Purpose Driven Urges for Spiritual Support of Gulf Coast Pastors

Sponsoring churches are being asked to call pastors that they’ve adopted in order to help with their spiritual needs.

Up to that point, sponsoring churches in the Purpose Driven network only committed to paying pastors a $5,000 salary each month for three months.

But since Hurricane Katrina devastated the U.S. Gulf Coast in August, Purpose Driven ministers have found that plenty of pastors are hurting, and have nowhere to turn.

Often pastors can’t complain of their hurts, says Lisa Keyes, who is coordinating the effort.

“Everyone is looking to you to be the strong person,” said Keyes.

For the second leg of the response, Purpose Driven staff members are asking that the adopting church support the pastor spiritually, with prayers, but with the hope that the church may then choose to meet physical needs too, such as replacing a pastor’s library, sending a work crew, or donating cash.

Christian relief programs that are following a similar model of pairing congregations to families who evacuated from the U.S. Gulf Coast have found that the response from churches has been slow.

“It's been a little slower than we thought," admitted the Rev. Susan Lockwood, on the staff of New York Disaster Interfaith Services. She attributed the slow response to Thanksgiving and Christmas.

At a press conference in November, Purpose Driven network head and Saddleback Church senior pastor Rick Warren said, “I have a heart for pastors.”

This heart of his may explain why the ministry has brought hurricane relief down to the level of the individual pastor.

Pastors need building supplies, work crews, and Sunday school materials for their churches, an article from Purpose Driven states.

“And even if adopting churches can’t meet these needs, they can pray with the pastor for the needs to be met.”