The overwhelming donations and special offerings for the Haitian people are to be praised but the impact of the one-time gifts will be short-lived, one Charlotte, N.C., pastor indicated.
"Spontaneous generosity is awesome but if you try to build your life on spontaneous generosity you'll never make a real long-term impact," Pastor Steven Furtick of Elevation Church said in a video post.
One of the fastest growing churches in the country, Elevation Church didn't need to take a "special offering" when a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti last Tuesday and left possibly 200,000 dead and millions homeless and hungry.
The megachurch already has a partnership in place with a major humanitarian organization, Samaritan's Purse. A portion of Elevation's weekly offerings is set aside for the organization along with other local and global partners.
"What we found at Elevation is that it's the people who give strategically and regularly who make the greatest difference for the Kingdom of God," the young lead pastor said.
While immediate relief in Haiti is still needed, especially as aftershocks continue to rock the Caribbean island, the country will soon shift to rebuilding efforts – typically a time when much of the media spotlight is dim and the spontaneous gifts are few.
At that time, it's going to be people who give regularly and churches that have a budget set aside for global outreach that make the long-term impact, Furtick pointed out.
Furtick challenged churches to evaluate themselves and ask how they will make a difference for the cause of Christ for years and years to come.
"We're building a lifestyle of generosity so that the needs of people who have a lot less and who are hurting very deeply can be blessed by the church of Jesus Christ," he stressed.
At least 72,000 people have been confirmed dead but many more remain under collapsed buildings. U.N. officials say they may never be able to determine the final death toll.