10 Ways to Keep Your Church Safe

Two people pray after the Sutherland Springs shooting.
Two people pray after the Sutherland Springs shooting. (Reuters)

Churches welcome more visitors at Christmas than at any other time of year, and as houses of worship open their doors to numerous people this season, pastors are undoubtedly thinking about how to keep their congregations safe in light of the recent tragic shooting at a small, rural church in Texas.

Leaders from the American Pastors Network (APN, AmericanPastorsNetwork.net), the largest national network dedicated to equipping pastors to be a voice for truth in the public square, have discussed church safety with pastors, held strategic conference calls on the topic and addressed the news on the APN radio ministry, "Stand in the Gap Today" (listen here and here), heard on 425 stations around the country.

"Unfortunately, church security is now a pressing matter in our nation," said APN President Sam Rohrer. "No longer can we fully count on the peaceful and serene sanctuary of the church. It's clear that those with evil intentions, whether against the church itself or those inside, have sought to steal and kill and destroy. We live in a culture where our churches must seriously think about how to keep people safe. Just as a shepherd carries a staff to guard his sheep, so must every pastor employ ways to protect his flock."

After conversations over the past week, Rohrer and other APN leaders developed recommendations for churches to consider when it comes to the important matter of church security. Read the full list here.

  1. Understand the biblical and moral responsibility of safety.
  2. Develop and train a security team.
  3. Perform a risk assessment.
  4. Implement security protocols.
  5. Install security cameras.
  6. Establish a medical response team.
  7. Evaluate the legal parameters for security measures.
  8. Create an evacuation plan.
  9. Involve local law enforcement in the security plan.
  10. Communicate the new or existing security measures with the congregation.

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