In this episode of the 5 Leadership Questions podcast Todd Adkins and Barnabas Piper are joined by Ron Aguiar, a safety and security expert in the church and in the corporate world. Ron has a background in law enforcement and running security for fortune 500 companies, for large events, and most recently for Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky. In this informative episode they discuss the need for security as well as best practices for everyone from the church leadership down to church members in the pews. It is an eye-opening and helpful (if disconcerting) conversation.
- Is security a greater issue for churches now than it has been in the past? Why?
- How should churches handle security who are not able to hire staff for it?
- How can churches handle security in a way that helps feel safe and not like there’s an impending threat?
- What are two or three things a normal congregant can do to assist in church security?
- What are two or three things people should remember if there is ever a crisis situation in church?
“I really believe churches need to be aware and begin protecting themselves a little bit better.”
“Partner with your local police department or sheriff’s agency to do a free security assessment.”
“Build the same partnership with the fire department and get to know your fire marshal.”
“Hire off-duty police officers to be in uniform on the premises for a few hours on the weekend.”
“If you can’t hire someone work with someone in the congregation who is former law enforcement or military to help set up a team.”
“Don’t allow everyone to carry a gun.”
“Private property owners have the right to say ‘no fire arms on the property.’”
“It’s a balance between security and ministry.”
“Equip ushers with ear pieces. That way if someone wants to do harm it looks like 40 security people!”
“People feel comfortable with one or two cops, but don’t put thirty around the doors.”
“Once people are in worship they should no longer see armed security.”
“We need people patrolling the children’s area and the youth area.”
“If you see something that is bothering you or doesn’t feel right grab an usher or a security person and point it out.”
“Volunteers and ushers need to know what you are doing for security.”
“Get some decent radios for communication.”
“Your job is to get far away from the violence and help as many other people get to safety as well.”
“The responsibility to call 9-1-1 falls on anyone with a cell phone.”
Keeping Your Church Safe by Ron Aguiar