There is something important missing from the current church safety discussion and that is the “ministry” opportunity. Why build a team prepared to handle all types of emergencies and not also build that team to be the spearhead of a ministry to hurting people?
Answer this question: “On any given Sunday how many people come onto your campus to hurt you as opposed to how many that are hurting?” If the safety team is trained to look for both, think of the opportunity they have to touch the lives of those hurting people while simultaneously protecting their flock. Therefore, it is my opinion the screening of safety team members should be no less than 1 Timothy’s guidelines for an Elder or Deacon.
While I teach all aspects of safety and security to churches on a national basis, my heart is in building safety “ministries.” Safety is currently a hot topic and can be used to draw members (especially men) to action when they might not plug into a church any other way. It is also a means by which churches can work together for a single purpose even across denominational lines—what a novel thought.
How cool would it be to see the topic of safety become a tool the Lord uses to shift the hearts of members who have been on the sidelines, just checking off the attendance box each week? Let’s build teams who are first ambassadors for Christ then protectors of His flock.
Paul A. Lake
Shady Shores, Texas