A paradigm shift is an important change that happens when the usual way of thinking about or doing something is replaced by a new and different way that depends and replaces a prior paradigm. In the New Testament, God's people came from any and all nations. The original New Testament word for “church” ekklesia literally means “called out.” God's people were called out of every nation. This was a huge paradigm shift for the early followers of Jesus.
In our early days of our ministry, a Board Member shared some valuable advice. Wayne, a retired University Professor, recognized that a paradigm shift was essential, in order to accomplish what we were hoping to achieve. He felt for the church to engage, there needed to be a clear understanding that FEPI is a tool and practical opportunity to be 'salt and light' in the community. Bridges of Love's Faith Emergency Preparedness Initiative (FEPI) is a church resource provided to fulfil God's Great Commandment, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. ' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: `Love your neighbour as yourself." The paradigm shift - the church is not just helping Bridges of Love achieve our goals - we are also providing a tool for the church to fulfil God's Greatest Commandment (Matthew 22:36-40).
We understand the church is inundated with requests from well-meaning ministries that are looking for partners for whatever cause they represent. It is not feasible to be involved and support every activity that comes their way! However, we recommend that each church supports one 'home' mission by carefully accessing what is being presented to determine if it lights a fire within their congregation members.
Including local churches in Emergency Preparedness planning is indeed a paradigm shift! Traditionally, the local Emergency Management Agencies handle this activity, or denominations have a national team ready to step in for the recovery phase. Local churches whose members are engaged in emergency preparedness before disaster strikes are indeed forward-thinking, for these times of increased extreme events.