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8 Tips to Tighten Church Security

By: Smart Church Management

When I was young, I remember church being a place where the door was always open and visitors were welcome anytime of the day or night.

It was a safe refuge for those who just needed some time in prayer and reflection. Church security was unheard of.

Over the course of the last couple of decades that trend has changed and most churches have scheduled times when their doors are open and the building is available for public prayer.

However, most recent acts of violence toward pastors and church members has brought about a new focus on church security.

In 2016, 65 violent deaths—defined as homicides, suicides, and aggressors killed in action—took place at churches or ministries. As well, a disturbing 25 percent—were killed as the result of domestic spillover.1

The most disturbing thing about these numbers is many of these violent acts were between people who had some relationship with the church and/or its members/employees.

Most of these attacks happened when church was not in service and church employees and volunteers let their guards down.

The statistics are alarming and warrant a closer look at how churches safeguard their members, volunteers and employees.

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”

Ben Franklin

8 Tips to Tighten Church Security

1. Have a Church Security Plan

Planning is one of the most important first steps you can take to tighten church security.

2. Develop Church Security Ministry Team

Find church members who may have a public safety background and develop them as part of a volunteer security team.

Schedule them to be available anytime there are church services, events or people on campus. Provide them with specialized church security training so they can help respond in the event of an incident.

3. Church Global Security Training

Security in churches has changed necessitating the need for a security plan for your ministry.Take advantage of the eyes and ears of all church members to report suspect or unusual behavior and help them understand their role in church safety.

Train employees and volunteers about the church security plan.

Employees and volunteers should understand this plan so they will know what to do in any number of situations that may threaten the church or its members.

Part of this training should include spending time explaining why a plan has been created and how members can partner with church leaders to help ensure church safety.

4. Controlled Hours of Operation

Make sure your church buildings have designated public hours of operation times and that someone is in the building anytime the doors are unlocked.

Try to avoid putting employees or volunteers in situations of being alone in an empty building – there is safety in numbers.

5. Keyed Entrances

Church campus buildings are used by so many different people that it is sometimes difficult to control who is entering a building and who has keys to the building.

Volunteers sometimes end up with building keys and may leave and forget to lock the door behind them.

Make sure all doors have a keyed or swipe card entrance that locks automatically when closing. Change the locks on doors that unlock automatically with a key.

6. Lock-down Procedures

Develop lock-down procedures, especially in children’s areas. Determine the best approach to protecting church members in the event of a threatening or unsafe situation.

7. Communicate with Members

Have a church communication plan in place to make church members aware of new security measures.

Make these communications public so that if there is anyone sitting among the flock, who intends to do harm, they are made aware that lots of eyes are watching them.

8. Prayer

There is a lot of power in prayer so be diligent with praying for church safety. Use your prayer teams to cover church safety.

“The suspect walked into the church in a calm fashion,” said Cpl. Kay Lester, a Fulton County police spokeswoman. “He walked in, opened fire, and left as calmly as he came.”

The world has changed in the past few decades making it important to think strategically about church safety. The bible says we should not have a spirit of fear, but we should use common sense and wisdom in our approach and planning for the unexpected.

What church safety measures do you have in place?

3 Steps to Better Parenting

By: My Healthy Church

What does it mean to direct a child? While teaching obedience is certainly an important part of parenting, more important is a child’s self-control. Rather than trying to control your child, learn how you can direct your child to control themselves.

1. Model Self Control

Children learn through consistent example. Do your best to control your tounge when you speak to your children. Spend some time thinking about the temptations you give into that might influence your children even if you think they do not know?

2. Give Your Kids Room to Make Choices.

A teaching moment like, "These boots match your outfit, but the sneakers work better for running," can help children make decisions for themselves with helpful information they might not have known.

3. Remember Kid's Behavior Reflects Their Character, Not Yours.

Let go of the need for your child to be or appear perfect. Kids are kids and will sometimes be messy, loud, and disobedient. When that happens, take a deep breath and look for more teachable moments.

8 Goals for Kids

David Boyd

It is imperative that parents and churches take action to

ensure their kids receive not just facts about faith, but a

true and living relationship with God. Kids must discover

God for themselves and learn to experience His presence

regularly throughout their lives. These eight goals provide

a blueprint for Kidmin leaders, volunteers, and parents to

build a lasting spiritual faith in their kids.

1. When kids become powerful in prayer, their

relationship with God grows deep because they know

He is real. Prayer brings kids into the presence of

God where they discover Him, sense Him, and watch Him

answer their prayers.

2. As kids become responsive in worship, they fall in

love with God. These kids have learned to progress

from the outer courts of praise, where they merely

sing about Him, into the inner courts, where they discover

His close being. There they fall in love with their Creator

and discover faith for a lifetime.

3. Kids who are biblically

fl uent have brick-by-brick

been introduced to God and

His amazing Word. The Bible is a

treasure for lifelong learning and

obedience. Through Bible stories,

kids learn the character of God.

Through reading about the life of

Jesus, kids discover the love of God.

And through God’s promises, kids

develop hope in God.

4. Spirit-empowered kids have

discovered the amazing

power of God and His

willingness to involve Himself

in their lives. They know of the

power of the Spirit to heal, answer,

act, and work on our behalf. The

Spirit powerfully enables kids

[as well as anyone] to stand their

ground through diffi culties of life.

This great gift provides power for

service, boldness for witnessing,

courage in times of diffi culty, and

assistance with prayer and praise.

5. Kids who are giving selfl essly

are kids who are passionate

about the needs of the

world. This is the heart of God.

Every lost and needy person in the

world is His child, loved by Him.

God desires for them to have the

opportunity to know Him. Kids

quickly grasp this heart of God and

a compassion grows in them that

can be hard to extinguish. This

compassion anchors them to their

deep faith as they endeavor to make

a diff erence.

6. It is always wonderful to see

kids who are actively serving.

Service puts into practice

one’s time, skills, and talents on

behalf of others. When coupled by

compassion, kids quickly desire

to give back. Kids go from being

the one ministered to, to the one

desiring to minister. Kids go from

needing a Savior, to realizing the

need of a Savior in others. Kids go

from needing mentors, to being the

one to mentor others. This goal is a

cornerstone that can help anchor

one’s Christian faith.

7. Are your kids bold in faith?

Do they have a passion to

make a diff erence in people’s

lives? Do they pray for lost relatives?

Do they care about the sick? Do they

share their faith? This goal clearly

shows spiritual growth in the lives

of your kids when they actively and

boldly share their faith with others

as they act the way they believe

Christ would want them to.

8. Living like Christ—what a

simple yet profound goal

for each of your kids. Your

desire should be that each of your

kids would live for God the rest

of their lives. When tested, they

will stand strong. When scared,

they will believe in God. When

diffi culties come, they will pray.

When others are in need, they will

act. Did someone help deposit that

kind of faith in you?

Make these eight goals a priority

in your ministry. Remember,

fi nishing every aspect of the

curriculum is less important than

making God real to the kids and

instilling a deep love for God in

their hearts. Make your classroom

or kids’ church a place where kids

learn to pray and learn to love God.

DAVID BOYD currently serves as

the national director of BGMC for

the Assemblies of God.

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