Our tragic Hurricane Harvey has a golden lining: thousands of people praying, caring, & sharing their faith while working together to rescue lives and meet needs caused by that crisis.
But what do you suppose will happen when the spotlight shifts to the next public crisis? Yes, you're probably right: Emotion, money, and momentum will move mostly to that next media moment. And then the next one after that.
As a fellow disciple with you, and in the context of discipling others whom you influence, may I suggest some brief, basic observations and recommendations?
• Many non-Christians are also significantly helping victims of Hurricane Harvey.
• It is common to care in a crisis.
• Although it is both practical and vital for Christians to care in a crisis, that alone does not distinguish Christians from people of other faiths. (Ponder 1 Cor 13:3.)
• Selfless love [agape] -- the "love" in 1 Cor 13 -- is steadfast. It takes that critical 1st step of care, but continues beyond it. This love continues after the media spotlight turns away. That is one of its distinguishing features. Like the steadfast love [hesed] of God toward us.
• Effective disciples cultivate agape love (1 Cor 13). This alignment of heart/attitude/behavior is directed upward to God as a daily act of personal worship.
• But selfless love (secondarily)also provides a distinction, and a model for mentoring other Christ-followers (John 13:35).
• One significant way we can bring a smile to our Father's face is for us, as influencers of others, to pray & plan wisely for the post-crisis phase of this trauma.
So . . .
3 Suggestions - Thru your church, parachurch ministry, and/or an informal group:
• As you pray, care, & share in your response to Harvey's tragedies, embrace and embody agape love as an act of personal worship to Him.
• Model Christlike character [agape] to another of His disciples, mentoring and including that learner as a participant in your response to Harvey.
• Plan and delegate where possible the continued discipling of Harvey victims. As God's Spirit works, bring them (1) to faith in Christ and then (2) to maturity in Christ.
Your thoughts on this? (comment below)