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.
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.