Church Safety: Cover The Basics First

I was recently reminded of a meeting with our lead pastor on the first Monday after the Charleston church shooting in 2015.  At one point, of course, the events in Charleston came up. He asked me what our church safety team had done differently this weekend. He was a little surprised when I said we hadn’t done much differently. Here’s why I said it.

Football Lessons

Part of the conversation made me think back to something I learned in high school football.

One time we played a team from out of state. Each time their offense came to the line, their guys would line up and, as they went into their three-point stance, they’d slap their thigh pads in unison. It was noisy, cool and, to be honest, kind of intimidating.

We didn’t know it at the time, but we were a tune-up game for them. They were in the running for a state championship and most of the teams around them were tired of getting beaten up. And they beat us up good.

Of course, in our next game, we tried to adopt that move. After all, it looked/sounded cool. The problem was, we weren’t that good. No, that’s putting it too mildly. We pretty much stunk.

The team we were playing against was better. They were bigger, stronger and more talented. Their skills were superior to ours. That little move wasn’t going to make up for the fact that we couldn’t block, run, pass or tackle that well. In short, no flashy trick was going to make up for the fact that we didn’t have the basics covered.

Church Safety vs Church Security: Does the Name Matter

Church Safety Basics

Back to the conversation after Charleston…… when I recapped the weekend, my main point was that the first weekend after Charleston wasn’t much different than the weekend before that tragedy. Yes, we were a little more alert because of the possibility of copycats, and we cast vision about what we do with a little more purpose, but for the most part, it was the normal weekend.

It was normal because we had the basics covered. No, we don’t have a perfect program. There are many things we’re still working on improving and we’re learning all the time, but the basics are there. Every Super Bowl win starts with the basics. No amount of trick plays or flashy uniforms will really help if you can’t block, run and tackle.

5 Essential Skills for Church Safety Teams

Basic Skills Translate

I constantly read about what churches are doing to improve their safety. I talk to my peers on a regular basis. It’s tempting to shift our focus to the new, the flashy or the interesting. More gear, cameras or guns. But you don’t shortcut your basics.

Take care of the basics in your program. Being observant and vigilant is your blocking and tackling. Those skills help you notice the fire hazard as well as the potential threat of violence. Watching the parking lot for car burglaries also watches it for a child who managed to slip away from his family. The basics may not be as flashy or interesting, but they’re the building blocks for the rest of it.

When you hire Better Protectors for church safety training, you will get techniques and guidance that have been tested. We don’t chase the latest trend or try to sell you on buzzwords or try to create fear. Contact us and find out how we can help your church become safer for the people who call it home.

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