the shape of leadership

Preparing to Minister in Times of Crisis

461 Response equips and connects church leaders

From school shootings to natural disasters, tragedies can strike communities with little or no warning. In such times, people often look to churches for comfort and aid. Is your congregation ready to respond?

Assemblies of God U.S. Missions Chaplaincy Ministries is preparing and equipping churches to answer the call for help with 461 Response. Since its launch five years ago, this network of AG churches, districts, and individuals has focused on providing outreach and ministry during times of trouble.

The name 461 Response comes from Psalm 46:1: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

The ministry offers training that prepares and qualifies churches to respond to critical incidents before they occur. It can also assist after a crisis happens, by helping churches provide disaster relief, counseling and more. The 461 database connects church leaders with valuable resources, including ham radio operators, volunteers and experts in various areas of crisis response.

The name 461 Response comes from Psalm 46:1: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

In addition, 461 Response helps church leaders respond appropriately to individual crises within the congregation, such as an unexpected death, a house fire or a devastating medical diagnosis.

“It doesn’t have to be a large-scale disaster,” says Chaplain Mike Reighard, director of 461 Response. “It can be an incident that’s traumatic for local people or the local church. We train ministers on how to respond to those traumatic incidents for individuals or groups.”

Involvement in the 461 Response Ministry begins by connecting with the 461 Response website. Here, AG churches, individuals and ministry organizations can enter their ministerial profiles, skills and gifts to become part of the 461 Response database. Districts administer this database for use in times of crisis, wherever they arise.

In addition to training churches, 461 Response works with ministry organizations, law enforcement, response agencies, community organizations, individuals, hospitals and other groups that provide assistance in times of in need.

“The AG’s 461 Response ministry is a collaboration of all the participating Assemblies of God churches, individuals and ministry organizations working together to fulfill the Lord’s commission in presenting the good news to those in need,” Reighard says.

“Please consider participating, praying and supporting the efforts of 461 Response Ministry as we move forward in this endeavor.”


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