Preparation is important in any area of ministry — it enables us to be more effective as we seek to be used by God to reach or minister to others. The wisdom writer in Ecclesiastes 10:10 declared, “If the axe is dull, and one does not sharpen the edge, then he must use more strength, but wisdom brings success.” Preparing the edge by sharpening the blade will enable the tool to be more effective, just as training helps believers to serve more effectively in response to the survivors of disasters.
Disasters will come. Therefore, let me encourage you to be prepared to serve by being trained. Victims deserve that. Other disaster relief workers deserve that. But most of all, our God deserves that! A little training goes a long way in making us more effective and prepared to serve with excellence for the glory of our Lord.
Here are the top 10 reasons to be trained in disaster relief:
• Training prepares us in our understanding of disasters and the needs that arise in times of disaster.
• Training enables us to respond in appropriate and effective ways in times of disaster.
• Training prepares us to understand our role as part of a disaster team. Emergency managers often list untrained volunteers as one of their greatest problems in times of disaster.
• Training enables us to sharpen our abilities to be most effective as we serve, in order to be an asset and not a hindrance in the response. Spontaneous volunteers typically lack familiarity with situation assessments and incident management. Because of this, they usually end up being in the way rather than providing meaningful help.
• Training helps us to understand hazards and safety concerns in disaster Untrained volunteers are much more likely to be injured in disaster response because they are unaware of risk factors.
• Training prepares us to understand in a deeper way some of the trauma of disaster victims so that we might be able to offer appropriate compassion.
• Training prepares the hands to be ready to serve Becoming trained enables you to respond in times of disaster with needed skills.
• Training prepares the head by giving knowledge to increase effectiveness. Untrained volunteers are often unprepared to work long, stressful days in austere and rugged living conditions.
• Training and relating to a known disaster response group enables better security in disaster areas. Untrained volunteers create atmospheres where scam artists, who seek to prey on hurting and vulnerable people, can get access into disaster settings under the guise of being a volunteer.
• But the greatest reason to train is that God deserves our very best in all that we do — to achieve the best requires discipline, effort and Trainings are an opportunity to grow as believers so that when God calls, we are ready.
Upcoming Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief training:
• Sept. 12, 2020 Calvary Baptist Church in Glasgow
• Jan. 9, 2021 Highview Baptist Church in Louisville
• Feb. 6, 2021 Harlan Baptist Church in Harlan
• March 20, 2021 First Baptist Church of Murray
• April 10, 2021 Red House Baptist Church in Richmond
You can learn how to become connected and register for training through Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief at http://www.kybaptist.org/dr.
Coy Webb is disaster relief director for the Kentucky Baptist Convention.