One might think the obvious focus of church safety is to protect or keep safe. Let me suggest, however, that while that is the function of church safety, the focus should be on Christ.
And WHATEVER YOU DO, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus … (Col. 3:17)
Seriously, “whatever you do” includes church safety.
Yes, you put safety measures in place to keep people safe and yourselves free from liabilities. You want to be able to promote yourselves as a safe church. Yet, Jesus said,
Truly I tell you, WHATEVER YOU DID for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me. (Matt. 25:40)
Truly I tell you, WHATEVER YOU DID NOT DO for one of the least of these, you did not do for me. (Matt. 25:44)
Again notice the word “whatever” in these verses. Jesus takes “whatever” we do, or don’t do that we should, personally.
In reality, there is no area of church life that escapes this focus. “Whatever you do” is rather encompassing. We don’t think of some of these mundane issues, like church safety, as being done in in Jesus’ name, for His sake and glory. Yet, “whatever” it is, we are to “do it ALL” in His name.
How to Keep the Focus of Church Safety on Christ
- Do it because of and in love.
If we are to love as Jesus loves which includes the greatest demonstration of love in laying down His life for us (Jn. 15:9-13; 1 Jn. 4:10-11), then we should look out for the welfare of others. How far are we willing to go in protecting people in our church?
- Maintain integrity in the way you provide for and promote church safety.
If we are to walk in the light as He is Light (Jn. 8:12; 1 Jn. 1:7) and His light is made up of all that is good, true, and righteous, then even our church safety efforts should be done with integrity, as a testimony to Him, not merely to promote ourselves as a safe church. Are we putting measures in place because it is the right thing to do and not merely to avoid liabilities? Are we following through with what we say we are doing to keep people safe or are we cutting corners and trying to get away with things?
- Enforce safety policies with both grace and truth.
If we are to be “conformed to the image of his Son” (Rom. 8:29) who “came from the Father, full of grace and truth” (Jn. 1:14), then we must demonstrate both of these Christ-like qualities in how we process and enforce safety policies. How much of a spectacle are we making of people who violate safety rules? Are we speaking the truth to people but doing it in love and grace?