d welcome your help in some capacity. If you can see well enough to comment on here, you can see well enough to be a help in this much needed ministry.

      • Jess Alford says

        Dale,

        On these comments, there are black words surrounded by a white
        background that is lighter than pages on a book. This allows me to see
        the words. Thank you, I will do some checking.

        I can also make my words bigger on here.

        • Dale Pugh says

          Ah, well, that makes sense. I’m sure they could find a place for you, Jess, and I know you’d enjoy the experience.

  8. Dwight McKissic says

    Bart,

    Thanks for featuring the Kingdom of God on display through the disaster relief efforts of the SBC. This is a ministry that all Southern Baptists can appreciate, celebrate, and in some way participate, without hesitation or reservations. May God bless the work of the disaster relief team.