Church Security Team Coverage At Church Events
When it comes to church security and doing the job correctly, this is where most church safety teams fall short. I would like to address one of the main issues we see regarding church security teams.
If a team is serious and dedicated to the cause, then you must provide coverage for every service and event at the church. What qualifies as an “event”? Simply put, any time there is a group of people at your church, especially if there are women and children present at the event. That may include a women’s Bible study, breakfast, or vacation Bible school, to name a few.
Many churches have off-site events at parks, other churches, etc. It is the due diligence of your church to provide protection at these events.
As if those examples were not enough, there are three times that you are likely to have serious issues. Those times are family reunions, funerals and weddings. The main reason you will face issues at these events is mainly that there are family secrets, and people holding grudges. And at times, these things come out at family gatherings. One of the most likely times that things may get ugly is at a funeral. Why? Because emotions are flying, and people will fight over money and possessions. Some people are opposed to having security at family events. However, it does not negate your duty to provide protection. You see, most people are ignorant to the fact that they need to protect themselves, so why would they think that they need protection at a wedding, funeral, or family reunion? We have come across situations where people actually got offended that the security team was present. As you probably know, you cannot please everyone. And, pleasing people isn’t our primary concern. Protecting people IS!
The Huge Responsibility
We fully understand the undertaking of providing security at these events and that is why most churches fall short of doing so. Most people who have a safety team up and running do not truly understand the magnitude of their duties. If they did, then odds are that they would have never signed up in the first place.
You have two things working against you. First, is the limited number of people you have on your church security team. Second, is the commitment level of these people. When a team first starts up everyone is gung-ho on doing whatever it takes. After several months pass, people start making excuses as to why they cannot be there to provide coverage. And when you have a small team, it makes it really difficult to cover all or most of the events. The smaller the security team, the faster people will get burned out.
It is imperative that you understand that your church is legally liable to provide security at all events the church is involved in. If your church does not provide proper protection, then simply put you are not doing what God wants. God wants His church to be responsible and obedient, and, that includes providing protection for those at your events. The main issue is that most Christians do not see the true need for church security. This is a hypocritical mindset because most people wear a seat belt and lock their doors on their homes and vehicles, all-the-while claiming there is no need for security in a church. If God is “just” going to protect you, then why would you need to lock your doors or wear a seat belt?!
If you cannot provide coverage due to your team’s size, then you should try and recruit more people. However, quality is always better than quantity and we will talk about that in another article. It may come down to making the decision to have fewer events at your church. I sincerely pray that it does not come down to this for your church.
Now, having people who are armed at these events does not count as having security. The main reason for that statement is because most people do not know how to properly deploy their gun into the fight. In fact, they may very well place people in more danger. You really need to understand that the majority of people who are armed are incompetent and have received little if any training. Not to mention, they do not shoot very much and rarely, if ever, practice drawing and shooting from concealment.
One thing that you will never hear me say is that being a part of security is easy. In fact, I try to discourage most people from being on a security team because they have no real concept of what it involves. I made a podcast episode on that very subject and you can listen to it here. Whenever there are children at an event in any form, you need security present.