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.”
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.
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
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.