There are still those who feel that the word “church” at the end of their property title provides immunity against the bad things that happen at buildings without the title.
The late Paul Harvey was a favorite newscaster of mine. I recall hearing him tell of a church pastor who, while standing waist-deep in the baptistery, asked for the microphone. In classic Paul Harvey style, he simply, said, “he was 53”.
Just a few days before Christmas in 2008, 23-year-old Keri Shryock had a part in the Christmas play at the Crossroads Church in Oakley, Ohio. The part had her up in the air above the congregation, swinging from a cable. As she was suspended 20 feet above the crowd, a harness failure occurred dropping her to her death in front of the stunned audience.
And this last week – on Friday evening in Decatur, AL tragedy struck again. A 22-month-old toddler wandered into the Pentecostal House of Prayer sanctuary where the baptistery had been left open and full of water. By the time they found little Brayden King it was too late.
Many times each year, I read of a bus or van of church youth that has crashed, sometimes killing all on board. Good kids on a good outing with good leadership. At times like those, people are left bewildered and searching for answers.
Think About it:
Ø The answer is simple. Accidents happen. Every one of the instances mentioned here could have been avoided. Every one of them included human failure somewhere – a hazard unheeded or a split second of negligence.
Ø Some of the same folks who believe in invulnerability of the church, don’t understand the danger of voltage (low voltage or line voltage – both equally as lethal) in water. It will kill you just as quickly in church as it would if you were in a night club.
Ø While it may be more glamorous to speak of terrorism coming to America, be ready for a killer coming to church, or to watch for violent offenders in any category, the truth is that far more people are hurt and killed by accidents than by violence.
Ø Any day is a good day to keep your eyes peeled for hazards. The primary workplace injury every year is slips and falls. Of those, 60% are a “fall on the same level” and 40% are a “fall to a lower level”. Churches are no less vulnerable in this arena than a grocery store. Watch for trip hazards and negligent activity – not just criminal action.