How Does Your Church Most Often Respond Financially to Far Away Disaster Relief?

Lately it seems like we have had a surge in natural disasters.  The U.S. has been hit with two hurricanes, flooding, and severe fires. Mexico was with a hurricane followed by an earthquake. The Hurricanes ravaged the Caribbean islands. Japan, Burma, China-- and a number of other regions have been hit with flooding, earthquakes, or other disasters.

I am not equating these with end time prophecies, only saying it seems more than usual lately.  These things always occur, and sometimes they cluster.

So what does your church handle being involved with disaster relief.  I assume that we all pray for these victims, and for God to somehow use these things for good and bring Him glory.

But when it comes to contributions, what do you do?  For local tornado relief, we might collect food and toiletries.  But for these big ones, we steer people to Samaritan's Purse.  A pastor friend says his church takes up a special offering and sends that offering to Samaritan's Purse.  For disasters in our country, some churches collect food donations and truck them over.

How does your church handle it?   Feel free to comment, because it is impossible to capture every potential response toward financial aid.

You are also encouraged to share ideas.



We steer people to an appropriate Christian relief ministry (Samaritan's Purse, our denominational relief agency, etc.)
33% (6 votes)
We steer people to a secular relief group (like Red Cross) or a number of groups, some secular.
0% (0 votes)
We take up an offering and forward the monies to a relief organization/group.
28% (5 votes)
We might collect monies, but usually also collect supplies and truck them to a relief organization or bring them out.
0% (0 votes)
11% (2 votes)
28% (5 votes)
Total votes: 18
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There are 7 Comments

C. D. Cauthorne Jr.'s picture

Your "other" votes might change if you added the category "Nothing."

Larry Nelson's picture


For the 2004 tsunami in the Pacific [ ] we took up a special (separate) offering one Sunday (around $38,000 as I recall) and sent it to a relief organization (I don't recall which one offhand).

For hurricane Katrina in 2005 [ ] we did similar.

For Hurricane's Harvey & Irma, we haven't collected a special (separate) offering, but the leadership decided to send a donation to World Relief straight from our benevolence fund, and for the past couple of weeks we've been telling the congregation to specify part of their offerings to that fund if they wish to participate.  (I haven't seen a figure yet.)

Larry Nelson's picture


A couple of years ago, the Baptist church in Tennessee that our pastor grew up in suffered a fire that heavily damaged its building.

We (somewhat surreptitiously) took up a collection and sent them a fairly sizable check to help with expenses.  They (and our then relatively new pastor) were both surprised & grateful.

Ron Bean's picture

Having been on the receiving end of assistance after a hurricane, here are my suggestions:

-Give money to a group that knows what they're doing when it comes to this kind of thing (Samaritan's Purse, the SBC, NOT the Red Cross!)

-If you send stuff, make it useful. Water, hygiene kits, etc. 

-Sending food is problematical, most people have no means to cook. (Thankfully my family lived MRE's)

-DO NOT SEND CLOTHES!! Especially used clothes. We saw mountains that were unused for lots of reasons.

-If you know someone personally who's been affected, find out what they need and send it. This was the most touching thing for us. Our University alumni association sent us a couple of older but usable computers. One family that was retiring and downsizing offered to truck down their house full of their furniture. (We had to say no.....we didn't have a house to put it in.)

"Some things are of that nature as to make one's fancy chuckle, while his heart doth ache." John Bunyan