Editors note: Cornerstone Church of Ames Iowa is hosting a church safety and security conference on Saturday August 8th from 9am to 5pm. All training sessions and lunch are included for just $30.
To register please visit: www.kingdomshield.org/safety-conference.
Please consider attending this important conference and hearing from leaders in the church safety and security industry. Learn practical steps for creating a safety team ministry at your place of worship.
by Joel Wise
Churches are soft targets for criminals. According to Twisted River Consulting (www.twistedriverconsulting.com) there were 447 criminal attacks against churches and faith based organizations just since August 2014. The 2012 FBI Uniform Crime Report for religious institutions showed 2391 incidents at churches across the nation. The crimes included assault, homicide, kidnapping, and sex offenses. These are the things most likely to occur at your church. Some of them may be happening already. For some perspective, the 2009 report shows only 1237 crimes.
One Iowa company is taking a proactive approach to protecting our churches and faith based organizations through the development of church safety team ministries. Joel Wise of Kingdom Shield (www.kingdomshield.org) says, “With crimes against churches at an all time high, there has never been a more responsible time to develop a safety team ministry to protect your congregation.” These crimes seem to have very little to do with the size or denomination of your church. They are happening at tiny rural churches as well as multisite mega churches.
It used to be that criminals wouldn’t dream of attacking churches. They had a level of respect for God. This has all changed. Criminals no longer care who they hurt or how much damage is done. Nothing is off limits. Churches are rarely secured, mostly left unlocked and open, and employees are largely untrained to deal with threats and violence. “Negligence is an ugly word none of us wants to hear with respect to how we handled a sticky situation at our church.” says Joel of Kingdom Shield.
A safety team ministry may be a great choice for you. It seems prudent to begin identifying those trustworthy individuals in your congregation who have the skills and a desire to protect and defend. A great place to start are those with law enforcement, military, or fire fighting experience. Equally important are doctors, nurses, and EMT’s.
Joel Wise is the owner of Kingdom Shield and is on oversight for the Cornerstone Church safety team