It is a little disheartening that so many churches are focused on a reactionary response with very little focus on prevention. I received a call from a national radio ministry and they were asking "Why isn't anyone talking about prevention?" I told him that it was a great question! One that I often ask. One that I would encourage you to ask of yourself and for your church or ministry.
So, take some time to ask yourselves that same question. What are you doing about prevention. Here are some things to start with:
- Have a Safety and Security Threat Assessment completed for your church
- Conduct quality monthly training
- Have additional separate training if you have an armed component
- Do you have a non-lethal response to situations? If not, why not?
- Is your team physically fit to perform the necessary duties that come with protecting the flock?
The safety and security of the church is a total team concept. It cannot be solely left up to the few volunteers that are standing on the wall. It needs to be every ministry from the pastor, youth workers, ushers, greeters, children workers, administrative assistance, etc. Take a look forward this year and see what you are doing to ensure that either you yourself are trained for your role or are you the one responsible to ensure that the proper training is being conducted for these people.
Seek assistance with the things that you don't understand or are not equipped to do on your own. It is OK to ask for help. If someone claims that they know it all or are the expert in a particular area, find someone else to work with.
The violent death statistics would be much higher if it were not for the fact that we have some amazing medical technology and professionals that do a great job at keeping the death toll down. It is time that the churches step up and are better prepared to handle situations with the same mentality that a medical professional has. That you are going to do everything in you power to prevent an evil act from happening to your church.
If you are looking for the statistics on church violence, please see my friend's website www.carlchinn.com for specific information. He updates the data throughout the year. I update the statistics in my book every time I reprint and in my training seminars off his data.
Please contact us if you have any questions on how to get started or if you have started, how to do things better this year. I would encourage you to never settle or think that you have arrived.