Last week I had the privilege of traveling with the National Center for Life and Liberty (NCLL) and speak at two of their seminars. I heard several pastors surprised that I stressed the Safety Team as a ministry. Talking to them they told me they wanted a Safety Team but when several members of their church stepped up to take that role, they went rogue; became a life of its own and concerned them because of their seemingly new position of power over the church. While working on this blog I got a call from a local pastor that said his STM made everyone feel on edge like they were watching the volunteers and staff all the time, waiting for someone to do something wrong. Not sure where this trend is coming from but we at Trinity Security Allies never teach it this way. I want to stress that our work as Safety Team Members (STM) is first a ministry that serves Christ and the church not the other way around. I say it all the time that unless you, as a STM understands your mission in life is to expand the kingdom of God, then you are in the wrong business. This is not a position of power, it is a position of service. If you feel this position is a position of power, you have not been chosen for this ministry. We do not volunteer, God guides us to this position. Our safety team procedures should not dictate the direction of the church, our service to God and the church should dictate the direction of the team. If we have not turned our Safety Teams over to the Lord, then do so now because a Safety Team that has not surrendered to Christ will fail and when that happens it puts the church in harm’s way. Forget about the evil that is wanting to attack the churches from the outside, your evil is within.
When we talk about the virtues of a STM we look to Paul when writing to Titus “Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it” Titus 1:7-9. Just replace overseer with STM because our duties as a STM is to manage God’s household in protection and sound doctrine. The church and all its ministries have been around a long time and working quite well. We as STM cannot come in and dictate what sound doctrine has been doing for years. We must be watching for those things that are a threat to the church and if we see something that might cause a safety concern to the members or the church we need to bring it to the attention of the church leaders through proper procedures and with love. Proverbs 6:16-19 tells us “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.” Merriam-Webster defines haughty as “blatantly and disdainfully proud: having or showing an attitude of superiority and contempt for people or things perceived to be inferior”. When we look at these things the Lord hates, immediately He hits us with blatantly and disdainfully proud. Am I making my point here? We as STM must understand that our role in the church is one of being a servant. Galatians 5:22-23 explains to us “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”
Now half of you at this point are going, “what am I doing here”? Jim has just taken all authority out of the Safety Team; heck I have more power in the Children’s Ministry bossing little kids around. Before you turn in your radio and ear piece, hear me out. If you are truly a servant of God and He has directed your heart to the ministry of protecting the church understand you are under a lot of scrutiny right now, not from man but from the Father Himself. Ezekiel 3:17-19 “Son of man, I have made you a watchman for the people of Israel; so hear the word I speak and give them warning from me. When I say to a wicked person, ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn them or speak out to dissuade them from their evil ways in order to save their life, that wicked person will die for their sin, and I will hold you accountable for their blood. But if you do warn the wicked person and they do not turn from their wickedness or from their evil ways, they will die for their sin; but you will have saved yourself. Brothers and Sisters we have been selected as the Watchmen/Watch-women on the wall. Plain and simple. He has given you a gift and that gift is to warn the wicked of this world of their evil ways. If we do not warn them and others about their evil ways their blood is on our hands.
So God has entrusted you in warning the wicked of their evil ways. That my Brothers and Sisters is a huge responsibility: are you ready for that calling? But remember Galatians 5:22-23 explains to us “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” Are you confused yet? Good cause here comes the closer. Romans 13:1-5 “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and you will be commended. For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason. They are God’s servants, agents of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also as a matter of conscience.” The authorities that has been established is your Church. You are a servant of God for good: we as God’s servants when called are agents of wrath to bring punishment of the wrongdoer.
Deep; I think so. A STM is not a position that should be taken lightly; but rather a position to do whatever may be called from us by the Lord. He is going to judge us by our fruits and not lightly, this is a position of great power, Luke 12:48 “But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” So, in essence “where there is great power there is great responsibility” (Winston Churchill, not Ben Parker). If it is to be fruits of the Spirit, or the Watchman/Watch-woman on the wall, then be the best, but understand in our protection of the church we are servants of God and His authority gives us the freedom to protect those in our church. We, only if life is threatened, become His agents of wrath and take whatever steps require to protect the church. The 60’s police motto was “To protect and serve”. We should take up that banner as a Safety Team Member and wave it proudly.
This article reminded me of something that once happened to me and how we are constantly saying “secure your doors”.
A month before the Charleston Church shooting I had been asked to do some church safety training at an African-American church in St. Petersburg. Monica Lamar who does firearms training out at the Allstate Center in St. Petersburg asked if I would come out and help her with her safety team. We set a date in August of course not knowing about what was about to happen. Then on the evening of June 17, 2015 evil walked into the in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church and murdered nine innocent people. This event woke up churches across the country that we were not safe anymore and we needed to start working on ways to protect the flock.
A week before the August training I had some time before I had to be at work, so I decided to do a walkthrough of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church (FMBC), Monica’s church. I was working for the Town of Belleair and as their detective my uniform of the day was dress slacks and dress shirt with my weapon and badge showing on my belt. Detectives in Florida don’t normally cover up their guns. I arrived at FMBC and walked up to the front door. Next to the door there was a sign, “Ring Bell for Entrance”. Before I rang the bell I pull on the door handle and not to my surprise the door was unlocked. I walked into the vestibule unannounced and headed toward the worship center. Just a little side note, FMBC worship center took my breath away, if you want to see what a worship center should look like go there.
As I stood there in awe and thanking God that He had set this up I heard a voice behind me asking if he could help me. I turned around and met the facility manager Oscar Davenport for the first time. I could see in Oscar’s face a little concern; I am sure he was thinking who is the unannounced guy in the church with a gun? Remember, Charleston had just happened and here in an all African-American church stands a white guy with a gun. In my mind I thought Oscar, you are one of the bravest men I have ever met. Oscar had not yet seen my badge because he had walked up on my backside, but he still approached me and asked if he could help me. Seeing his expression I quickly identified myself and as soon as I mentioned my name and Trinity Security Allies a relief and a big friendly grin came to his face. He told me he was aware of the training and was looking forward to it. He welcomed me to walk around the church and if there was anything I needed just let him know.
I cannot tell you how many times I have heard pastors tell me how they love to come into the office early to study, pray or just have that quiet time before their hectic day begins when all of the sudden they realize they are not alone and when they turn around they find a distraught husband or a homeless person that has gotten into their office unannounced. They tell me that after the initial shock they think, “why didn’t I lock the front door”? And I always respond, “why didn’t you?”.
Now we want the church to be an open and welcoming place, but we need to remember that when it is not hours of operation, it needs to be locked down. The only people that seem to be upset over this are those that either don’t understand the concept of security and leave their car doors unlocked during the night or don’t understand that there are people out there that would like to do nothing better than to rob, cut or hurt someone inside the church (remember the story we started out with?).
Our own church had a suspect, that was running from the Pasco Deputies, hit an unlocked back door and run through the church trying to escape law enforcement. No telling what might have happened if he grabbed and took a person hostage in the church like the guy did in the article. If you are not open for service all doors must be locked. Staff all have keys to get around the church, but I will say this again, all doors must be locked while the church is not open.
But you ask, when do we leave the doors unlocked, and my response is never unless you have a Greeter or church member at the door. We need to look at everyone that comes into the church, we need to be looking at the members, guest, those that are hurting and for those that might come into your church to cause harm. In “Threat Profiling” we teach you what to look for before it gets to your door. If your Greeters go into service after church starts then a Safety Team Member must be aware of the door and watch for any possible threats. We also recommend someone out in the parking lot watching for those running late that might be a threat.
If you want to make your church as open as possible then place someone at the door at all times, even during the service. If they can’t be there then your Safety Team has to be in a position to watch all doors until that person can get back to their post. If the door is not a main entrance on hours of operation it needs to be locked, all members of the church need to come in and out of specific doors and all others locked. Understand what makes a church open and friendly is not the doors, it is the people inside the church.
One more thing about my walk through at FMBC. As I walked through the administrative area I was stopped by two ladies that worked there. One asked me how I got in and I told her the door was unlocked. Both ladies started pointing the finger at each other about who’s day it was to lock the door. Make it everyone’s responsibility to lock the doors when church is not officially open. I quickly left the building before I got in trouble for not ringing the doorbell.
On Saturday November 4, 2017, I stood in front of a small church of about 100 members doing our “Why you need church security?” presentation. I remember warning them that domestic violence was one of the biggest threats to our churches and we, as a church, need to pay more attention to the needs of those going through this terrible situation. I went on to explain that I feared that the next major church shooting would have domestic violence as the catalyst behind the incident. On Sunday November 5, 2017, I was having lunch with Wendy at one of our favorite restaurants when I started to get text messages from my Church Safety Networking Group that a church shooting had just happened in Sutherland Springs, Texas and there were multiple casualties. I turned on the news and started seeing the reports, I had that sinking feeling that it had to be domestic in nature. That many causalities also meant it was someone that they knew and there had to be warning signs. As the reports started to come out about the 26 victims and that the shooter was the ex-son-in-law of one of the members in the church. The shooter had been sending the ex-mother-in-law threatening text messages. She was not there, but her mother was and was one of the casualties that day.
Everyday we receive an email from Google called a Google Alert. These alerts are searches Google does for us on crimes against the churches across the world. Last week I came across an article “Alabama Man Tackled After Allegedly Pulling Gun in Church”. Reading the Alabama article, I saw that on July 8th, 2017 a man was arrested at the church for threatening to shoot his wife and possibly her father. The soon to be ex-husband interrupted the church service by walking up the front of the church and talked about his upcoming divorce with his wife then attempted to pull his weapon when members of the church jumped into action and tackled the would-be shooter. There are so many things that come to my mind when I read stories like this, so I just want to share some of my thoughts on how issues like this should not get this far.
I was doing a training session with a church on “Verbal De-Escalation” and one of the members of the church made a statement that took me by surprise. He stated that members of any church may have to work with someone who is troubled from “cradle to grave”. I had never looked at the Christian responsibility when working with a hurting subject but, yes he was correct. If we believe that God is in control and He guides us to where He needs us then God puts you in front that person who is hurting and needs help. Trust me, most of us don’t put ourselves in those positions, He does. Once a person is put in front of us by God, we can’t just walk away. Now I am not saying you have to adopt this person, but you should do as much as you possibly can. As a church we need to reach out to the members of our churches and talk about domestic issues. In law enforcement one of the calls we hated the most were domestic disturbances. You never win in those calls. First there is the stress you have going to these calls not knowing what you are going to be walking into when you get there. I can remember going to an apartment one Christmas to find the husband upset because he had not gotten what he had asked for. He had destroyed the apartment. Getting there and seeing the wife was beat up and when we went to arrest the husband the wife jumped on us because we were getting ready to arrest the “bread winner” of the family. The 2017 End of Year Officer Fatalities Report states “The leading circumstance of firearms-related fatalities were officers responding to domestic disturbances and conducting traffic stops.” I have never talked to one officer that looked forward to going on a domestic disturbance call.
The church of today has to take a more pro-active role in working with those that advise the church of domestic issues. The church must make this a priority in their outreach. In any situation where we see “hurts, habits or hang-ups”, we, the church needs to gather information of the situation to decide first how we can help and second, if these issues in any way that could be a threat to the church. We as the church safety team must stress that any information about a pending divorce needs to be relayed to the safety team. Once again, this is not gossip, this is just intelligence information that may need to be passed on to the team to keep a watchful eye on all involved especially if physical violence has occurred in the past. Also, be careful about a spouse telling you that their ex will not hurt a fly. Those are the ones we read about where everyone is shaking their head, not understanding how this could have gotten so far out of hand. No one and I mean no one understands what is floating around in some one’s mind after a terrible divorce.
Christ was asked what is the greatest commandment? 28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
29 “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:28-31. If we as Christians believe this then we have a responsibility to make sure we do everything we can to help those that Christ puts in front of us. As the member stated from “cradle to grave”.
You have probably heard me say multiple times that our job as the Watchmen/Watchwoman or Watchers on the wall will never be done until the Lord comes back to earth and takes us home. If you have ever heard me talk about the second coming, I would love to have it happen right now, even as I am typing this letter. I have always dreamed of the Second Coming happening while I am with my family, so we can enjoy the beauty and the majesty of His coming together. We are told we cannot even fathom what Heaven will look like and I can’t wait for that day. Think about it, our work of protecting Christ’s Bride will be done. We will no longer have to watch for the wolves in sheep’s clothing but be able to rejoice in peace. Knowing that no one will hurt another child of God and that no more tears will be shed over the atrocities that have plagued the churches for so long. But since the Second Coming has not happened yet (still hoping), I must continue to warn you on what we need to be watching for in protecting the flock.
As I write this I can’t help but wonder what He is thinking about us right now. Maybe not us who serve to watch over the church but the church itself. Seeing an article from the Washington Post “The Sin of Silence” by Joshua Pease causes me to think. I asked myself are we being silent about sins that are going on in our church right now where we should as the Watchers for the church be talking about them? Now before we get into this blog you may be saying “wait a minute; the Washington Post is really not favorable to the Christian belief”. Maybe, but this article speaks volumes of the sexual abuses that go on in churches across the United States and churches that stand by and let it happen.
Our daily Google Alert, advising us of things going on in churches across the country, has articles on sexual abuse at a church almost every other day. Let me repeat that, almost every other day. In 2017 I read at least 84 articles of sexual abuse or rape that had happened in different churches across the country. That is over one case a week. While reading these articles on these terrible crimes I would say that over 50% of those cases the suspect was staff or a well-known member of the church. The Washington Post article confirms it does not matter the size of the church or what denomination, however the article mostly directs its writings against the evangelical church. The author points out a disturbing trend showing that in many cases the church puts the blame back on the families and victims of the abuse and even told the victims they were “overreacting”. Victims feel betrayed because no one in the church believes them. Most of these stories reported that the church had a “blaming and disparaging attitude toward victims”. Other times when the victim reported these horrendous crimes to law enforcement or outside agencies, the church accused the victims of “tearing families apart and it was their fault” because of them coming forward and talking. Many of these stories that were told in this article point out the fact that most churches do not know how to handle these types of attacks on the church members or avoid the issue altogether. It goes on to say that some of the predators came back to the church and asked for forgiveness and were let back into the flock. Isn’t that what we as Christians are supposed to do? Aren’t we supposed to forgive? Do you feel caught between a rock and a hard place?
We are expected to protect our children however when we don’t, who can they trust from this point on? This abuse takes years to overcome as we see in this article. The article talks about victim Rachel Denhollander’s experience. At an early age she was abused by a college-aged church member and the church turned a blind eye and failed to protect her. In the article it states how “she blamed herself and if anyone ever abused her again she wouldn’t mention it”. Later, she was sexually abused by Larry Nassar the doctor for the USA Gymnastics program and because of what had happened to her as a child in the church, she didn’t report it at first. Why? Because she felt that no one would believe her because of what had happened to her at her church that said, “no one believes victims”.
When I was growing up, a part-time minister and high school teacher was accused of sexually molesting boys at my church and school. He had been a substitute teacher in my class on multiple occasions, and I had been to Bible studies with him. It was devastating to everyone involved. This person was well received and liked. Most people couldn’t believe the news but when stories started to come out about things this person had done, people began to realize that there were red flags everywhere. No one paid attention because most didn’t want to believe it or were afraid to say something because of how well he was liked, his family’s connections and his position in the area. The first couple of victims were told to keep quiet about it and when the truth came out, it was devastating for all. How could this have happened and why didn’t the students stand up to this teacher? Why hadn’t someone listened to those that were complaining about the incident? The thing I remember most is that the school and church where this monster had molested children didn’t ever talk about it. The very next day it was forgotten about, nobody talked about it and to this day I do not know how many were molested by this suspect and if they ever received the help they needed.
While reading this article I felt sorry and cringed for the innocent in these churches and other Christian organizations as the names of their churches were posted in print for what they did and didn’t do. How would your flock feel if they turned on Bay News 9 and there was a picture of your church and the TV commentator describing to the public, “Sexual misconduct by minister or member at local Bay area church”. If in fact, you were a part of the church leadership that gave bad advice or looked the other way, be prepared for the firestorm that is going to hit your church. I don’t know how your church will survive the onslaught of reporters on your property and your members not wanting to be associated with the church anymore. The sad thing about this situation is the people that were seeking answers on believing in Christ will probably walk away, telling everyone about the hypocrites going to your church. And of course, the incident may have happened in one local church but every house of worship in the area must answer for this churches’ sins. In Matthew 12:35-37 “The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”
So, what are we as the Watchmen\Watchwomen on the wall supposed to do in situations like this?
The first thing we must do is protect and provide help to the victims and their families, not ridicule or blame them. At the same time, we should demand the church to get local law enforcement involved; that is not an option. How do we handle a request for grace from the convicted and do we just place that person back into a situation where they are doomed to fail? The answer to this is NO, not just NO but Heck NO. We would no more put a person who has been convicted of embezzlement or grand theft in charge of our offering and accounts than we should put this type of offender back in a position of power. When you look at it, the position of power was the start of the downfall of the offender in the first place. So, we as the Watchers on the wall must advise and make recommendations to the church on how to handle these situations. I would recommend that if the victim still comes to your church that you consult the victim and pay attention to their needs. You may want to recommend that the offender go to another church and even help them to get to know someone at that church, while advising the leadership of that church of the situation so they may handle appropriately. If you accept the person back who repented, guidelines must be discussed. In our Verbal De-escalation course, we talk about setting limits. If a person who has sinned against Christ repents and wants to come back to the church we must set limits. The purpose of the limits is not to punish, but rather help the person that sinned. Pray on the limits and understand if we set these limits too high, there is a greater chance of failure than success. We must be firm and supportive but sometimes it takes a little time to build that trust and both sides must be patient in the process. We need to explain to the church that allowing this type of behavior to go unchecked is only going to hurt the church and other church members. We need to make the church understand that if this person does the same thing again and they have knowledge of this type of activity and did nothing about it, get their checkbook ready because you will be sued.
These types of articles are hard to read because of the history of churches. Church supported colleges and other religionist organizations have hidden, covered up or even denied sexual abuse on their campuses. These places of worship eventually fall and fall hard. This type of activity will leave a scar on your church for years and will be hard to overcome. Now let’s talk about the victims. Talk with any sexual abuse victim and they will tell you it takes years to recover, it will rock their religion, and effect their relationships with other people. If the right steps would have been taken in the beginning to protect these victims, their soul would not have been shaken to the core and the perpetrator might not been able to abuse someone else. You must understand, we in law enforcement know a predator does not stop until it is captured. They continue to prey on the weak and when churches enable them by not reporting the activity, the church is an accomplice, just plain and simple. Christ Himself said “And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.” Matthew 18:2-16. I don’t know about you, I am looking forward to seeing my Savior, not a millstone.
Protect your church, watch out for these wolves in sheep clothing and when caught, do the right thing for Christ’s Bride. We must start explaining to our churches that we are either the predator or the prey when this activity is happening in our church. We must draw a line in the sand and say no more. We are searching for those that want to come to the church and fellowship and worship the Lord. We must protect the church from the wolves looking for sheep to slaughter. When Christ comes back and we all get to go home, I am hoping for a great celebration for all of you who have protected Christ’s Bride. At this festivity I pray to hear Christ say “well done good and faithful servants.”
“But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.” Nehemiah 4:9
Over the next couple of weeks, we will be putting together a training session on how to read and deescalate a possible dangerous situation. There are so many books you can learn this from but until you actually have the hands-on training it is difficult to really know how you will react where just one word can send you or the person you are talking to right off the deep end. I just read a good piece and will pass on some of the highlights from an article written by Eric Barker, “This Is How To Be Charming: 5 Secrets From Research”.
In this article Barker states “Harvard research shows 80% of our judgments about people come down to warmth and competence. And the more important quality is warmth. We’ll take a lovable moron over a competent jerk more often than not.” To a Safety Team Member warmth is a valuable tool to have and use, who doesn’t want to talk to someone that appears to be listening and interested in the issue at hand without being judgmental. But a Safety Team Member also needs to be on alert of a person that walks in with a big smile on his face but yet the more and more you talk to this person the hairs on the back of your neck continue to stand up. Wolves in sheep clothing can be cunning and dangerous, especially if they feel that they are safe in their actions. David wrote in Psalms 64, “1 Hear me, my God, as I voice my complaint; protect my life from the threat of the enemy. 2 Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked, from the plots of evildoers. 3 They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim cruel words like deadly arrows. 4 They shoot from ambush at the innocent; they shoot suddenly, without fear.” We as Watchmen/Watchwomen need to repeat this prayer everyday we serve. David goes on to say “5 They encourage each other in evil plans, they talk about hiding their snares; they say, “Who will see it?” 6 They plot injustice and say, “We have devised a perfect plan!” Surely the human mind and heart are cunning.”
A few years back we had a person come into our church with a smile that could “charm the skin off a snake”. Warm and personable to the point where everyone fell in love with this guy. Watching him I noticed things, that not only myself but other Safety Team Members noticed, that caused us major concerns. When he told his testimony, there wasn’t a dry eye in the worship center, but we kept seeing holes in his demeanor, his statements and the way he carried himself around the church, especially around the female church members. We had to be careful with our concern because most of the members and staff of the church felt this guy was the real deal. The Safety Team Ministry was still new, and some members and staff didn’t feel we needed this ministry and was waiting for us to make a mistake. I remember the pastor contacting me and telling me that this person was going to be baptized and wanted to make sure I was okay with this. That he really wanted me to welcome this person into the church but knew of my anxieties. I explained to my pastor that if this person was truly coming to the Lord and had changed then I would be happy to work with him in his walk with the Lord. As we started to finish our phone conversation that pastor said to me that he appreciated what we and the Team were doing and please keep up the excellent work. Then he told me he still wanted me to keep an eye on this new member. This caught me off guard, but it appeared that even the pastor has some concerns.
Before the baptism this person gave his testimony on the big monitors in the church and once again there was not a dry eye in the house. There was celebration in the church for this person’s change of heart, accepting Christ as his Lord and Savior. If WE could save this man, the world was the limit! It wasn’t even several weeks later that the sheep’s clothing came off and the wolf in him took advantage of one of our trusting members. We, as the Safety Team didn’t jump up and yell “We told you so”, no that is not our job, our job was to pray for those that had been hurt, ask the Holy Spirit to help us with forgiving this person and then praying for him that God would show him his wrong ways or as David finished out in Psalm 64, “7 But God will shoot them with his arrows; they will suddenly be struck down. 8 He will turn their own tongues against them and bring them to ruin; all who see them will shake their heads in scorn. 9 All people will fear; they will proclaim the works of God and ponder what he has done. 10 The righteous will rejoice in the Lord and take refuge in him; all the upright in heart will glory in him!” We as Safety Team Members must not judge, let us leave that to the Lord. But we must make sure that we “give ourselves no rest”. For Satan is out there, looking for his next victim or victims to devour.
So back to Eric’s article, he goes on to say to work on:
• The Fundamental Dynamic: Warmth is more important than competence. Better to be seen as a lovable idiot than a cold competent Evil Genius (this is my addition to this remember Columbo, loveable idiot but always got his man).
• Put in some effort, willya?: They will judge the interactions by how they feel they did. So, help them do good. Gracious host make and effort.
• Small talk – seek similarity: And once you’ve found it, offer a sincere compliment, show vulnerability, and ask for advise.
• They need to know you’re listening: Ask open-ended questions, be active and constructive, and contribute but don’t one-up.
• Give them the thing we all want: We all want to feel understood. Understand?
We all want to share God’s love, but we need to be a great listener and show them that you care before we can get to the root of the problem and be able to pray the right way. Listen but remember that during this time we have to be alert to things that may cause us issues and concerns. We will be training on just how to do this in the future. Watch for the dates.
Be safe and thank you for your valuable effort in this most important ministry of protecting Christ’s Bride.
Your brother in Christ,
Jim has many years of law enforcement experience and has run the safety team at his church for several years. TSA was formed after he realized God's calling when multiple churches reached out and asked him to present at their church.