About the Author of this website
Carl Chinn was introduced to the need for security while serving as Building Engineer for Focus on the Family – a Colorado ministry founded (and led at the time) by Dr. James Dobson. Like others in faith-based management, Chinn had dismissed the subject of emergency readiness through much of his career, considering it an inconvenient distraction of debatable importance.
Experiences changed his views on the subject.
In 1996 he was a responder in a standoff with an angry gunman who took hostages at the Focus on the Family ministry. Following the attacker’s trial, Chinn began researching and writing on the subject of criminal and other incidents in North American ministries. In 2005, he and others began to develop an intentional security program for New Life Church in Colorado Springs, CO. He was one of the team of responders directly involved with the active shooter on 12/09/2007. He continues to serve New Life security as the threat investigator and liaison between law enforcement and ministry security operations.
Chinn works for LONG Building Intelligence – providing technical security solutions for commercial facilities throughout Colorado. He also travels and speaks at national conferences on the subject of real life lessons learned in the ministry security incidents experienced. His research and experiences have been featured in national media and publications including Focus on the Family, The 700 Club, Preaching Magazine, Christianity Today, the Washington Post[i], Moody Bible Institute and various radio interviews. He has spoken at colleges, seminaries, churches,
Carl and his wife raised 5 children in the Colorado Springs area, and now enjoy 10 Grandchildren.
[i] Author’s extensive study maintained on website referred to by the Washington Post as the most comprehensive collection of serious criminal attacks on churches available in 2009.
Faith-based organizations must increase their awareness of, and preparation for, the accidental, criminal, and environmental hazards capable of compromising their primary ministry purpose.
The intention of this website is to help churches and ministries recognize the need for intentional security and to provide simple concepts for starting or improving security programs. The Violence Statistics, Church Crime History and Think About it… tabs are updated on a frequent basis.
Ministry safety and security must be a decision of leadership. It should be based in faith and managed in action.
We should embrace biblical teachings to “not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear…”[i] But being confident in our faith doesn’t mean we stop participation in our own preservation and social interaction. We trust God for provision, but we don’t sit up in bed in the morning and raise our hands for clothes to float down on us out of heaven. We don’t stroll leisurely through the day with a heavenly mist occasionally sprayed into our mouths to keep us hydrated in between tasty morsels of surprise that find themselves lodged in our teeth, satisfying our hunger. The procurement & administration of those needs is an intentional process of action on our part.
Providing for safety and security of congregations, staff and volunteers is like that.
Yet very few faith-based organizations are intentional about it. This is especially true of churches. Many still say, “God will provide”. He does – but He expects a little participation. The people in our care and the amenities they have funded with their contributions are worthy of security considerations.
This website is maintained as an information resource – to be visited often for new ideas and current data as ministries respond to the wake up call, increase awareness and improve response actions.
Teddy Roosevelt said, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are”. While speaking to reluctant troops preparing for the battle for
“We prayed to our God and posted a guard…” Nehemiah 4:9
Copyright Notice: If you can use any material on this website to make churches or ministries safer, please do so. Please pass on the information as freely as it is given.
Disclaimer Notice on incident stories and statistics: Extensive effort has been made to verify the accuracy in each story. Information is gathered from major news syndicates, law enforcement press releases, personal witnesses and public court records. While great care is taken with the wording of each incident, a certain margin of error exists in any collection of statistics. I welcome any corrective suggestions discovered by readers.
I welcome you to write.
[i] Matthew 6:25 (NIV)