On Wednesday, September 28th, 2022, the job description of every pastor in Southwest Florida was immediately revised. Pastors became first responders, grief counselors, food and clothing distribution hub coordinators, mission team hosts, insurance adjuster advisors, and the list goes on and on.
Local Pastors will be at the front of the line to give help and at the back of the line to receive help. And without our help, many will burn out and leave the ministry.
Within days, PastorServe was contacted. We have repeatedly been invited to come to Florida to specifically provide assistance to pastors in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian. We have been invited to serve by Naples pastors, Fort Myers pastors, churches, networks, and ministries. This is the ninth time PastorServe has been invited to serve pastors following a natural disaster. PastorServe will help.
Over the years, we have cared for thousands of ministry leaders who have experienced devastation from fires, floods, and tornadoes, as well as serving alongside pastors who need support in their personal journeys.
One heartbreaking fact discovered by PastorServe (and supported by FEMA data) is that after a natural disaster, more than half of the pastors and ministry leaders who are personally touched by the disaster will resign their church and move away from the affected community within the first three years.We watched this happen in New Orleans, Houston, Joplin and many other cities. History tells us that many of the pastors will be emotionally unable to withstand the stress that will result from this disaster. Many churches will not meet for months and will subsequently close. Sadly, urban churches and church plants will be the first casualties. PastorServe will work to keep pastors in the place of their calling.
Our specific calling is to serve the pastors and ministry leaders who serve the community. It’s not the job of PastorServe to have a vision to rebuild and restore Florida coastal communities. It’s our job to find leaders already being used by the Lord and support them in their vision to rebuild and restore the surrounding region.
As we serve pastors in Florida impacted by Hurricane Ian, we will be offering tangible relief in a variety of ways, including:
- replacement of salaries,
- payment of rent/mortgages,
- provision of groceries and urgent needs,
- coaching for crisis management,
- rest and retreat opportunities to help exhausted pastors refuel,
- family and marriage counseling.
We cannot do this alone. We need partners from every sector - individuals, businesses, foundations, and churches - in order to fulfill our calling of relief, restoration, and refueling for the spiritual leaders of Southwest Florida.
In order for Southwest Florida to truly recover from this tragic disaster, we must care for these pastors as they care for their communities.
Will you join us?