I have to admit that I have often used this word but don’t know if I have every really looked up the definition. I was actually surprised at the definition that Merriam-Webster gives for this word.
1: self-satisfaction especially when accompanied by unawareness of actual dangers or deficiencies when it comes to safety, complacency can be dangerous.
2: an instance of usually unaware or uninformed self-satisfaction
Even though I work with churches around the country regarding safety and security, when I first think of complacency what comes to mind is how so many people who profess to be a Christian have become so complacent in their belief and walk with God. They are the ones that are not “picking up their mana” daily and are starving as believers. They don’t really have a relationship with God, or understand what that is, and only talk with God over a meal or when they need something. These are the people that think they know what the Bible says because someone else has told them what it says or doesn’t say in a message or on the screens on Sunday mornings. These are the people that are quick to pass judgement without really taking a look at what the Bible has to say and are relying on their own “wisdom” or “feelings”. I know this person because I was this person at one point. I grew up in church and believed I knew all the answers and could just live life like I wanted too and was complacent about what God truly has to say and the relationship that he desires with me. The definition above, that complacency can be dangerous could not be truer as I saw firsthand how my complacency nearly destroyed my marriage years ago.
The second type of person does relate more directly to my career of working with churches in safety and security. I meet people every week that are frustrated with the complacency of the leadership of their church’s and/or the congregation. The church has had trained, armed security for thousands of years and people don’t realize this because they form an opinion without reading what the Bible has to say. There are scriptures from David and the 250 put in place as security for the temple to Jesus warning the church that there will be violence in the church and telling the disciples to arm themselves. But, all too often I find that churches are too concerned about having people offended instead of protected. They are afraid that people will leave instead of doing what has been demonstrated in scriptures in the protection and prevention for their own congregations.
Recently, the Los Angeles Times was at one of the conferences we were doing with Sheepdog Seminars. They really did a well job with the article ( http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-church-security-20180522-story.html). What caught my attention was a letter to the editor by Richard Roth from Huntington Beach (https://www.latimes.com/opinion/readersreact/la-ol-le-guns-church-christians-20180526-story.html) in regard the article he read. This is a great example of someone who has complacency in the areas above to take hold and is talking about things based on his opinion without merit probably because someone may have told him what he should be thinking on the subject or he is telling others. The point is that this type of thinking without any scriptural basis is the example of complacency that many of the churches have.
What we see in scripture and what we at CV Ministries want to echo is that the churches need to be more proactive in the prevention of violence to occur in their churches. There are three parts to the crime triangle; desire, ability, and opportunity. If you remove the opportunity then you are taking the power away from what Satan would want to do to harm God’s people. Men from David to Jesus understood this point. I tell people all the time that the church is there for the hurting and the broken and we can’t lose sight of that fact. Church safety and security should be the frontlines to greeting and welcoming these people into our churches. If someone is easily offended at the concept of creating a safe environment for people to come and worship, then more than likely they are operating in their lives on religion rather than relationship with God.
For those churches that already have some sort of church safety and security team in place, I have found that it is easy for those on the teams to become complacent in their service. I know firsthand how boring serving can be at times. It really can be. But, I also need remember that Satan is looking for an opportunity to strike much like the example of what happened in Charleston, SC. Let’s make sure that we are not serving our churches in a state of mind of complacency but in a state of readiness. Looking to how we can serve those that come on our property and to minister to those that maybe don’t really belong there. Make sure that you do not become complacent in your training. This would include mental training as well as physical training in a regular defensive tactics or similar to be prepared. If you can run across your property in an emergency then you have some work to do. If you can’t do CPR compression's for 7 min until help arrives, then you have work to do.
We love the opportunity we have to work with churches and to see them move in a direction of prevention in order to provide a safe worship and teaching environment for the adults as well as the children. If you would like us to come help equip your church, please contact us at www.cv-ministries.com.
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