Ten Things – Item 4
Keep it Simple
I recently offered the following ten things as subjects to be part of any church security program development (or improvement) process. This week we will cover the fourth of those ten;
1. Confirm executive support
2. Do some sort of base-line readiness evaluation
3. Start with what you have…where you are
4. Keep it simple
5. Keep it legal
6. Know your insurance agent and policies
7. Network with your community
8. Train & drill
9. Develop policies & procedures
10. It’s jazz -- not an opus
There is perhaps no other of my 10 things as challenged by others as this. Many in our profession believe simplicity has no room in security operations. I am familiar with very complex plans and procedures that spell out every detail of movement.
Those details are incredible works, and I respect the professionals who have taken the time to assemble them. Their criticism of my urge of simplicity could be right, and there is value in some measure of complexity in larger organizations.
We should first consider what church security audience I am addressing. While there are mega-churches that this item may give way to another of more applicability, the overwhelming majority of security operators are in smaller churches. In a small church, the security function is not a full time job. I know there are exceptions, but I am speaking primarily to those who have volunteer operations in a small church.
Your operation – should it get documented – is not going to make the New York Times best seller list. If it is your motivation to franchise your operation, your attention is taken off your particular church operations towards the grandeur of larger operations. If you are called to a national need, focus there. But if not, focus on your church.
Don’t launch your safety / security program by asking for a budget. There may come a time for that discussion, but don’t start off with that. After a couple years of doing follow-up readiness evaluations (hoping you read my article on the number 2 of the top ten) those recurring needs will become obvious. But the purchased items will never be the most important part of your operations.
The most important part of your security operations are the people who make it work. Most of those people have full-time jobs and responsibilities elsewhere. While we must be professional and effective in security operations, those who serve there must enjoy and understand their service. If volunteer burn-out or participation has been an issue for your operations, you must ask yourself why.
Think About it:
Ø It makes no sense to complain about the level of volunteer participation. Volunteers serve where they are appreciated and in a function they understand and are good at.
Ø Develop a simple organizational chart and staff it with the right appointments.
Ø Create and maintain an enjoyable and effective environment.
Ø Complexity kills the spirit.
Ø Take an opportunity very soon to thank the men and women who have served you in making your plans effective. Get your senior pastor to address them once in a while – to let them know how much leadership appreciates them. Few other activities can have as much effectiveness as a simple but sincere, “Thank you”.