Over Easter I was approached by one of the elders in the church who was serving as a greeter that day. He stated that he was very thankful for what our safety team does for the security of the church. He said that he notices how well we all communicate and seem to just move and flow around the parts of the church meeting and greeting different people and just helping when needed. He said that it is evident that we all work well together. He is not alone in sharing his appreciation for our service to the church
I know that many of you have shared with me around the country how your church appreciates what you are doing. Appreciation is good and I also recognize that many of you are struggling to get going and have the support of your church’s leadership. I have had conversations with some of you at conferences and even some on our own security team that may not feel that things are going the way they want, that leadership is not doing this or that, that there is no appreciation for what they are doing but they feel like it is constant resistance. One thing that I regularly communicate is by asking a question that I have had to ask myself. “WHY AM I SERVING?” I serve because I am called in my heart to protect the sheep. No matter what, I am there to protect the sheep. If I was there for any other reason, then I would have to quit.
Nothing comes easy and honestly for our church and team to be where it is at has been an 11-year adventure of training and equipping that never ends. For security reasons I won’t give specifics about my church here, but I can say that we have a great group of selfless men and women that have a desire to serve the people that walk through our doors. With 4 campuses we have a rather large team serving and I can confidently say that I don’t know one person that serves with any sort of pride or arrogance, but with a heart for the people they serve.
I regularly tell people that there are more things that can happen at your church then someone coming to cause harm with a weapon. One of the things that regularly happens at churches all over America are medical incidents. A medical incident could be a variety of situations from a skinned knee in the children’s department to a heart attack in the worship center and every other incident that you can imagine. Here in Colorado we have often seen visitors pass out in the service because they are not used to the altitude and have not stayed hydrated.
I was involved in a medical emergency this last weekend at my own church. We have trained well on what we need to do, how we communicate with each other, and what we need to do to get EMS to the incident as quickly as possible, if necessary. There is some training that should be mandatory for everyone serving on the team, and medical emergency is one of those trainings. You can’t prepare for every instance that may happen, but if you have a foundational plan of action you can be better prepared and have the right mindset of what needs to happen regardless of the medical emergency that happens.
For many churches in America today, they know why church safety and security is an important ministry for their church. Churches are realizing that ignoring the facts regarding church security is negligent on their part. Even as that is true, many churches are not sure how or what to do with the information. I regularly talk with churches that wisely are asking for help to move them from the WHY to the HOW.
Throughout the country there are many people that are focused on the armed response for something that is not highly likely to happen. Yes, you prepare for it, but it should not be the focus. People with the narrow view that their security focus needs to be on the armed response or that because they have concealed carry persons (I call certificate holders) in their congregation don’t truly understand what church security is about. These churches are putting their “church” and church security as a whole in a huge liability situation.
For any of us that have been in church for any length of time have always been told to bow your head and close your eyes to pray. If you grew up in a Christian home as I did with a sibling that would check to see if I had my eyes closed and head bowed at the dinner table and then report to mom and dad if I didn’t not. Moments later realizing the “head smack” moment that was about to happen as they are called out on not having theirs closed.
I have done some reading to find the origins of bowing our heads and closing our eyes. No one is really sure where it comes from. Some people point to Medieval times and the greatest consistent belief that it was a religious act put into practice by the Catholic religion. Regardless of where it originated from it is a religious act that man came up with that has no bearing on the relationship with Christ that He desires to have with us. I did find one church denomination that actually was pointing out that effective prayer had to happen with our heads bowed and eyes closed. Since there is nothing Biblical to support it, it is just a religious act that has no impact on how we communicate with God. In fact, the Bible has examples of just the opposite in prayer. It is really our heart posture that is most important.
With all the traveling that I do, I know that I need to make time for my own training when I can. I will never say that I have ever “arrived” when it comes to church security. I would hope that there isn’t anyone on your teams or serving in your churches that thinks training is something they don’t regularly need. That they have all the training and knowledge they need. For me it would be a prideful statement to think that I did not need my own training or that I had all the skills necessary for not only my job but for serving my church.
Whenever there is a tragic shooting at a church in America, there are a lot of people that all of a sudden want to step up and serve. Serving in our churches is so very important for our own walk with God and to be able to serve others in theirs. For many of them they feel that because they might have a concealed carry permit for their state, that they are ready to serve. You may have heard me refer to these people as “certificate holders” that have just enough training to get their certificate but have not invested in furthering their training. But, before we get into this hot topic, let’s look closer at what training is necessary.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.