It seems that each week brings another tragedy in a church, school, or in the workplace as someone acts out violence as their response to whatever angst drives them at the moment. Tragically, these events continue to remind us that evil is in the world, and that evil wants to do great harm to those of faith. As followers of Christ, we must claim Scripture that clearly states that He can and will bring stories of ministry and triumph out of this tragedy.
After each church related event, we always seem to have contacts with requests for initial training, follow-on training, and new ideas and tactics for churches to use. We always work as quickly as we can with any churches desiring such training.
With that said, I would like to share four quick truths that seem to be common in each tragedy. Yes, I could make a list that is very long, but I feel these are the most pertinent at this time, and they continue to be true in nearly every case.
1. We must fully recognize that such horrendous actions can happen at any church, school, or business of any size, and located anywhere. The days of being naïve about security are gone. We must evaluate the strengths and challenges of our facilities and our programs to protect those who are attending our services.
2. As protectors of our church, school, or business (either by choice or direction) it is time to be more visible in our actions and presence. People within the locations we attend need to know that someone is ready to watch and act . Also, any potential attacker needs to notice the same active presence. This may deter a potential attacker – wolves do not like it when what appears to be a "sheep" turns out to be a sheep dog – with big fangs!
3. Training for your staff, team, teachers, and volunteers has now become critical. Good training, along with constant practice, builds confidence and proper response during emergencies. During times of crisis, we may desire to "rise" to some great level of heroic response. The reality is, however, that we will probably sink to the level of training.
4. Finally, we need to remember that this battle starts in the spiritual realm, regardless of the location. Pray for safety for your people, your staff, and your protection team. Pray for discernment to sense and see evil before it can act. Pray that everyone, including your employees, your security or safety team -- everyone on your facility - is always alert and discerning of what is going on around them.
5. In our churches, we want sinners to come to the church where they can meet the Christ that can change their lives. Not every lost person needs to be met with open suspicion but rather with a measured combination of open arms of love and prayer for God to reveal the heart and intent of the person. Therefore, your church team needs to be actively friendly, demonstrating the love of Christ first.
In closing, do not hesitate to call, email, or reach out for help. Please pass our site and services on to other churches and religious organizations you know. We are all in this together; we all must work together.
Be safe. Be smart. Be prayerful.
Safe to Worship exists to empower people to engage in making churches safe places to worship through training, processes, and protocols that help lead to a culture of organizational safety.
Robert D. "Bob" Hurst
CPP, CHS-IV, CDP-I, CSCT
Certified Protection Professional - A.S.I.S.
Master Peace Officer -TCOLE
Former SWAT Team Member
Law Enforcement Instructor - TCOLE
Certified in Homeland Security - ABHS
Certified Disaster Planner - ABHS
Certified Trainer-Standard Response Protocol
Certified Speaker, Coach, & Trainer - JMT
Follower of Christ
Licensed Minister of the Gospel
What makes SAFE TO WORSHIP different?
EXPERIENCE & BALANCE!
SAFE TO WORSHIP seminars provide balanced information. Our seminars have been attended and reviewed by county Sheriff's, local Police Chief's, DPS Texas Ranger personnel, and even a number of trial attorneys. All of these professionals have commented on the seminar and training material being well-balanced between ministry, prevention, and actionable material.
I am experienced and trained in safety and security for large and small organizations. I bring my 40+ years of security, safety, crises, and disaster background, training, and experience together to equip your team to protect those attending your house of worship. Complete professional and ministry vitas are available on request.
I am passionate about the idea that all church-goers should be able to worship in an atmosphere of safety. In addition to personal experience, I consult with other professionals on unique challenges as needed, each of whom holds the same standards of excellence.
The bottom line? I practice integrity in all I do; I possess the courage to do what is best for the client; and I am committed to do it all "as unto the Lord." (Col. 3.23)
I have limited availability each year for speaking engagements. Please use the Contact Us form to make your request.
Closing Thoughts . . .
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