People are helping all the time. We like helping.
Everyone wants to be a hero. Disaster hits, and heroes fly in for the landing.
But some crash land.
Those who come ill-prepared need rescuing themselves.
Those who come enamored with desperation make poor judgments.
Those who come to help, but lack common sense, however brave, run around without a plan and get in the way of those who really are helping.
Then there is the help that is no help at all. After a crisis, they helper comes with outdated or unneeded aid.
Does the church want to help? Then remember, it is not the churches need that needs helping.
To help: be prepared. Have common sense. Act accordingly. Offering outdated words about God is the same as offering outdated medicines and rotten food.
Moreover, when people are starving, we must give real food, not Twinkies. When people are battling disease, we must give them accessibility.
When in a crisis yourself, do you want someone to give you Viagra or a truckload of basketballs?
Empty churches are churches that give useless sermons, or that have forgotten how to help. The same principle holds in helping as in healing: First, do no harm.