I am Mary Marr, the Founder, President and Administrator of CEN. Please feel free to contact me regarding any questions via email firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 520-577-6589. Next slide
In one sentence…Christian Emergency Network unites Christian volunteers, community leaders and emergency professionals in equipping the Church to be aware and ready to respond in emergencies large and small.Let me tell you a simple story……
During Hurricane Katrina, which was a large domestic emergency, a little girl in AZ asked Jesus to help the children who had lost many toys and treasures as well as their families and houses. She got up the next morning and called her friends asking them to gather up their vacation Bible school papers, instructed them to color some new ones, and to bring their paperback Bibles to her house. The children carefully packed up these treasures with notes of love and asked her Mom to send them to the children in New Orleans. Given her Mom had heard about how CEN could assist volunteer response on a local radio station she called CEN and asked, “Where can I send these?” Why is this simple story a macro-view of CEN? Because a little child with a humble heart of prayer moved her friends to a loving act of kindness by sharing their resources where the Gospel was then lovingly shared. Emergencies often spur on a Pray, Care and Share response which encourages a lifestyle of sharing in less traumatic times. By soliciting the help of CEN these treasures were placed into the hands of CEN partner The Salvation Army who delivered them along with the Campus Crusade Katrina booklet with the healing words of Jesus. How beautiful and powerful is the body of Christ when it responds in unity like this! Yet, all too often we see the church fragmented in areas where we know that if equipped with the a biblical focus, a sound logistical plan and with a cadre of willing ready Christians we could impact the world for Christ much better together than separately. Most Christians have a heart to serve, many have served in emergencies large and small, and often are well positioned in the community to “help with the heart surgery that comes with disasters.” However… There is often a logistical problem within churches, between churches, and in the greater Christian community as well as logistical challenges with the non-Christian world it serves. Can we agree we may have a logistical problem in the Church today? Next Slide
The Church has a dilemma and often stands alone. When emergencies occur it may not feel it can respond to all the needs in the community or may not possess all the resources to do so. The Church often experience “disconnect” with other churches and may not know how to connect with on another. Story: Demographics- five-mile radius single Mom problem, disconnect The Church often feels disconnected from secular agencies, such as the government Do you agree the church has a huge need?
The Church is “called” to meet a community need in emergencies large and small - from a family crisis, local disaster or to national scale emergency. According to the New England School of Medicine study 90% of people in crisis will ask, “Where is God in this?” this is a huge spiritual opportunity! Statistically, there are increasingly more natural disasters in scope and frequency with fewer resources – bigger than government can handle And, realistically we must admit that according to a recent SBC study when 83% of people in the U.S identify themselves as Christian yet only 17% attend church or less than 3% invite someone to church we have a huge crisis. The Church often feels isolated and incapacitated to biblically respond. This is THE emergency given our times! What about individual Christian isolation? Next slide
There are many Christians within the church with a heart to respond. But, like the problem in Tempe AZ, where church leaders came to realize their own lack of biblical readiness to pray, care and share the Hope of Christ in emergencies large and small they took a hard look just like Nehemiah, and came up short. This is not unlike many communities. Christians may lack training to respond by sharing their faith effectively, they may lack knowledge in what the Bible says about caring for their families survival, yet have a heart to respond. Christians have at times not connected the Gospel to the water. 87% of volunteers to FEMA disasters are FB/Christians yet we have been seeing a diminishing of church attendance. Christians obviously have a heart to respond, but often lack the guidance in the “how to honor God” when others are in crisis. While the secular community only measures readiness in terms of saving ones self, the Church is called to a much higher standard of being biblically ready to respond spiritually, emotionally, mentally as well as physically. The problem Tempe Arizona, like so many other communities, is the Church was not biblically ready to respond as one through praying, caring for survivors and sharing Christ, the true rescuer, sensitively and effectively.
Not only does your church have this problem, but many other churches face this problem as well. You are not alone… At Cen we find many churches and Pastors have neither programs to support Katrina type emergency, nor do they have a have a strategy for an emergency at home.
Let’s look at the big picture of how this worked with CEN national, state and city leaders, government, media organizations during the recent shooting of Congressman Giffords and other leaders in Tucson, AZ. Did you know that within two hours of the Gifford shooting IN TUCSON, local churches and organizations, government and media had a working command center in place less than a mile away from the shooting site and that FBI and other federal and local law enforcement agencies were amazed at how seamless they were able to plug into the process?This response was not one Christian responder organization, or one large church; it was the Christian community at large. They said they had never seen anything like this before! Can you imagine the impact your city and church could have if it were to have a part in the preparing process that could have an immediate impact for Christ like this? There are enough churches organizations and resources available but the problem is a lack of planning together before a response These logistical gaps between Christians, churches, city networks, government and media are sometimes huge, right? Next slide
To accomplish this God-size need the Lord led CEN to develop three core readiness programs with numerous other local and city support services, products, and expertise to assist Christians worldwide. Whether it is equipping an individual, church, city network or organization three key principles apply: Christians must Network, Prepare, and then biblically Respond to emergencies large and small.CEN offers three core readiness trainings to equip Christians to network, prepare and respond. Once an individual, church or organization assesses its own level of biblical readiness each of the core trainings are then broken down into these three major steps in order to be ready for emergencies big and small on a local basis. • ReadyChristian equips individuals to support one another in becoming spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically ready to give an answer in word and action for the Hope we have in Christ in the midst of any emergency. • ReadyChurch equips the staff, the congregation and a pastoral selected church emergency team for the local church to be biblically ready to respond both inside and outside the church. ReadyChurch also assists neighboring local churches to support each other in readiness and response. ReadyChurch also forges the ReadyChristian campaign within the local church. • ReadyCity equips city leaders who have a passion to help their Christian community as a whole to be ready to respond together. Next Slide… The CEN participants, the Ready programs and the support services fill these gaps…
The CEN participants, the Ready programs and the support services fill these gaps… And, CEN fills these logistical gaps and seamlessly integrates and coordinates the Christian response before, during and after a crisis through………
…..facilitating working agreements between Christian organizations to share resources, bringing Christian leaders together to focus efforts on critical needs, providing biblical readiness training to prepare Christians spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically for crisis response and maintaining infrastructure for communication and coordination. It is the opposite of a top-down ministry rather CEN is locally driven and sustained with resources and decisions. Next Slide
Christian Emergency Network is uniting all parts of the church locally, to biblically respond to crisis and disaster. CHRISTIAN is defined by agreement with and adherence to the Lausanne Covenant Statement of Faith EMERGENCY is defined by any crisis large or small where the local Church is uniquely called to respond NETWORK is defined as the ability to come together in biblical unity to accomplish an agreed upon mission and vision BIBILCAL READINESS STANDARD is defined by being spiritually, emotionally, mentally and physically ready to respond personally and with others as scripture teaches Christian Emergency Network is a biblically-based readiness ministry which trains and encourages Christians to be aware of God's purpose in uncertain times, to assess their response, and then to stand strong and respond biblically in any crisis. When courageous, mature Christ-followers are praying, caring and sharing effectively in emergencies God transforms the heart for all eternity. CEN engages individual Christians, thousands of churches, local and national Christian ministries and organizations. CEN trains Christians to locally self-organize locally, to self-sustain church and citywide responses, and to mobilize the greatest biblical response to emergencies, which will Glorify Our Lord.
Before CEN, what was lacking? A clear Biblical Readiness Standard that as Christians we are simply not ready unless we are replicating our faith! A clear step-by-step pathway for the Christian community at large to live out the biblical readiness standard!
For the church and the city it all starts by forming a leadership team that has common understanding of roles. CEN adopted the “National Incident Management System” after completing its first networking pilot in Santa Rosa, CA. What is the Role of the CEN Leadership Team?Support relationships, services and resources- i.e. threat information serviceManage administrative functionsNational communications and collaboration structureOversight of the terms and conditionsGatekeeper of the Mission and VisionManage national incidentsAdd products, trainings or services for the networkValidate covenants and agreementsDetermine and manage new readiness programs10. Manage the church advisor team which includes the pray, care, share
CEN benefits the body of Christ in that it trains Christians to self-organize locally, to self-sustain church and citywide responses, and to mobilize the greatest biblical response to emergencies by assisting in: Personal Preparedness - Many Christians are not ready to take care of themselves, their families or their friends in an emergency. CEN equips them in applying the Biblical Readiness Standard to survive and give an answer for the eternal Hope of Christ when others are hopeless and helpless. In the first month offered online, CEN had over 300 Christians download the free ReadyChristian training because CEN has made provisions there is no financial hindrance for ANY Christian to be prepared! Organizational Preparedness – While businesses, schools and public institutions are mandated to have a contingency plan in place, the Church has largely not focused upon its responsibility to prepare and be ready to minister when crisis may even upset or devastate their usual programs or ministries. CEN assists churches to develop emergency operations plans and churches save money on insurance premiums. CEN provides not only a preparedness program but also a place for all Christian organizations to play a role. Most ministries like to have an emergency component to reach the Christian community at large but not all of them are emergency ministries. National ministries, such as the National Day of Prayer, may not have an emergency aspect to their ministry, yet they want to be involved. CEN provides National Day of Prayer for example, a platform for them to develop timely accurate and response National Emergency Prayer Alerts which gives them an emergency component where they have expertise. Motivation – The perception, even among Christians, is emergencies and especially disasters, are remote possibilities. Yet, every day people are caught in a crisis with nowhere to turn but the Church. CEN helps to break through the myth that 'a crisis will not come near me' so that as God desired, the Church would be intentional about ministering effectively and biblically to emergencies of all kinds. CEN assists the local church and city network to assess their risks objectively and realistically for community threats with a plan to address them. For example, developing an emergency operations plan for 18 million people who may unexpectedly evacuate from a nearby major city. Structure – Seems like today, even in ministry, everyone is working off of a different game plan and competing for the same dollars, same message and same volunteers. Government and non-government rules and regulations can be complex and contradictory. Figuring out who is in charge, who to partner with and what to prepare for are not always obvious. Added to that each church or city may have varied risks or emergencies. The CEN structure provides a pathway to organize, keeping resources local and self-managed, all while connecting to the larger Christian community of believers worldwide. CEN provides a non-competitive non-hierarchal structure to respond locally. Emergency Management will tell you they find churches that are part of the solution rather than the problem to be a blessing. Resources – While the Church provides 89% of all volunteers to large disasters, there remains a lack of resources that are specifically geared towards Christians and Christian organizations to respond. 50% of all churches today are non-denominational with little or no platform for disaster response, yet they have the heart of Christ to do so. Experts explain emergencies are best managed locally and Christians need locally focused resources which CEN provides. God has provided an abundance of resources when Christians gather them in unity. The church is vulnerable to those who seek Christian resources desire without the Gospel being shared. As biblical stewards Christians need to protect and strategically respond together. CEN provides a pathway to share resources locally, nationally and worldwide in a secure way where the churches own goals are protected. And, CEN provides a threat information service that is not found elsewhere. In addition, CEN spares the cost of expensive church campaign materials with uniform branding yet customizable materials. Awareness – The scope of the problem of any given disaster may not clear, nor is the spiritual opportunity clear. However, what do you think would have happened if Christians had been ready for 9/11, or Katrina...or for that matter, the next disaster or crisis that comes our way? Being informed of the times we live in, the threats faced by our local communities and churches is our responsibility. Unless we choose to take the blinders off, however, we will miss many opportunities God has for our own good. CEN helps to bring a biblical awareness to emergencies large and small for believers to stand strong in any crisis. While New Life Church was going through a pastoral transition they had been working with CEN on their operations plans when a single shooter penetrated their sanctuary. Many lives would have been lost had they not been aware and ready to respond according to their plan. Faith – Do we believe we are needed to respond to emergencies? Do we see it as a biblical mandate to be ready? Will we take God at His word and show our trust by doing what He has asked us to do? Hebrews 10:24 remind us to spur one another on to good deeds. CEN endeavors to inspire and increase faith that will stand strong in the midst of any storm. When the Indiana bleachers fell in Indianapolis, the leaders of ReadyIndy were there ready respond in faith because they were prepared as ReadyChristians. If they had not been praying on the sidelines they would have been part of the casualty list.
There is a biblical response role for everyone in the network: Christians – To stand strong with others in crisis by praying, caring and sharing Churches – To raise up a body of believers who stand strong in crisis, reach out to their neighbors and community in any emergency, and to only deploy when ready Cities – To live out Christian unity and service both within and with other communities in order to mobilize the entire Christian community not merely first responders, business, education, all segments to fill a roleSuppliers- To provide products or services which support the Church’s own biblical readiness response Media – To support the Christian community with updated, current, accurate alerts and advisories, threat information source Ministries- To provide strategic support for the Church such as National Emergency Prayer Alerts, opportunities for deployment, or providing incident-related Gospel presentation events Emergency management – To manage the incidents, disaster organizations, and liaison roles connected to community Security management – To provide a trusted two-way channel of communication, security training and education Government – To provide a compatible structure local, state, national with parallel NIMS compliant roles Trainers – To train others using their expertise to biblically respond Church Advisors – To encourage churches to assess their own level of readiness to respond, to procure one or more of the ready programs, and to celebrate the success stories of churches that are “ready to respond”.
Discover Christian Emergency Network v2.11
Mary.Marr@christianemergencynetwork.orgFounder, President and Administrator520-577-6589
The CEN ProjectThe Vision Christian Emergency Network unites Christian volunteers, community leadersand emergency professionals in equipping the Church to be aware and ready to respond in emergencies large and small.