i’m personally packing for the beach…
but today we had an amazing workshop on safety and security at work. since i deal mostly with kids in my position… this is of utmost importance to me.
nothing will send someone faster away from your church than the feeling of un-security, un-safeness, un-detail orientation when it comes to the lives of their kids. security is our number one physical concern.
if you have worked at a church, you know that people dont remember to bring back their tags, or think they can pick up kids because they know you… and many times, they get irritated when you make them sign something extra or write down their information, AGAIN. and i’m always ok with that. you can be mad at me … but you will leave knowing that someone cared enough about the matching XJ2(or whatever your randomly selected code is for that day) we need to see to give you back your child… and you will come back.
so, in our workshop… we learned about the team of people that are there each time we have a service, ensuring our safety. i love that. it’s not just the kids being protected, but everyone. we learned of their backgrounds in law enforcement at varying levels and degrees. let me boil it down for you though – in case you find yourself in a situation where you need to create security.
-we have armed officers patrolling our grounds and our buildings.
-we have visible law enforcement specialist all around, serving as a great deterrent.
-we have undercover teams you will never see, but you can still thank God for.
-places that have been the victims of mass shooting (active shooting) many times had no such deterrents or security in place (thank you long hollow for caring enough about all of us to go the extra mile)
-we all need to have a plan in place for extreme conditions. you, as the leader of a room, should have a plan in mind should anything go awry.
-when we go to lock-down. it’s real lock-down. like at school. just because you are at church, doesnt’ mean you can break the rules and leave your designated area to get your child. this will endanger you both. (now, i can understand if there is no security, why this might be tempting, but when there is security – trust that we are doing the best we can to keep your kiddo safe from harm)
-we need to have our eyes and ears open at all times, aware of what is going on around us. aware of sketchy characters… if someone just came to mind, you need to alert your security officers 10 minutes ago. they can only work with the information they have.
-we went through multiple active shooter situations from the past few decades. there were many things in common and they aligned with a terrorist attack. premeditation. lack of security. planning. altered realities that should’ve been noticed by someone. stemming from a hatred from a past hurt. the columbine shooters met all of these criteria, and it was parralelled with a terrorist attack in mumbai – eerily similar.
-we ended with a photo of a piece of heaven. our head security officer shared that we know that God is in control, and that evidence of God’s greatness is all around us. we need to look for it and be reminded.
this whole thing was not to cause fear, but to prepare us to love people better by protecting them. i love my church for this.