The best results in an Active Shooter situation is that no one gets shot, and that includes the shooter.
Now that I got your attention that will be the topic of February’s newsletter.
I first want to take a moment and hope you all had a glorious Christmas. Wendy, myself and the girls took some time off and together went on a cruise for our Christmas present. It was a wonderful time and a memories that will last forever.
I wanted to finish off 2018 with a little bit of a recap of Trinity Security Allies’ year and a sincere message to all of you who call yourself the watchperson, sheepdog or shepherd of your church.
Last year we at Trinity Security Allies held over 55 trainings across the country. These trainings included our standard trainings of “Building a Safety Team: Why & How” and “Threat Profiling: Know Your Warning Signs”. We also kicked off our new training on “Verbal De-escalating”. We did seminars with National Center for Life and Liberty (more about them later) in Texas, North Carolina and Georgia. We met new friends and family in Zion, IL, Cedar Rapids, IA and Glendale, KY. One of the things that all the churches had in common was warm people but cold temperatures. I look forward to going back to all of them just hoping that it is in the summer. We have been all over the state of Florida and we will be kicking off 2019 running. No rest, too much work to be done. I want to thank all of you that have had me in your churches and your homes. If anyone thinks that God is dead or that Christianity is done, I can proudly tell them they are wrong. God is very much alive and well in this fallen world and every opportunity I get to speak I meet those that love the Lord and have the same calling that we have which is expanding the kingdom of God and protecting the flock.
God has been working upstream to help us out in this ministry. This year we met David Gibbs with National Center for Life and Liberty and have worked out a partnership where we can now direct your legal advice designed for all churches. In so many of our trainings we have questions about liabilities that we have not be able to offer. National Center for Life and Liberty brings that to the table and we will now be doing seminars with them to give you the necessary information to not only protect your church from the evil forces of the world but also protect you from civil and criminal issues using their expertise. We have worked on putting together training material in DVDs and print. This is something that we have been praying for since we started and now God has answered our prayers. For more information about National Center for Life and Liberty and the training material you can go to our websites trinitysecurityallies.com or at NCLL.org.
This year we also added a firearm simulator to our training. This is a training tool that I feel not only all churches, individuals who carry and even police departments need and fall way short on. I just received a recent article from our good friend Larry Booth at Bethel Baptist Church in Lakeland about a study that showed in over 149 real-life Officer Involved Shootings (OIS) that 35% of their shoots were accurate. Think about it, if you fire 10 rounds there is a good possibility 6 of them are going to miss. In this report from Donner/Popovich with Force Science News who studies police force-related issues, large departments such as New York City, Chicago, Philadelphia and Las Vegas show a target hit rate ranging from 22 percent to 52 percent. What does that mean to us? We need to practice more and this is a tool needed in every church that allows safety team members to carry. More about this in my next blog.
But enough about Trinity Security Allies, I want to now talk to all our brothers and sisters of this ministry. First to Team Leaders. Remember church safety is a ministry. Make sure that you thank each and everyone of those that come out service after service to help in protecting the flock. We had multiple services for Christmas Adam and Christmas Eve and I can tell you right now, I am very proud of our Safety Team Members. They came and they served. I am so blessed.
As our first thoughts are to hope that everyone had a glorious Christmas, sometimes I know this just isn't always possible. Sometimes we stand in front of the Christmas tree with our families and have the photos taken with all smiles but behind those smiling faces are issues and pain that just won't go away. Sometimes being a team leader takes on a different meaning all together. Sometimes I have to be a pray warrior (something I am really not good at). Sometimes a Team Member reaches out and bears their soul about the trials they are going through and I want to take away their pain but there is nothing I can do but pray. We all have Team Members that this was their first Christmas without certain family members that have gone to be with the Lord. We have some Team Members that are fighting demons that unfortunately only Christ can give them peace for needed rest, the strength to go on and the comfort to know this battle to shall also pass. They may not see the end in sight but we as brothers and sister must be there for them, if only to just sit and hold their hand, not talk but just be there (which is something I really struggle with, being quiet that is).
Among us are those that blessings have flowed beyond their expectations. Answered prayers. A new family member, a precious gift. A new job or good news about an illness. The blessings we receive each morning when we are able to just wake up and be with family and friends just one more day. Another day to do His work. He is with us through the trials and through the blessings, He never leaves us. When other people let you down or you feel like your world may be coming apart make no mistake He is always there and knows who to send to you during those times.
So for 2019 we as the Safety Team Members must lift up our brothers and sisters every day. Call out their names or just list them as the STM (Safety Team Members for those that have not figured out my code). Christ knows who they are and your heart. We must support each other even though we may not understand each other’s issues, we know that they are very real to them. Sometimes when blessings are flowing and you are on top of the world, we don't want to come down from that mountain top to help others. Let Christ do the heavy lifting and just pray for one another. That is what we are supposed to do. Know that I am always here for anyone of you. My phone number and email address is in every email I send out.
In closing, I pray for a wonderful New Year for each and every one of you. I pray that you renew your relationship with Christ and really take on the responsibility of getting closer to Him. I pray that you follow His lead every day. That as soon as you open your eyes in the morning you thank Him for the day and ask Him what He has in store for you. I pray that the last words on your lips at night are to our Heavenly Father and you fall asleep in His presence. 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-29. I pray that you are the beacon that when people look at you, they see Christ in you. I pray for our friendship to continue throughout this journey that was never meant to be traveled alone. I look forward to the day when Christ comes home and the emails (if there still is email) are nothing about defending our churches but about the glory of God and the feast He has prepared for us, those that protect the flock.
Safety Team Leaders remember “2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, watching over them—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not pursuing dishonest gain, but eager to serve; 3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.” 1 Peter 5:2-4.
Trinity Security Allies is looking forward to another busy year of serving the Lord in helping protect the flock. If there is one thing for sure in this ministry it is that we will never be out of a job. I keep going to God and asking Him when I can retire. He keeps telling me to find retirement in the Bible, I still haven’t if anyone has it please let me know. So it looks like I will be working at this till Christ either calls me home or He comes to take us home. It will only be then that we can be relieved of our duties. I look forward to that day but until then we need to continue to communicate, train and be ready for whatever the evil forces may be thrown our way. “I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem; they will never be silent day or night. You who call on the LORD, give yourselves no rest” Isaiah 62:6.
Have a Safe and Happy New Year,
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.