An online preparedness guide and consulting for city leaders.

Identifying Community Resources

The ReadyCity mission is to help the local Christian community network prepare and respond to emergencies. Christians are often unaware of their existing capabilities or how easily they could develop a capacity to serve. Often what they do on an everyday basis is the foundation for a sound emergency response. It is why 89% of volunteers in emergencies are faith-based and largely Christian. The ReadyCity helps Christians see the possibilities, make a commitment, prepare and then activate when called upon.

Christians are often the first to respond, to donate and the longest to remain active in recovery after disasters. Yet they could do more if local leaders made a case for their involvement and their responses were coordinated with good stewardship at the local level. Coordination serves churches and the surrounding communities well during non-crisis times too, to connect people in emergencies to the services of Christian churches and organizations. Emergency or non-emergency, the strategies, structure and tactics are essentially the same.


For the last 70 years, since the end of WWII, people in the U.S. have grown less accustomed physically to keeping their pantries stocked, their tanks full, and their emergency locations known. In the spiritual arena, some experts now indicate that less than 17% of Americans are identifiably Christian. That is, their lives are not guided by Godly Christian principles with strong spiritual walls resilient to attacks of all kinds. Many Christians are hard-pressed to indicate five people with whom they work or see regularly that they are praying for by name or sharing their faith. The spiritual and physical “walls” of our country, our homes, and our personal lives are broken down and need to be rebuilt. Nehemiah presents a clear pathway on how to seek others to help rebuild our physical and spiritual “walls” personally, in our home, church, nation, and world:

  1. Acknowledge our spiritual walls are broken
  2. Pray for God’s help to rebuild our walls
  3. Read God’s word and listen to Him for directions on how to rebuild
  4. Seek the help of advisers and others who will help rebuild our spiritual walls
  5. Determine the strengths and contributions of those who will help us rebuild
  6. Ask our rebuilders to make a specific contribution to help rebuild according to ability
  7. Covenant in writing with rebuilders so both can rebuild and stand in a crisis
  8. Follow a long-range and resilience-rebuilding plan
  9. Evaluate the rebuilding resilience progress
  10. Account for what rebuilders are doing to rebuild resilience
  11. Resolve any disagreement between rebuilders immediately without compromise
  12. Celebrate each resilient-building step and give all the credit to God

Our task today as Christians is to first recognize our own broken “walls,” to work in unity with others who want to help us rebuild, to daily rebuild our own walls, and then to invite more people to come join us on our journey with Christ. Download the Memo of Understanding Agreement Template to sign a commitment with other churches to develop Biblical Readiness in your church and community.

Wouldn’t you agree we can do more when we work together?

John 17:21 records Jesus' prayer for the unity of his disciples just before his execution.

"My prayer for all of them is that they will be one, just as you and I are one, Father - that just as you are in me and I am in you, so they will be in us, and the world will believe you sent me."

Unity is critical to the success of our outreach efforts.

The people of Israel resisted God and refused to prepare for what Jeremiah said was coming. They suffered. Mordecai and Esther stuck together, based upon an old covenant of care, and saved their people from ethnic cleansing.

Nehemiah rallied a rag tag bunch of citizens of the destroyed city of Jerusalem and district-by-district rebuilt the walls, the homes, and the moral fiber of the people. Jesus demonstrated that a life of obeying God could prepare a person for the harshest of treatment. Paul crisscrossed the globe building churches and encouraging them to care for each other. Acts 2 describes how the Church grew as they met together, prayed, cared for each other, and shared everything they had. When persecuted, they turned constantly to God in prayer, and he rescued them.

Who is your church or ministry partnering with?

Partnering with at least one other church is required for the unity factor involved in true biblical readiness. In this section you will prayerfully assess your church’s Response Group area and begin the process of identifying and selecting key churches, media, businesses, or other Christian groups to partner with. Here’s why:

  1. Emergencies are best responded to locally. In disasters, it will be 72 hours to a week (and in some cases up to two weeks) before first-responders can even reach your area. ReadyCity is the first on the scene.
  2. Emergency managers won’t let you into a disaster area unless you have pre-agreements - signed memorandums of understanding (MOUs) regarding what your church or group of churches will do, by when and with whom in the community. Churches make ideal partners; but they often make the mistake of turning over their facilities without ensuring their mission is not compromised or letting others take resources and leverage off them, all while prohibiting churches from presenting the Gospel. Partnering with other churches strengthens what you bring to the emergency manager because they only want to work with a few, not hundreds of churches individually. Begin partnering with your CEN ReadyCity.
  3. Crisis happens every day, far more than any church can handle. Agreeing to focus on areas of expertise expands the capacity of the greater church to respond. A church can spread out its support among many members and help more people than if every church is trying to solve every problem or address every crisis. Just as your church has selected an emergency focus, so should your partnering church, according to God’s lead.

Envision how you will impact your community as you join other churches to tackle current crises...and prepare for the unexpected. A ReadyCity in Indiana was able to recently test their network capacity and their response plans. In November 2012, they had an explosion in a neighborhood. Because of their Biblical Readiness and networking with other churches, they were able to Biblically Respond.

You can read more of their story in the downloaded material, “ReadyIndy News Release.”

Partnering with other Christian organizations: Who are you partnering with for readiness?

  • Map the churches and Christian organizations operating in your city response group area.
  • Invite them to a get-to-know-you meeting, or set aside time at a regular area pastors’ meeting to share the importance of being a ReadyCity working together.
  • Present the ReadyCity campaign.
  • Select one organization to be your partner in the ReadyCity campaign and encourage the other organizations to pair up. Partner organizations will encourage each other and hold each other accountable to the Biblical Readiness Standard.
  • Identify all the ways each of you could offer help to your city in crisis and disaster.
  • Sign an agreement with these organizations to stand together in readiness, response and recovery stages, and agree to share resources locally which will help those in personal crisis.
  • Form your ReadyCity.

ReadyCity Strategies

  • Network Leader Development – a systematic approach to identifying, recruiting, training and advancing leaders.

  • Network Building – a process of connecting Christian leaders, churches, and organizations into a local network of those who have taken ReadyChristian and ReadyChurch training.

  • Network Initiatives – Capacity-building campaigns that get the Church, and then the surrounding community ready to respond.

  • Network Mobilization – Developing infrastructure and procedures to respond to crisis and disaster.

  • Network Communications – Regular and consistent coverage of network activities, successes, and impact on the community.

Understanding Effective ReadyCity Networking Principles

CEN’s ReadyCity is modeled after the Mission America Coalition city-reaching principles that align with the CEN mission.

The mission of the City/Communities Ministries Team of the Mission America Coalition ( is to identify, connect, resource, and empower the transformational leaders who prayerfully facilitate churches and ministries partnering for holistic evangelism, revival, and spiritual awakening. The vision is to serve transformational leaders who collaborate with local congregations and ministries to proclaim and practice CHRIST FOR THE CITIES. The passion is to see the whole Church taking the whole Gospel to the whole World and beyond.

CEN was born out of the Mission America Coalition and has adapted the principles to emergency response. CEN is a type of city-reaching movement and can be started independently or in collaboration with existing networks.

ReadyCity leaders are encouraged to visit for inspiration, education and collaboration with other city leaders.

City Reaching begins by answering the following 7 Questions.

  1. What do you see God doing in your city? Key Principle – instead of creating your own agenda, we need to discover what God is doing and begin cooperation with Him. List how you see God at work in your city.
  2. What is the proof of His activity? (Prayer, Partnerships, Evangelism, Reconciliation, Other)
  3. What are the greatest barriers in your city for the advancement of the gospel? (Within the church and outside the church)
  4. What are the highest priorities for the advancement of God’s Kingdom in your city/community?
  5. Which of the resources available to us can help us meet those priorities?
  6. What kinds of national evangelism initiatives could help you reach your city/community for Christ?
  7. What can you do better together than you can do separately to comprehensively reach your city/community for Christ? (Give examples of collaborative efforts)

By answering these questions, the ReadyCity leaders prepare to have a conversation with other local Christian leaders to make the case for the need, urgency, and opportunity of establishing a CEN ReadyCity. Sometimes it takes the recognition of the importance of coming together in an emergency response to bring the Christian community together.

Seizing the ReadyCity Opportunity

There is an increasing desire, from both faith and municipal leaders, to work together for the benefit of the people in the community that they serve. More are realizing the essential need to collaborate for solutions to the growing needs of the city. The problem – and opportunity – lies in how the Christian leadership can first come together to present a united front.

Real Life Example:

CEN was meeting with a few “city reachers” to discuss the ReadyCity opportunity. During this meeting, CEN Founder Mary Marr asked the question, “What is the current Christian emergency in your community?” The frustrated answer was, “We don’t know; we can never come together to even discuss such a question.” At this, Mary replied, “There is your Christian emergency!”

The Conclusion:

The answer to their dilemma is to work together for the solution…but how? They should begin a discussion by finding a connection based out of the situation. They need to identify the many obstacles, the greatest being the desire of leaders to build their own kingdom, rather than the kingdom of God. Then they can discuss other obstacles such as doctrines and methods. The questions once again surface: Is there a solution? How do we find a solution?

Becoming the ReadyCity Solution

Christian Emergency Network (CEN) ReadyCity presents an opportunity that is successful in bridging insurmountable chasms within the Christian community and municipal leadership by creating an infrastructure that produces a “safe place” for dialogue, preparation, and service. Even though CEN is a national organization with over 7,000 associated ministries, including Christian media and thousands of churches, all initiatives are chosen and managed by each ReadyCity, which is self-organized, self-sustained, and self-mobilized. The bottom up, not top down, approach works better than the hierarchy approach because resources, both human and material, which are kept local are better managed with less waste, distributed more quickly, and are available for a longer period of time.

The key is to create a level playing field where leaders initiate a Christian project through establishing a ReadyCity alliance to build a platform for unity to respond stronger together.

A ReadyCity provides:

  • A “SAFE PLACE” for dialogue
  • A plan to initiate, and together sustain, the project
  • A level field where all have a role to play
  • A network to develop an alliance into a platform for unity and connectivity to the greater Church community. Below is a chart that outlines the process for recognizing and removing barriers to unity.

ReadyCity Covenant

The purpose of the ReadyCity Covenant is to define the relationship between, as well as the rights and responsibilities of, national CEN and local ReadyCity leaders. Response Groups, and their members in order to fulfill the desire of God’s heart – to seek and save those who are lost, hurting, helpless, and hopeless – in unity. Just as Nehemiah asked the leaders who agreed to rebuild the walls of the city to sign a covenant committing to honorably follow through on what and how they would work together, so too does CEN follow his example by providing a ReadyCity Covenant so that the working agreement is clear and biblically-adhered-to for the mission and vision of CEN to be accomplished together.

The CEN ReadyCity Covenant sets forth a common purpose, identity and authority structure to facilitate biblically- based action and collaboration within a ReadyCity, their Response Groups, and between multiple ReadyCity Response Groups, all working within geographical areas that have been defined and pre-determined by CEN based upon zip codes.

For a full, downloadable copy of the ReadyCity Covenant,

Networking is key to the success of the ReadyCity process as it takes a city/community working together to accomplish the goals of training ReadyChristians and ReadyChurches to be prepared to respond in times of disaster.

Network Principles: Connecting Christian Churches and Groups

Gather Information/Knowledge

Prior to initiating contact with Christians and community leaders, it is essential that time is allotted to gather information about your State/County/City. This involves a “fact-finding” mission entailing knowledge of municipal government as well as the faith community. Three key areas for beginning the search are your state website, local Citizens Corp, and news articles regarding the previous emergencies or disasters. All of these are easily accessible through internet searches with most articles linked from your State/County/City website.

Knowledge of Faith Community

The second “fact-finding” mission will be to gather information on the faith community within your city. The best place to start is the ministerial association in the area. Most of the time you will find two of these in the community: one strictly evangelical and the other interfaith or ecumenical. The reason for this search is to gather the names of the leaders and the focus and/or purpose for each group. Knowing the names of the leaders and something about their ministry is helpful when discussions begin.

Network Principles: Opening Lines of Communication

Making an Appointment with the “City Reachers”

After your information is accumulated, you will then make an appointment with the City Reachers. When you call, It is good to give them your name, phone number, email address, the CEN website,, and the name of your ReadyCity. Also, ask for their name and email address so that you can follow up the conversation with a thank you email.

When you place the call and during your meeting, be prepared to initiate a conversation on why you asked to meet with them and what you want to speak to them about.

First Question

The goal for the first meeting is to communicate what ReadyCity is about: the body of Christ being AWARE, READY, and THERE in emergencies both large and small and the importance of training for biblical readiness. This is normally accomplished by asking the first question that you have been preparing for, “What is the Christian Emergency in our city?” This question is to encourage the leaders to go beyond what they normally speak about and reveals the main reason for their involvement in their city.

Now your training and preparation pays off as you hear and listen for the passion. Some will be taken back by the simplicity of the question and will begin to give their “normal” response, especially if there is a lack of trust or even suspicion of your “true” intentions. Having removed your personal agendas and issues, you can ask questions freely to help get past the rhetoric and into the passion.

Second Question

Once you hear the passion, then you are now ready to ask the second question, “How can the ReadyCity work together to address the Christian Emergency in our city?” Most of the time, the leader will have some emotional response by saying, “I don’t know.” This is mainly because no one has ever before asked them that question.

If they have an answer how you can serve them, you must take the challenge and never decline the opportunity.

Remember, you have CEN ReadyCity experiences and resources that will support you in your commitment to serve. You are part of a broader collaboration.

At this part in the process, it is important to keep in mind that you and the city leader are on the same ground because both of you have never “been here” before. This coupled with your CEN ReadyCity Covenant (what you will do, how you will do it with the national network), and based upon the doctrinal clarity and unifier of Lausanne Covenant, you have the basis for doing something that is unique in your community: the ReadyCity model. Now you are ready to broach the subject of participating in ReadyCity to assist their city reaching existing passion or future activity.

Network Principles: Sharing Information and Resources

Sharing Information and Resources

One of the foundational questions asked in the networking process is: “What can we do better together than we can separately?” As this question is answered, needed resources can be identified and shared to better meet the needs of the community.

Another part of the purpose of the ReadyCity Network is to develop security measures that provide safety and security for the churches in the community. Working to establish trust relationships with local law enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Department of Homeland Security offices to develop a communications protocol for the sharing of information that will benefit the church community is the first step in developing information sharing for the ReadyCity.

CEN has developed these relationships on the national level to help guide the two-way communication process. For more details and information on how to develop information sharing within your ReadyCity, contact CEN at 800-260- 5637.

Network Principles: Developing Relationships with Community Leaders

Meeting with the Christian Leaders

It is imperative that you do the research to know who and what is currently active in the Christian community before meeting with your city Christian leaders. These people are the influencers, the trusted advisers, and the implementers. You need to be well prepared and do a lot of listening.

Meeting with city Christian leaders is a unique opportunity that has many models of best practice. The ReadyCity model is based on the Book of Nehemiah through building the kingdom of God and refusing to enter into self- promotion or personal/church kingdom building. It is the embodiment of Hebrews 12:28: “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe” (NIV). This attitude of servant-hood and co-laborers is valuable in building bridges between leaders who may have never experienced true biblical unity before or who may be reluctant from previous experiences where programs and personas reigned. Whenever you meet with Christian leaders, you will have three main challenges in networking Christian leaders in a community or on a city/region-wide focus: familiarity, unbelief, and fear. ReadyCity leaders can come together alongside a local city leader or initiate these meetings alone.


Many scriptures set this as a precedent for multi-community networking. “Lord they know me,” sent the Apostle Paul through many hardships on his way to Rome. Along with this is the Capernaum story where Jesus could do no mighty work because of their familiarity that formed the basis for unbelief.

Even though ReadyCity represents a unique model, we must understand that the Christian leaders of the city have past experiences that will be challenging and need to be addressed. Leaders are familiar with past attempts for unity or collaboration that have left them with disillusionment and discouragement. These attempts are always associated with leaders who may or may not be active or living in the city. Yet, the memories remain. Some leaders have memories of community-wide type events, which have left them tired, frustrated, and without funds.

The other reality is that potential ReadyCity leaders will have history in the city as well. If they are a leader, their reputation will be mixed with people who will support them and those who will not be involved in ReadyCity if “that person” is in leadership. This does not disqualify the potential leader but does need to be addressed with wisdom and sensitivity.

That is why we emphasize that the ReadyCity model is unique and has never been tried before in the city because we are focused upon readiness and a unified Christian response.


Concerns over women in ministry, “sheep stealing,” proselytizing, and balancing the ReadyCity leadership with an even number of denominational and non-denominational representatives are just a few of the challenges that have been encountered when standing up a ReadyCity. At the root of all these issues lies the seed of unbelief.

This challenge is more easily addressed when the issue of familiarity is dealt with. The answer is to focus the leaders on the need to prepare the Christian community, the agreement with the Lausanne Covenant, and to meet with any pastor or ministerial council or association who is in the city. “Come let us reason together” is a key phrase in ministering to the root causes of unbelief. Some battles you will win, others you might not, but humility and trusting God will always produce fruit that will remain. But never compromise the covenant. And never burn a bridge. It is amazing to see how people who would otherwise not budge an inch to collaborate before an emergency in their city do so enthusiastically during and after one. Focus on the ones for whom God has already laid a unified response to emergencies in their city on their heart, and the others who are reluctant will often come around in time. Move forward and do not let any one leader who is reluctant deter your casting the vision for your city being spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically ready to give an answer for having hope in Christ.


Often the root of any Christian emergency is relational failure or breakdown. This is remedied by creating a “safe place” to address the fear through love and acceptance. The ReadyCity leader has the ability and opportunity to address some of these “Christian Emergencies” which provide a model for the local churches and Christian Leaders to follow, and it sets a precedent that represents the heart of ReadyCity.

This is the most important activity for the ReadyCity Leader(s) - you lead the way in modeling how to be aware, ready, and there in responding to the universal CHRISTIAN EMERGENCY: division in the church and restoration to the body of Christ.

Preparation Principles

  • Helping your city become biblically ready
  • Creating Emergency Operations Plans for community response
  • Setting up and maintaining Emergency Operations Centers to coordinate responses
  • Exercising emergency responses with your leaders
  • Encouraging citywide Ready campaigns and training

Preparation Principles: Helping your City Become Biblically Ready

Personal Preparation - Prepare Your Heart:

“What is my purpose for being involved with CEN’s ReadyCity?

Like anything that is being built, a foundation must be prepared to support the structure. The first priority, then, is upon the leader preparing their own heart by addressing and eliminating personal judgments, preconceived ideas, and prejudices so that a win/win philosophy may be achieved.

Addressing and Eliminating Personal Judgments

A sense of purpose in life is seated in the heart of the individual desiring to make a difference in their community. The principal is that in order to work with all Christians, the purpose for involvement must go deeper than past or present experiences. Your purpose must not be focused upon what has been but what may be established as a resulting agreement with the Word of God.

Ask the Right Question: “Can we agree?”

The Lausanne Covenant is the basis for our doctrinal agreement in CEN. Please review the Lausanne Covenant on the “CEN Project” section of that discusses the basic foundational principles of CEN.

Solution-Based vs. Issue-Driven

This agreement to the core principles of CEN’s ReadyCity ensures every program is “Solution-Based” versus “Issue- Driven.” We fully understand the importance of issues, but have found that in the initial stages of a ReadyCity, issues tend to be charged with emotion, which is anti-productive for community collaboration and Christian unity.

Feasibility vs. Emotionalism

The leader who is looking to initiate the ReadyCity model must tuck the “issues of the hour” underneath a heart of serving for a win/win opportunity and for the whole Christian community. It is important to not engage in a culture of favoring a certain segment or partisan application. The attitude of feasibility over emotion will empower the body of Christ to work together in being aware and ready to share Christ in an emergency or crisis. As a leader, you set the tone.

Ready to Serve

Being prepared to serve others is essential, and counting the cost to see if you are willing to finish what you start will be under intense scrutiny. Your very integrity on this point will be tested. There is a great cost in serving, but serving also yields the greatest return. It is imperative that the individual who initiates ReadyCity has considered their time, energy, and resources before they commit to serve in an area that is highly sensitive and possibly the most vulnerable to derailing.

Building a bridge of trust between Christian leaders, emergency management, and community leaders comes through relationship and an attitude of service. This step must be completed. If left unfinished, you risk damage to the community and to the purpose of ReadyCity. Therefore, going through a preparation process and finding whether the individual’s desire is based upon the foundation of feasibility or emotionalism and readiness to serve can be an exercise well worth the work.

Completion of the preparation process helps leaders to initiate contact and begin the work of building relationship with other leaders. In unity, we work together to fulfill the vision and purpose of ReadyCity and fulfill the passion of Christ Jesus, “that they may be one.” The goal is to have Christians ready to serve in their own home, local church, and community and that includes loving their neighbor next door.

Standing Up a Prepared ReadyCitySM Leadership Team

Front Door

Front door is where a ReadyCity leader receives an inquiry from the ReadyCity website or by personal referral. These individuals receive a personal email from the ReadyCity Administrator, an electronically-generated email, and a call within 48 hours.

The first step is to have the potential leader sign up for one of the ReadyChristian or ReadyChurch trainings offered in your city. To help with this, the initial email has the Lausanne Covenant Agreement attached and a link to the CEN webpage linked to the ReadyCity webpage with instructions for registration and filling out their profile.

When the individual or organization follows through on registering, the ReadyCity Leader will then send the ReadyCity Covenant to see if there are any questions. This will allow the ReadyCity leader to direct the discussion on the next step, which is a conference call or face-to-face meeting to make sure that the petitioning organization understands both the process and benefits and to interview them to see if they are in alignment with the mission, vision, and implementation of the ReadyCity.

Back Door

This is a common practice with marketers of seminars or multi-level businesses. The company sets a meeting that is of interest to their market, invites and lures the public by offering a free gift or an opportunity to get a “quick fix” to a need, gives them just enough to peak their interest, and closes the deal with the “if you really want to succeed, then…” presentation. Basic introductory presentations of the ReadyChristian and ReadyChurch training may offer a similar platform to open the door of recruiting leadership.

An agenda for a ReadyCity recruiting presentation may look like this:

  • Welcome and Prayer - Asking God for wisdom and welcome His presence to come into our city
  • Introduction of guests - Greeting by the Emergency Manager, law enforcement, city official, and/or pastor (gives authority and credibility)
  • Explanation of any CEN Intro Training – (i.e. CEN HURT) – CEN HURT Training “Part of the Problem or the Solution?” The 72-hour preparation training provides resources for an individual to become a CEN HURT trainer in their ministry. This is also the access into ReadyCity leadership and first step of agreement.
  • Introduction of ReadyCity – A citywide biblical readiness and response network

CEN HURT Training

Level of commitment to prepare – based upon the training

Contact your ReadyCity leadership

To discuss a leader role in your city

Close in Thanks and Prayer

Often people will respond to this type of training as a quick fix of their own preparedness. But the key for the ReadyCity leader is to build relationships that may result in recruitment. The ReadyCity leader builds a database with the cards and information to the appropriate team leader and ReadyCity launches and grows a ReadyCity with the interested individuals and qualified individuals.

ReadyCity Success

Never Duplicate an Existing Program

The success of the CEN ReadyCity model is two-fold: the establishment of new Christian initiatives, which foster unity and support existing Christian and community organizations. The new initiatives started by ReadyCity will always add to the Christian community involvement and never duplicate an existing program. ReadyCity leaders know how to prayerfully and carefully find a place at the table for all Christians.


The ReadyCity capacity assessment process, as well as the individual ReadyChurch capacity assessments, will prove valuable in identifying the citywide results of all your labor of love. By tracking statewide/regional accumulative volunteer hours, for example, or the number of readiness training classes are just two of the many activities that demonstrate the value of ReadyCity in your community. Measuring where you start and how you grow will offer eternal dividends. With gratitude keep track of your results and do not be afraid to let others know the success stories! (Example - Crime rate in Tempe, Arizona in 2009 before ReadyCity and after in 2010)


One of the things that create value in the CEN ReadyCity family and infrastructure is “uniform branding.” The CEN logo and business card is a part of that as well and connects every ReadyCity to a larger network of Christian resources. All ReadyCity leaders need the same card, shirt, or materials, and look so that it builds a consistent value with the Emergency Managers and leaders throughout the city, state, nation, and worldwide.

It is also vital that CEN ReadyCity leaders use the email address and not another nonprofit. This will also be a uniformed protocol for all ReadyCity leaders and will not confuse who will be acting as liaison with the municipal and Christian community.

Preparing the Church

Preparing and recruiting your ReadyCity leaders begins with the recruitment and training of churches. The ReadyChurch training and local church campaign prepares churches to be ready themselves and a source of hope in crisis. As such, we recommend that all churches that are engaged with the ReadyCity also work through the ReadyChurch material with their congregations.

During the ReadyChurch training, including the all-member ReadyChristian campaign, churches will:

  • Complete a Biblical Readiness Test that identifies their current level of readiness
  • Set up and train a Church Emergency Team (CET)
  • Partner with local churches and organizations
  • Teach the Biblical Readiness Standard to members
  • Guide members through the online ReadyChristian training to prepare for emergencies
  • Complete a Church Capacity Assessment
  • Complete Safety, Security, and Emergency Planning
  • Study the Pray-Care-Share (PCS) Emergency Response
  • Set up Pray-Care-Share (PCS) Emergency Response Teams
  • Practice responding
  • Reach out to the community

The ReadyChurch training teaches Church Emergency Team leaders how to implement the ReadyChurch program with the support of the CEN ReadyCity. The outcome is a church ready to respond to any crisis and disaster by praying for, caring for physical needs, and sharing the hope we have in Christ.

The ReadyChurch has become the backbone of the Christian Emergency Network nationally, as well as the ReadyCity locally, by providing resources, materials, and volunteers. CEN ReadyCity adheres to the biblical principle that the local church is God’s plan for redeeming His children and, therefore, the ReadyCity is supportive of ReadyChurch and ReadyChristian in order to best reach the homes in their area directly within an eight-hour period of an emergency. A ReadyChurch may distribute a Christian Emergency Directory (CED) modeled after CEN’s national CED with local resources, for example, to all households containing information on available crisis services of the city/church. Each year, ReadyChurch completes an asset map of people and resources in the area that are willing to join in a rescue effort. This ReadyChurch effort speaks volumes to the community that their local church really is there for them when crisis occurs! And, since most people live within 2.4 miles of a local church, it makes sense to be that lighthouse, right?

ReadyCity Summit

The ReadyCity Summit connects new and potential ReadyCity leaders with church leaders interested in

ReadyChurch. In addition to the representatives from 30 or so invited churches, ReadyCity leaders should identify key partners and invite them to the summit. You will want to have a representative number of community leaders calling for the churches' involvement, as well as a showing from Christian business and community leaders, non-profit agency leaders, local law enforcement and the local government. Not all need to be Christians; however, take care to invite those who desire the Church to be there in any emergency in the community. Since 89% of volunteers to any disaster are faith-based, mostly Christian with a heart to serve without fanfare, most secular leaders are thrilled to connect.

One of the “best practices” for initiating a ReadyCity Summit is by beginning with local law enforcement around community emergency issues, such as an active shooter or crime prevention scenario. It helps to quickly establish the rapport with the local law enforcement while providing a practical connection point for the two entities to work together.

The ReadyCity Summit is first and foremost to network your Christian community, before making ANY commitments to the community. Sometimes secular leaders will want to have you rush this step because they are keenly interested in what a network like ReadyCity will do for them. Remember, your role is to glorify Christ. Sometimes that means holding back and not committing to respond until your ReadyCity is ready to respond biblically. We all have seen several instances where the Church has been “used” then discarded or blocked from fulfilling its own mission. It is vital to keep exercising our mission, and withholding or leveraging resources begins at home.

Goals of the Summit:

  • Help Christian community to be aware of the need and opportunities in their community and then to serve the crisis needs.
  • Present the CEN ReadyCity programs and objectives and to find agreement.
  • Introduce ReadyCity and gauge interest.
  • Find additional ReadyCity leaders.

Suggested Summit Agenda:

ReadyCity Leaders should be present.

  1. Prayer - Host Pastor
  2. Introduction of CEN, ReadyCity, importance of Biblical Readiness - ReadyCity Leader
  3. Administer Biblical Readiness Test for city - ReadyCity Leader
  4. ReadyCity Process and Value Overview - ReadyCity Leader
  5. Share Research and Vision of the ReadyCity specific to your community - ReadyCity Leader
  6. Testimony of Emergency Experience - Community Leaders
  7. Introduce Meeting Participants - ReadyCity Leader
  8. Q&A - ReadyCity Leader
  9. Call to Action: Can we agree? - ReadyCity Leader
  10. Table Talk: Community Biblical Readiness Standard - Table Leaders
  11. Set Action Steps - ReadyCity Leader
    1. Preview the ReadyChristian, ReadyChurch and Online Features
    2. Website Registration
    3. Download the ReadyCity Covenant
    4. Set the Meeting to Agree to and Sign the ReadyCity Covenant
  12. Close in Prayer


Schedule dates to follow up with churches for ReadyChurch and potential ReadyCity members. Identify the nonprofit covering organization and send the summary of the Summit along with the invitation. It is good to try to have the next meetings within two weeks of the Summit.