You can read in my last post about the logistics of how we pulled a day camp together following Hurricane Irma. In reflecting on how it came together, it occurred to me that there were a few things in place already that made the quick planning possible.
While I don’t recommend planning a camp in 36 hours, just for fun, I do recommend you continually improve these three areas. I strongly believe that having these three components in place will benefit your ministry on a week-to-week basis and will also provide a great foundation when times of crisis or emergency come up and you don’t have time to create any of this.
- The Holy Spirit leading. I know, I know. That answer is such a “Sunday School” answer. But from the beginning thoughts of an idea to the implementation, we just kept saying, “This is a God thing.” One of my greatest ministry fears is doing things in my own power. I’m grateful for leaders who are filled with and choose to follow the Holy Spirit.
- Leadership who will own it. Sometimes in ministry, the ministers are guilty of having to own and run everything and we let our leaders “help”. I don’t think that is Biblical (Ephesians 4:12) but it is certainly not healthy in times of crisis, big or small. Our kidmin leadership team owns the ministries that they lead. They pulled together a camp because just a few months ago they coordinated a large-scale VBS. If I led as if the ministry only depended on me and I was the only one who could lead, if VBS was solely directed by me, then this ministry opportunity couldn’t have happened. I was driving 13 hours when the majority of the planning needed to be done. Make sure in your ministry your volunteers have opportunities to not just help, but to lead and own the ministry that’s happening.
- Volunteers who are well-trained. We did not have time to do the training you would typically do before a big event. Fortunately, our team already knew child safety procedures, how to deal with behavior and other key things because these are things we consistently train on. They even reminded me of some things in the middle of it (oh yeah, adult only bathrooms…). I was so proud of them but also reminded of how consistent training is so important.
- Efficient communication systems. Before the storm existed we already had several consistent forms of communication. We use Remind to send texts and Constant Contact to send emails. We already have groups for parents and volunteers established in those systems. In Constant Contact we also have the email addresses for any family who has attended a special event over the past couple of years. We were able to quickly get the word out to our people because those systems were established. Again, it would have been very difficult to access that information and create those systems in the midst of the chaos of the storm.
What would you add to this list? What systems do you have in place now that you know would help should a crisis come up? Please comment and add to our list!