This section is updated every Sunday morning to give church security teams some things to think about as they prepare for weekend services. I wish your team the very best and hope you may find occasional things applicable to your operations.

Security!? In a church?

Think About it ...

Ten Things – Item 2


I recently offered the following ten things as subjects to be part of any church security program development process. I plan to get through each of them in more detail this year.


This week we will cover the second of the following 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


My car has one of those options of dashboard readers that allows me to see what the average miles per gallon has been over the last 500 miles. I recently discovered that if I hit “reset”, it starts over fresh. So I set up a little experiment.


After I filled up with gas, I hit “reset”. So all the mpg history was deleted and the mileage would relate to only that tank of gas. But instead of leaving that option showing in my dashboard readouts, I opted for a different display.


At the next fill-up time, I brought that display back up, noticed I had averaged 23.1 mpg, and reset it as I filled the tank.


However this time I left that option showing for the entire time I drove on that tank of gas. I could clearly watch my fuel economy go up or down depending in my driving habits at that moment. The end result was an average of 24.8 mpg at the end of that tank.


By doing nothing but keeping an eye on performance, I increased fuel efficiency by 7.36%. Not a bad return on investment. It simply confirms the adage; “That which gets measured gets managed”.


The safety of your organization is the same way. When you first launch your safety program, you should take inventory of your current safety readiness. If you missed that step when you began, now is a good time to do it.


A starting point risk / vulnerability assessment is essential. In any industry, safety and security professionals agree it is a must. If it is worth the time and effort to develop a safety plan and team, it is worth the effort to measure your readiness in light of identifying your risks and vulnerabilities.


Think About it:


Ø There are many options for such a study. It is better to have a third party do it, but many churches cannot afford to pay that third party. Here are some options to consider;

1.   Hire a professional to conduct such a study. I do these and almost every church security professional I know will as well.

2.   You may have a safety professional in your church who is a member and will conduct one for you at a discounted price, or as a member contribution.

3.   Use local law enforcement or fire departments. NOTE: I suggest using both. You will get marked differences between the two – take the most applicable portions from each and develop your own best points.

4.   Use your liability insurance provider.

5.   Do it yourself;

(a) Tina Lewis Rowe will send you her guide entitled, “How To Conduct a Thorough Safety and Security Assessment” if you just ask her for it. I would give you her e-mail, but I would rather you see her website at the link above so you see all the other stuff she offers. As a retired U.S. Marshall she has a real heart for church security and has some excellent and relevant resources.


(b) I developed a “100 point inspection” in an .xls format that I will send if you just ask me for it.


Ø Whatever option you choose, develop some form of follow-up so you can measure improvement in the future. That which gets measured will be managed.