Effectively keeping your church safe and secure will take more than the direction or efforts of the pastor. God never intended for one person to do everything in the Church. Everybody has a part — the topic of the next post.
Forming a team of individuals who are trained and ready to serve in the event of an emergency or dangerous situation could be a helpful step toward developing a safe environment. A visible, coordinated presence in the church can actually deter trouble. But, you must be careful to communicate that having a security team does not alleviate the responsibility of each person in the Body doing their part to keep each other safe.
To have an effective church security team you must:
- Identify situations potentially needing action.
(unruly, suspicious, or mentally unstable people, armed intruders, threats, protests, medical emergencies or injuries, fire, natural disasters, child abduction or abuse, etc.)
- Identify skills needed to properly act and react in a variety of situations.
(observation, assessment, physical stamina, mental/emotional stability, able to communicate, able to remain calm in midst of chaos, restraint in the midst of provocation, good people skills)
- Identify structures that need to be put in place for effective responses.
(lockdown, evacuation, call 911, check in/out, locking doors that are not under surveillance, screening, etc.)
- Identify sources of help.
(getting to know those who would be your first responders within the community and those within the church body who are doctors, nurses, or others you can call on)
- Identify service assignments of each person on the team.
(behind the scenes tasks, visible presences both outside and inside the church building)
Above all, a security team needs to see what they do as a ministry of love for “love protects” (1 Cor. 13:7). What they do is about more than looking out for the physical safety of the Body. In maintaining physical safety, they are protecting what is happening in the worship service and classrooms so attention can stay focused on worshiping the Lord and receiving His Word. As such, they are expressing love to God and people.