ALLEN PARK, MI – The threat to Christianity runs rampant across our globe. From Christian genocide in the Middle East to threats and acts of violence in America, each day’s news brings word of another attack to the Church. In the wake of the recent shootings, churches across America are beginning to see the need to protect their congregations during church functions.
Yet our greatest threat is our own denial. We cannot continue to deny that we live in dark and wicked times; sin, immorality, racism, terror and violence is on the rise. Of course, it is. Biblically it is clear the devil will stop at nothing to continue persecuting Christians, and that he will use any method that he can. However, this does not mean that we should lock our doors and huddle within the four walls of church buildings. Jesus said that the we are to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation” (Mark 16:15 HCSB). He also said that we should not hinder others from coming to Him (Matt. 19:14). As leaders of the church we have been given a great responsibility to protect the flock without sacrificing the mission. We must have a way to anticipate and handle situations that may arise in the church; this is called Crisis Management.
“Crisis Management” is defined as a process by which a business or other organization deals with a sudden emergency situation.”
For the Church, Crisis Management is the process by which we deal with disruptive and/or an unexpected event that threatens to harm the worship experience of people, the building(s), and/or property by identifying threats and using methods to handle the threats. The group that handles this in our Church is called the “Security Team”.
As I look to scripture that supports the mission of church security and safety I am reminded of Nehemiah who, after finding out the walls of Jerusalem were destroyed, prayed and fasted. It must be said that your security team should operate as a ministry of the church and always begin in prayer. Nehemiah returned to Jerusalem, assessed the current situation; the damage and what was needed to complete the renovation. He gave the people a vision and plan to rebuild the wall. He recruited help who brought tools and armory items necessary to build and to defend against the attacks. Nehemiah gave instructions to all those working on the wall what they must do if an attack was to occur. Nehemiah implemented God’s plan and reassessed as they built the wall and gates, restoring safety to Jerusalem (Nehemiah Chapter 1-6).
In our Church Security Training Program, we have outlined nine steps resulting in a successful church security team.
Nehemiah also did something that all pastors must do, he devoted himself to working on the wall (Neh 5:16). Church security and safety is the pastor’s responsibility and you, fellow pastor, should lead from the front to have a great Security and Safety ministry. It is my prayer that you or your security team will find the time to attend one of our Security and Safety Workshops hosted by the BSCM and that you implement a security team for the safety of God’s flock.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Timothy D. Jones is senior pastor at The Road Church in Allen Park, MI. theroadbyfaith.org