Ok, maybe I am being a bit dramatic here. I do find myself with the perception that churches in America have come to the realization that there is a need to have a security component in their churches list of ministries. Then I talk with people either at a conference or after they find out what I do for a living and realize how wrong my perception really is. I want to go into a conversation or situation optimistic and usually I go into a conversation overly optimistic. I want to believe that with everything that has happened over the years, that there would not be the denial that is still seen in churches around the country. Then there are people that are encouraging and thankful for what we are doing for churches all over the country. My perception is a misplaced optimism that God reminds me of regularly. That he has me doing what I do for a specific reason. To help equip churches and ministries.
I do get the opportunity to talk with people that do understand the need for security. These people or churches are at a variety of levels in their security development but with the same understanding that it needs to happen. Many of these security minded people are looking for information and training on how to recruit, training, motivate and lead the people in their security ministry.
There are the other people that are in complete denial that anything will happen or if it does then it must have been God’s will. They are usually charged up by their emotions with little ability to rationalize what they are communicating. They feel that securing and protecting the people that are coming to worship is not necessary. I often get to a point to where I Just listen and understand that they are just going to believe what they want to believe. I sometimes can provide scripture reference going back to David regarding security for the church. I have also challenged people to find scripture that supports their belief to which they realize that they can’t. I fight the urge of bleating like a sheep to them. I know that would not be a proper response of course, but it does bring me back to the reality that Jesus used sheep for a reason. Like a friend of mine would say that you will never see a sheep act at a circus for a reason.
The majority of people that I talk with that have decided to do something in the realm of security for their church. One person that I talked with recently is an example of many conversations that I have. They tell me that they have people that either have or the church has helped them get their concealed carry permit in order to serve in a security capacity. You can read previous blogs if you want to really know what I feel about that, but suffice to say that this is reactionary and not preventative. There are many issues with this course of action I love to point out to people. There are others that have the thought that they need to create a fortress for their people. Again, reactionary and forgetting that the church still needs to be a welcoming place for the hurting and the broken. It is usually these same churches that I find out aren’t having much of a positive effect on showing Christ to others in their community, by their own admission.
What do we or can we do?
During our seminars we try to create a sense of community. Often times this starts around lunch time. Many of the churches have provided a lunch and this helps create the opportunity for different churches to be able to network with each other. Much like in life where God has given each of us different stories to use for his glory, each church is at a different stage when it comes to thinking or acting on security. We want to create an environment where churches can talk with each other and help each other get further down the road to making their church a secure environment for everyone walking through the doors.
It is not unusual for me to hear someone from a church say that they are too small of a church to worry about it. I can tell you, that there is one church that we did an assessment for that had nearly 100 in attendance on a good weekend, that had major security issues and the potential of harm to the children. They have taken steps to ensure that they are creating that safe environment. It did not come immediately but has in fact happened over a few years. I would just encourage you to be there for the churches in your community that might be asking questions or if you are a church that has questions, reach out to some of the others in your community.
Bring in a hands-on seminar like what we do in order to further the education of your own church but to also help make the churches in your community safer. It is really past time, but for some it is time to take a stand that their church and their community is not going to be a soft target for someone who want to do evil. People can either remain in denial or they can step up and take security seriously. I joke in the seminar that I would love to get to heaven one day and have many of you come to me and say, “Thanks for nothing”. That they spent the time and money to get training and never had to use the skills taught. In reality, many churches have an incident of some sort happen each week to where the they have had to use the skills they were taught, or they realize that they are lacking the necessary skills to properly respond to a variety of situations.
Remember that it is the prideful person that thinks that they will “RISE TO THE OCCASION” when in fact “THEY WILL SINK TO THE LEVEL OF THEIR TRAINING.” I can only scratch the surface with the variety of information that can be given around this subject. Let me just end by encouraging you to TRAIN, TRAIN, TRAIN. I really can’t stress that enough.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.