One day a man dies, who was a devout Christian. Saint Peter meets him at the Pearly Gates and begins to give him a tour of Heaven. As the tour goes on, Saint Paul points out all the different Christians. "There's the Catholics, there's the Lutherans, the Methodists, the Presbyterians", and so forth. As they come to this one group way off to themselves, Saint Paul motions for the man to come closer and whispers. "Now, for this next group, we need to be really quiet. They are the Baptists and they think they're the only ones in Heaven."
Okay before my Baptist brothers and sisters start sending me hate mail or requesting to be removed from the mailing list you must understand I grew up Southern Baptist. I can remember Baptist preachers insinuating this in some of their sermons. So give me some freedom here. We all have our specific beliefs that makes us who we are, if not there would not be all the different denominations. So, I can joke about my roots in the Baptist Church. But what I can’t joke about is when we put together training at a church that is open to everyone and other denominations will not come to that training just because of that reason. Why do we develop safety and security teams? We do it to protect the flock. This should be universal across the board for every safety team, no matter what denomination. You create these ministries to protect the flock. Isn’t this what it is really about?
Several weeks ago I was asked to come and do a security assessment at a local Mosque. This was just after the New Zealand shootings. I jumped at the opportunity to serve. Isn’t their families and children just as important as ours. I had seen the raw uncut video of New Zealand shooting. The slaughter of innocent women, children and elderly people was devastating and should not be experienced in any religion. You will band together to protect the schools whether they are private, public, charter or any other variation. Why should church safety be any different?
We were invited to Venice, FL by the Venice Police Department to do our church safety training. When we first kicked it off, we immediately got over 150 church members signed up and by training day we had over 300 signed up for the training. The amazing thing was that there was every know denomination there. Over 80 churches, we even had a Jewish Synagogue. I asked the question if the participants believed in miracles because having Baptist, Methodist and Catholics agree on anything was a miracle. What frustrated me if we had gone to any church in Venice with any known denomination, we would have only gotten 20 percent of those that we had at this training. Why? Because the police department was hosting the training and not a church. Most have the mindset of, hey if the police department is hosting something it must be the real deal. We must change our mindset, if it is about protecting the flock, it doesn’t matter the denomination, it is the real deal.
All of my years in police work we were always training. We had to have 40 hours of recertification training every four years just to hold our position on the department. We would go to classes to learn of other ways to handle people in crisis or how to do proper traffic stops. Other things would occur across the country and we would look at each other and think to ourselves we are not ready for this if it happened in our jurisdiction. An example, Columbine, 1999. Before Columbine our agency’s response to any active shooter situation was to surround the parameter, wait for the SWAT team to arrive and then let them decide to breach or not. Columbine changed all of that and we started active shooter training and because there were six other cities next to us, we started training with their agencies police departments.
When I started working with Belleair, I understood that we sat in the middle of three jurisdictions, south was Pinellas County, north was Clearwater and east was Largo. I knew nobody in the agencies, so I went to all the county networking meetings. It didn’t matter if it was on burglaries, robberies or sexual assaults, I went to them all. We shared information on what was going on in our cities and it gave me a network of detectives with the same mindset of mine, catching bad guys. Building these relationships anytime we had crimes close to the Belleair boarder I would contact the jurisdiction next to us and see if they were having the same issues and if they had a suspect. We on so many occasions were looking for the same suspect so by sharing information we were able to get these people off the street faster than by working alone.
Brothers and sisters, bad things are still happening against churches. Read the papers, shootings are still occurring, vandalisms appear to be on the rise and if church goers were aware of how many sexual assaults have happened across the country, they might not let their children go back to church. We must understand that we live in a fallen world and attacks on church property is not slowing down. In fact, to us it only seems like it is getting worse.
Please understand I am not a person that thinks every weekend there will be a shooter waiting to come into a church and up the body count from Sutherland Springs. But I would be a fool if I didn’t think that every weekend there is a possibility of an ex-husband who has reached the end of his rope and finds himself in a very dark place. He may be contemplating if this weekend he will wait for his wife at her church to hurt her. What if that wife decided to leave your church for fear of running into her ex-husband? You understand her fear because of his violent past. Are you prepared and will you share that information to the other church safety teams so they can be ready in case the husband shows up on their campus looking for his ex-wife?
In our church sometimes I feel we have seen everything. We have had the prophets, the panhandlers, those that have mental-health issues that ranged from being violent to just needing extra attention. We’ve had sexual predators, impostors and disruptive attendees. Everyone one of these we have listed has either come from another church or have left our church and went to another only to start up where they left off at their previous church. So why is it that church safety teams refuse to get together and share information about what they have seen in their own churches? This is not gossip, this is being proactive and protecting the flock.
Brothers and sisters, if you have a safety team leader in your church that tells you they don’t need outside help, I would tell you that person is not the right person for your safety team. I am considered by many an expert in my field, but I still read articles, go to seminars on church safety and have a whole network of professionals I can reach out to for help on a question I might have. It would be prideful if I thought I was the be all to end all and we know how God feels about pride. Don’t let a prideful safety team leader put your church in danger. We are all working on this together.
There should be no competition in the safety of the flock. I see no competition in my field as a consultant of church safety, I see others in this line of work as my brothers and sisters in protecting the flock. I heard it once said, ““Teacher,” said John, “we saw someone driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.” “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “For no one who does a miracle in my name can in the next moment say anything bad about me, for whoever is not against us is for us.” Mark 9:38-40 (NIV).
I know who is against us and he loves that fact that we as Safety Team Leaders are not working together for the Kingdom of God. You see if we were to unite maybe we could stop some incident like Sutherland Springs or The New Zealand shootings. Maybe we could change laws to create better protection for the churches. Please come and join us at our networking meetings and let all of us work toward the protecting of God’s people, His chosen, His sons and daughters. I pray that you will leave behind whatever stops you from coming to a Church Safety Network Group meeting. Go to our website Trinitysecurityallies.com for information on our next networking meeting and join us on our new Facebook Group.
God bless you for what you do and look forward to seeing you soon.
Since Wendy and I started this ministry back in October of 2015 we have been working on ways to better serve you in the protection of your houses of worship. We started off with teaching the basic on why you need a church safety team from a biblical point of view. We started to network churches to share information on concerns and persons of interest that are possible threats to the order of the church services. In doing this we have found disruptive people who have traveled not only from church to church but from county to county.
In 2016 we started to teach a class on threat profiling, being able to identify those that are coming into your church that are hurting or maybe wanting to do harm. We have now taught this class all over the country with great success. We hear stories of safety team members using the information provided in this training to spot and successfully halt potential threats in their houses of worship. This last year we have added verbal de-escalation teaching safety team members how to approach a hostile situation and move it from a threat to an opportunity to witness the love of God. Now with the aid of our new simulator we have been able to put safety team members in real life situations. These scenarios force safety team member to make split second decisions on whether they can verbally talk the threat down or must draw their weapon to defend members of your congregation. This month we are putting out a booklet, a free resource on “Developing a Safety Team, A Biblical Approach to Church Safety”. Over the next few months we plan on putting out more of these free resources to assist you in reviewing what you have done and what you can continue to do in protecting the flock.
Since our first Church Safety Conference in October of 2017 we have worked on bringing in speakers from all over the country to talk about relevant issues facing the church. Our third conference this November 2nd, 2019 we will bring in another set of keynote speakers that promise to instill in you that you are doing God’s work. Here are just two of our keynote speakers, Kevin Smith the Director of the DHS Center for Faith and Opportunity and Judy Workman, a survivor from the Sutherland Springs shooting who because of her training and faith in God was able to save multiple victims on that horrendous day.
Over the past three years we have touched over 450 churches across the United States. This has been possible with the gracious funding provided by the churches for this training. We have been all over the state of Florida, in North Carolina, Illinois, Iowa, South Carolina, Kentucky and Virginia. We have made brief introductions to churches in Texas and Georgia with the understanding when funds are available we will be back. The church memberships and monies received from these trainings have kept Trinity Security Allies’ doors open with the accepting that this is not a get rich position but one of serving God. Yet over the past few months, Wendy and I have seen the vision that we need to do more and in order to do more we have to come to you and talk about possible funding options.
In the book of James 4:13-15, James states “Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”. Wendy and I truly feel that “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.”
We have been praying and the dream is to expand Trinity Security Allies over the United States. In order to do that we need funding to help us travel to these states and hold seminars on how to protect the flock. In our research we have found that 94% of the churches in the United States are under a 500 member congregation. That over 59% of churches are under 100 in membership. These churches deserve the training and understanding that protecting their flock comes from within and not with outside assistance. They must rely on themselves when evil walks in their door until law enforcement can get there. In the case of Sutherland Springs Texas shooting, after the shooter had left, over 15 minutes passed before the first responder got into the building. We must provide this training no matter the size of the church to protect their flock. We are looking for individual and business donors who would sponsor a church so that we can provide the training necessary to protect their children’s ministry and those that come and worship from this fallen world. We are looking for organizations that would be interested in helping us share this messages to those that cannot afford our training. There should be no church left behind in this ministry.
The world is changing and it is not for the good. Yes we know that God is in control but we have to protect His flock. He has given us this responsibility to share this training and information and we need to reach out to help fund it. Please pray on this and let us know your feelings on this. Share this with businesses that are looking for ministries to work with. We can show them the need to continue to get the word out and their funding will go to a worthy cause, protecting Christ’s Bride all over the United States.
Wendy and I truly believe of our calling and we want to continue and we need your support. For those of you who have supported us so far in the journey you are on our heart and in our prayers every day thanking you for your support. We continue to ask for your prayers and we know God has a plan. “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 Thank you for your support.
No weapon required for most threats. Verbal de-escalation and scripture can be key to eliminating a threat
A lot of great things going on at Trinity Security Allies. We just finished filming 25 different church scenarios with Laser Shot Simulations. These scenarios are based on actual situations that have happened in churches across the United States. We are really excited about getting the finished product so we can bring it to you. Thanks goes out again to Laser Shot and the two hard workers Anderson and Christian. This was an incredible week of a lot of hard work. I want to thank all of those that came out to help us film these scenarios along with Generation Christian Church and Faith Baptist Church in New Port Richey for letting us use their facilities. This training is going to help churches and law enforcement across the country seeing scenarios that could happen in their church and learning how to respond when faced with these situations.
We have been working on something that will have a huge impact on Trinity Security Allies, we have started working with James Simmons with Simmons Law Group. I met James through one of our Board Members and the first thing that stuck me about James was his love of the Lord. This is a person that understands “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” Ephesians 6:12 and he is here to protect your church and your families. I am looking forward to working with James not only to help protect those that fight for what is right but also serving with him in sharing the Word. We are ready to work for you, just give us a call.
We also had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Kevin Smith the Director of the DHS Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives. Kevin will be at our November 2, 2019 Church Safety Conference and talk about ways churches can beef up the security of their church with government help. Through a DHS grant churches can apply for monies to purchase items to make their churches safer like good doors with easy to operate locks to lock down, cameras and also safety training. More information is coming soon on these grants.
Wednesday night I had the honor of being on Kevin Haggarty’s Facebook live The Godlogic Project. Kevin and I have been friends since Trinity Security Allies started and now he has a podcast that he does called The Godlogic Project. I would ask everyone that subscribes to our blogs to go out and subscribe to Kevin’s YouTube channel. Kevin talks about a lot of things churches don’t want to because churches don’t want to discuss what is going on in the real world. They want to paint a picture of it won’t happen in our church or to our families but Satan is out there and looking for the unsuspecting sheep. You can go here to listen to our last podcast.
During our talks with both Kevins I started to think about how we are constantly talking about church shootings. I have heard over and over that you have a better chance of getting hit by lighting than having an active shooter at your church. Please understand I could not agree with you more. We call constantly pushing an active shooter in churches “the fear factor” or like watching a train wreck. You can’t turn away from it, we don’t understand why but we have to watch the carnage. Let me say this again if you have a company that does not want to talk about domestic issues, disruptive attendee, children ministry issues in their training be leery of them. There are things that will come into your church that will cause people to feel unsafe and it isn’t always a man with a gun.
We had an intellectually disabled (politically correct) person come into our church and disrupted the church service. He was sitting in the back, raised his hand and asked for prayer while the service was still in progress. He asked for prayers for all of the women he had raped and killed. Read that again, prayers for all the women that he had raped and killed. So was this a threat? People sitting around this person perceived it as a threat and didn’t feel safe while this was going on. So how would you handle this person without becoming physical, do you have a plan in place for a disruptive attendee? Do you know your rights during a situation like this? You will have more of these types of situations than you will have lighting strikes so how do you handle them? Training. Most all situations church safety team members deal will do not require a weapon. We need to keep being reminded of that. Stop arming all your people in your congregation. You are only asking for trouble.
Our training is for churches that want to protect their congregation without force if possible. If you don’t want a firearm in your church that is your prerogative. We are still the ministry that wants to come in and teach you situational awareness and threat profiling so you can get ahead of a possible bad situation. One of the great things Laser Shot did in these church scenarios was include a submission piece in every scenario. That means that if your Safety Team Member verbally de-escalates the situation then the violent person gives up. You want to use the most powerful weapon in the world, the Word of God to handle all situations. You want to become the most powerful weapon against “the powers of this dark world and the forces of evil in the heavenly realms” and “put on the full armor of God…and use the Sword of Spirit” Ephesians 6:10-17. Use His Word as your weapon and let’s see how evil stops coming in your churches’ door because they will know that God is protecting you with a big angel at your door.
Follow me here, the shooting at Chabad of Poway Heroes didn’t have security training yet because people were aware that evil could walk into their synagogue at any time, lives were saved. I am not saying that if they had a safety team it would have had a different outcome but God had placed the right people in that synagogue that day to only have one death when the subject was armed to kill many more. Let’s praise the heroes during this tragic event, let’s lift up their names and pray for their bravery. Lori Gilbert Kaye gave her life shielding the rabbi by jumping between the shooter. She gave the ultimate sacrifice saving the rabbi. Almog Peretz’s who still lives in Israel was visiting his family in California. Almog was wounded but still had the forethought to go to an emergency exit and get all the children near him to run out to safety. We have the Army veteran that was in prayer when he heard the gunshots and ran toward the danger. Oscar Stewart stated because of his training, he didn’t think about it, he just ran toward the threat. It was because of his actions the shooter didn’t kill more people. Oscar didn’t have a weapon, God had been training him all his life for that moment. The last hero was an off-duty border patrol agent. Jonathan Morales had just recently been asked, by Rabbi Goldstein to carry his weapon while he was at the synagogue. Even though Morales actually didn’t confront the shooter while he was in the house of worship he did stop him from leaving and possibly going to another synagogue and kill more innocent people. To read more about these heroes go here.
When we take a look at the mosque shooting in New Zealand the person at the second mosque that halted the shooter from killing more people use his head and a unique weapon to stop the attacker. Abdul Aziz screamed at the shooter trying to distract the shooter away from the mosque so others could get to safety. Using his voice and the only thing he could get his hands on as a weapon, a credit card reader. He threw the credit card reader at the shooter which caused him to drop his weapon and run back toward his car to get another weapon. Abdul grabbed the weapon and realized it was empty but then threw it at the suspect who then drove away. The best weapon Abdul had was his desire to save people and not to die that day.
So let’s land this plane on what are we saying here. You who read this blog should be talking to your friends and family that go to other churches. If you care for them you should be asking them if they have some sort of safety team and procedures in place. If they tell you they don’t because they don’t want a bunch of people running around with guns in their church tell them to call us. The heart and soul of Trinity Security Allies is expanding the Kingdom of God and protecting those doing it. It does not have to be with guns, it can be with their voices, their smarts or a credit card reader but you have to train. You have to know how to protect your perimeter, know what to look for when that person comes into your house of worship and understand that evil comes in all shapes and forms and it might not be carrying a weapon that day but you still have to deal with it.
Do you know how to do that? If not call us.
I have a couple of rights and today I am going to exercise those rights. First, I am getting old so if I say something that offends someone blame it on my old age because the older I get, the more I don’t care if I offend you. Here are my credentials that allow me to exercise the second right. Except for one year in my adult life I have been involved in law enforcement in one capacity or another including military law enforcement, a sworn police officer or working in the private sector involving law enforcement. I can list all my accolades, but won’t. I will just say if you cut me, I bleed blue. I have the right to make a statement about something that I am noticing that really concerns me about my family in blue. I have this right to complain; I have this right to criticize because of my credentials and let’s not forget my old age.
I just got finished doing a church safety/security training in a large metropolitan area. In this training I noticed that there was not one sworn officer there, not one. It wasn’t because we didn’t invite them, in fact, we contacted their PIO (public information officer), made a special invite to them, posted the event all over our social media and there was a news report regarding the training on the local TV station about the event. We even had members of the local InfraGard chapter pushing out this training. InfraGard is a partnership between the FBI and members of the private sector. But yet not one sworn officer showed up, not one. So this blog is not only for our Church Safety Team Members (CSTM) but it is also for you in law enforcement. In fact if you are on a church safety team share this with one of you law enforcement buddies.
I cannot understand law enforcement not showing up for this type of training. First you have someone that comes into your backyard talking about training people to physically protect a church. I, as a law enforcement department, would like to know what this organization is teaching. Hey, you might learn something. They may be teaching something that is illegal, or something that might not be illegal but something that your department might not agree with and maybe you would want to voice your opinion. I have been to a lot of these “church safety/security” training sessions and I shake my head when I hear what is being trained. I have heard of training that teaches CSTM about clearing rooms. I was watching one on the Internet the other day (wished I had saved the video) and they had a room of at least 8 people sitting at a table. The next thing you heard was what sounded like a gun shot in a hallway. Everyone in that room was armed. Everyone jumped up from that table, pulled their weapon and headed for the door. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. This was a company that went to that church and was doing church safety training. I got up and left a training where the instructor was showing CSTM how to go after people that have knives and disarm them. They stand up in front of the students who have little or no training and show them a few moves to take a knife away. I can tell you even if you practice that move until it becomes a natural movement, you are probably going to get stabbed (I would even bet you are). Some of you have only seen cuts on hands and fingers from a kitchen or shop accident but until you have seen wounds from a knife attack I can tell you right now, it ain’t pretty. You don’t believe me, do a Google search on knife wounds and look at images, maybe you shouldn’t because as I just said, it ain’t pretty.
I once asked one of my Safety Team Members, who is a martial art expert, has all sorts of belts and titles out his wazoo what he would do if he was confronted by a person with a knife and he told me he would just shoot that person. Okay Indiana Jones, you don’t have a gun at your disposal what would you do? His corrected response was they teach their students to put some distance between them and the assailant. Look for a weapon to be able to defend themselves if they have to confront the person with the knife. He told me that you only go hands on if you have no other choice. Getting to close to a person with a knife you will get cut, I promise you. But there are organizations that want to come out and teach you self-defense or tactical moves knowing that unless you practice you are going to get hurt. In anything, unless you practice whatever it is that you are doing you are not going to be good at it. As I like to say you can’t think of how to react to an attack. By the time you remember if it is “wax on” or “wax off”, you have been waxed.
No police department, no military unit ever goes into harm’s way without practicing how to survive. They train all the time. So how often does your church train? Once a month (rare), once a quarter (good for you), once a year (still ahead of the curve) or you can’t remember the last time you trained (most churches). I will shout this from the tallest steeple; most church volunteers are not SWAT, Rangers, Navy Seals or Force Recon and no offense to my prior military and police brothers and sisters but most of you don’t stay in shape to be able to handle a man with gun or knife. I don’t mean to step on anyone’s toes here but let’s be honest, when was the last time you ran a mile and a half in 12 minutes or less? When was the last time you did 100 push ups or even went to a range? You tracking yet? I will be the first to admit I am not what I used to be even 10 years ago. I know my limitations. When companies come to a church and want to teach safety/security teams how to be Rambo, they really need to have their credentials checked; and the local law enforcement agency needs to be the ones doing the checking. It is bad enough to go into a place where violence has happened and innocent people got hurt but it is heartbreaking when those hurt where hurt from friendly fire. Case in point this last March two police officers responded to a man with a sword in a church, the suspect was shot and killed but both officer were shot. Think about it for a second, man with a sword and both officers got shot. I have been around swords and never saw one that shot bullets (not talking rifles with bayonets or Elgin Cutlass Pistol from 1830’s). Still today, the police department has not said the officers were hit by friendly fire but I bet it was that or they had an overzealous CSTM there. I am going to go with friendly fire on this one.
I will give you another one; the shooting that happened at a country western bar in Thousand Oaks where the shooter walked in and shot 11 people. When the police arrived the Sheriff’s sergeant that was the first on scene was killed by friendly fire. I am not going to take anything away from either of these officers but here is my theory on what happened that night. Two officers from two different agencies were the first to arrive on the scene. I am willing to bet they never trained together at an active shooter training or they trained in their respected jurisdictions and maybe the training was different. But we have two seasoned officers at an active shooter scene and because of different training one accidentally shoots the other. I don’t think the surviving officer will ever get over that. Now let’s look at your church; you accidentally shoot one of your members. I promise you, you will never get over it. I almost shot my paperboy one night (contact me and I will tell you the story). It ended up the paperboy was unarmed but because of the circumstances I would have been justified. God was with both of us that night and I don’t have to live with killing an unarmed person. I still think of that night and shutter.
Back to my brothers and sisters in church safety. When I go into any church and teach safety/security in a house of worship one of the things I stress over and over in my training is to get local law enforcement involved in any training they do. I am out here plugging for the churches to be a law enforcement friendly establishment. I explain to them how important it is to us, our law enforcement brothers and sisters, to have a place where when we can sit and work in peace. A place where we can come and take a break from the chaos of the world. We use to do our paperwork in the stations but now we do most of it in our cars so it is great to have a place to go and be able to sit for an hour and not get complained on. Churches, if you see an officer sitting in a car on your property go out and introduce yourselves to the officers, tell them how much you appreciate them and offer up a cup of coffee or a bottle water (I do not push donuts, too much of a stigma). Offer them a place they can use the restroom in private. Do you know how important that little thing is to us that work the street? It is huge.
This is to my brothers and sisters in law enforcement. We are constantly having to watch our backs and the crazies in this world are not our friends and most of the time want to do us harm, so making friends with a church is not a bad idea. Listen to me very careful here, what I am about to say could save your life for eternity. Every day I read articles where an officer shoots an unarmed person. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could go to a church that you have befriended and get prayers, comfort and peace? Even if you are justified the press is going to hound you and your family. Your own department while investigating the shooting is going to feel like the enemy at times and you are going to need a support team. Christ said bring Him your burdens. He placed churches in your life to go there and lay those burdens down. The churches and law enforcement are in a unique place right now; there are a lot of people out there that would like to see both of us just go away. Why are we not getting together and talking about serving each other?
Now I am not criticizing all law enforcement agencies. In fact I would like to give a shout out to a few that have been great supporters of our ministry. I must first start with the agency that still lets me carry a badge and asks nothing of me; the Port Richey Police Department. I talk about you in every presentation; I do. A special thanks to Pasco and Polk Sheriff’s departments. You trust me and constantly send Deputies out to assist us in our training. You have connected churches to us when they have asked for our type of training; training you aren’t allowed to do. Venice Police Department took a chance with us and asked us to come and do a church safety/security for their town and what an event it was. Because they heavily promoted the training, more than 300 attendees and over 80 churches were represented. Following them was the North Port Police Department. Everyone of these agencies get it. Churches with only 500 to 1500 members are the size of a small town. My church has 3000 members which is larger than the small town of Glen Rose I grew up in. Heck it is almost double of the population when I lived there in 1970. These agencies get that they cannot be at every church service. They would if they could but they understand that if something goes sideways in a church, the church has minutes before they can get there. We understand we must do everything in our power to protect the flock. In an active shooter incident that means barricading doors, getting people out of harm’s way and trying to slow the shooter down till help arrives. It also might mean going against the shooter with force. Those minutes until the professionals get there are going to feel like hours when people are getting hurt. In talking to a survivor at Sutherland Spring Baptist Church, she said it was around 16 minutes before the first 1st responded walked into the church. We have to be prepared and we must work together. If we don’t who has our backs.
Are We Ready?
Happy Easter, Christ has Risen! I found this description of Easter on the internet, “the most important and oldest festival of the Christian Church, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” See that, “the most important” of the Christian Church. That means we will be seeing our “Chreasters” soon. You know those that only come to church on Christmas and Easter. Of course we will also have the faithful that understand this is the most important celebration of our lives, the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Because of several issues that have happened around the country and the world we are taking a little harder look at the safety for our church on Easter. Why would we do anything different than we would any other weekend, because Satan would love to disrupt or destroy a church during this most Holy celebration. Understand what is said here is only my opinions and my opinions only. The only bases for what I am about to say is my observation of the world and my experience in what we do for churches. These are things I think about as to why Easter is so different and we need to plan differently for it.
June 2018 the U.S. Department of Justice/ Federal Bureau of Investigation put out a publication called A Study Of The Pre-Attack Behaviors Of Active Shooters In The United States Between 2000 And 2013. In this article they looked at over 60 cases of active shooter and found that they were more likely to occur in an educational facility or a house of worship. This tells me there is still a lot of work for us to be doing and we cannot let our guard down at any time. We must be diligent on our walls and make sure that all is safe and our churches are open to those that are coming to worship, those that are hurting and we keep a watchful eye out for those wolves in sheep clothing.
Last week I was having dinner with a good friend that is a retired Norfolk Police Lieutenant. We started talking about the New Zealand Mosque shooting. He stressed to me that one of his greatest fears was that the next big shooting was going to happen at a vacation spot. He said not like at Disney or a big amusement park but like at a beach where on a really busy weekend families are out enjoying themselves when someone comes on the beach with a weapon and starts shooting. As we were sitting there talking I started thinking about how a lot of churches are going to be hosting an Easter egg hunt and a Sunrise Service. Maybe you have never thought about this being a potential target but after the dinner discussion I had with my friend I feel we need to pay more attention to what is going on around us instead of worrying about how many eggs have been found or how nice it is to have a service outside. This is what I am talking about, a habitual place where we feel nothing could happen. We have to be on alert to make sure this is the biggest celebration of the Christian Church and also the safest. Easter weekend make sure that you have Team Members at your doors with your Greeters, listen to your ushers. Make sure that you have at least two rovers in the parking lot because of the large amount of people that you are going to have coming and going at your churches. Remember “15 When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to our own work.” Nehemiah 4:15.
Have a great and blessed Easter. Remember He has risen and conquered death so let’s celebrate!
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.