With the recent incidents of protests focused on churches, we want to discuss this timely church security issue. The type of disruptive protests we’ve seen recently is something new in our nation and all indications are that this type of activity will likely increase given the current political and social climate.
Let’s start with some really good news: This chaos is not a surprise to our Lord! He is still in control and is still with His people working in the midst of all things! You have often heard from SecureChurch that keeping people safe in our churches is a “ministry” not just a volunteer program! In fact, if there has ever been a time where we need wise and prepared security for our churches it is now!
So, let’s start with a couple of important things to focus on as we deal with protestors: prayer and preparation.
Start in Prayer
If you have attended any of our SecureChurch training, you will quickly see that we always start with prayer. Why is that? It’s because the only hope we have for our divided nation is the Lord and prayer activates super-natural power to be released into chaos!
2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV) says “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
Notice that humble prayer must be first, then the healing can follow! Are your teams praying? Are you asking God humbly to heal our land?
Remember that if we are prayed up, we likely won’t miss the spiritual part of what is happening in our nation. It means we are ready to be used by God to perhaps breathe peace into chaos, love into hate, and healing into suffering.
We must never forget the Biblical imperative to love the person more than we love our own position… or dislike theirs. The good news is that when we show that kind of love, we represent our church and bring glory to our savior far more than a pithy rebuke laced with judgment and anger. It’s never easy to show that kind of love when someone disrupts something sacred to us. Jesus modeled this from the cross of all places!
Remember that Security is all about making something not happen rather than waiting for it to happen and then responding! When we pray and then prepare, we are likely to be able to respond with a solid plan that can help deescalate a situation.
Let me encourage you to consider the following in terms of preparing:
Be Alert and Have a Plan
What are some signs that protesters are planning to disrupt your services?
If they gain entrance to your building without you knowing it, you must be prepared to grapple with the disruption during the service. This requires the teamwork of your worship, security and leadership teams.
Monitor not only the protesters, but also your congregation. Individual congregation members will often try to take matters into their own hands and go out to rebuke or threaten the protesters. We must never let that happen as it is placing that individual in harm’s way and it will likely result in a charged interaction that will go viral on the internet. We have seen more than once that a congregation member will try to slip out the back to handle things their way.
You must also know your local jurisdiction’s laws about serving a no-trespass notice. Call your local police today to ask them how to execute one.
Remember that the world is watching how the church responds to this chaos, my hope and prayer is that we respond differently and always with wisdom and discernment.
Stay safe out there and be blessed!