As the stories of the carnage that happened in Orlando started to come across the news it left me mad, disturbed and sad for the family members of the victims. Brothers and sisters I don’t want to sound like a crier of doom and gloom here but we have to start seeing the sense of urgency in protecting our churches. Share with your leaders what I am sharing with you. Read this post to them, the only difference between where the Orlando shooter killed all these people and your church is just location and opportunity. Let’s be clear if you break it down you will see how close this could have been a church.
Walking through what is now known and what we are learning by the hour about the shooting in Orlando we know that the shooter was evil in its vilest form. He was a radical jihadist Muslim that wanted to kill infidels with extreme prejudice. If we take this apart (bear with me) a church could have just as easily been his target. Think about it, radical jihadist Muslims hate and want to kill Christians. In my mind and I don’t have to go far in my thinking to put churches in the same category as the club, a soft target. The shooter picked the night club because he knew that those associated with this club would be unarmed; there would be a large gathering of people and it would shock the United States to its core.
Don’t see it my way yet, let’s look back in February - Dearborn Heights, Michigan a suspect was planning to shoot up a large church with a membership of over 6,000 (Read the story and affidavit here.)
Ranting to an undercover FBI agent about going into the church and shooting people the suspect stated “It’s easy and a lot of people go there. Plus people are not allowed to carry guns in church. Plus, it would make the news.” See the similarities, “a lot of people go there, people are not allowed to carry guns in church and it would make the news.”
I am not saying that one gun in the Orlando club would have changed the situation, there was an armed off-duty police officer there and it didn’t change things. We have to stop giving the impression that churches are soft targets. We need to educate our churches of the importance of protecting the congregation at all costs. We need to band together and make sure that we are sharing information.
Getting information out to our networking churches and law enforcement about a suspicious person that their actions causes the hair on the back of your neck stand up neck, makes us so much stronger. We need to train and prepare; it is coming my brothers and sisters and we need to be ready.
We need to get the word out to other churches about our ministry, the Church Safety Networking Group. Through numbers we are so much stronger against the “power of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil” that Paul warns us about in Ephesians 6:12.
Evil which we saw in Texas, California and in Boston just showed up 100 miles away from us. If you didn’t think it could happen here in our own backyard you need to refocus. Peter warns us to “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8. But, if we stand together and lift up our focus and prayers to our Lord and dedicate all we do to the expansion of His kingdom then we can claim these words given to us by Timothy, “But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth.” 2 Timothy 4:17.
Get the word out, make a stand, educate and let’s shout it out NOT IN OUR CHURCH!
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.