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Jun 05
2007
CEN

Good Intention May Not Be Enough

Posted by: CEN

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Outreach. Evangelism. Worship. Protection. Missions. Which of these isn't usually included in a conversation with people of faith? My guess is you chose "protection." But increasingly church leaders are recognizing the need to include protection to their list of ministries. Why is that? Which of these isn't usually included in a conversation with people of faith? My guess is you chose "protection." But increasingly church leaders are recognizing the need to include protection to their list of ministries. Why is that?

How to Lay the Foundation for a Church Ministry Protection Team

Outreach. Evangelism. Worship. Protection. Missions. Which of these isn’t usually included in a conversation with people of faith? My guess is you chose "protection." But increasingly church leaders are recognizing the need to include protection to their list of ministries. Why is that? Which of these isn’t usually included in a conversation with people of faith? My guess is you chose "protection." But increasingly church leaders are recognizing the need to include protection to their list of ministries. Why is that?  

The Times Have Changed

The days when we left our churches open around-the-clock, kept money lying around, and never worried about a lawsuit are behind us. Several key changes have occurred in just the past five to ten years. Unfortunately, those who would steal, scam, or violate people no longer see the church and the flock as off-limits. Instead, they have come to view the church as a naïve group of people who are easy targets.

Secondly, churches are more prone to have higher-end equipment than in the past. Few people made off with the pipe organ. But many have helped themselves to keyboards, sound equipment, and anything else that will bring them a few dollars.

Next, more attorneys are recognizing that some churches have fairly deep pockets. Suing churches has become attractive for at least two primary reasons. Churches, especially those belonging to a denomination, have large pools of money to draw from in a lawsuit. In addition, it has been found that most churches are far behind when it comes to policies, practices and procedures. Therefore, a case against them is easier to prove. Simply put, churches are an "easy target."

What Can Be Done?

The task of protecting people, property, and resources as well as being prepared for any emergency may seem enormous. And it could be if left in the hands of one or two people. However, as this is a process, it will take many hands to accomplish the goal of providing a safe and secure church environment.

The best approach is a team approach. Gathering a core of 4-8 people that come from such backgrounds as police, fire, medical, human resources, construction, business, and insurance can be a great first step.

Next, educate them. There are numerous online and printed resources. Training events, ranging from online and web teleconferences to live seminars are becoming more plentiful.

Then the team needs to begin assessing your organization. The two primary areas are physical and programmatic. They should seek to answer the question, "Do we have a response to any situation that can threaten our people, facilities, resources and ministry. From this assessment you should develop an action plan or practices and procedures that can guide your congregation. The internet, other churches and denominations often will be a great source for sample plans.

Besides assembling the supplies and plans you may need, the team should also communicate their plan to the leaders and congregation. Practice drills and evaluations should be a constant part of the process.

At the End of the Day

When all is said and done, God will reward us for being faithful. I would suggest that protecting the people, property, resources and ministries that God has entrusted to our care is a faithful act of stewardship.

Many man-made and natural influences can impact our ability to minister effectively. By having a team in place that can guide your church through the entire process of protecting ministry, you can move forward feeling secure in the knowledge that you will be ready to face any possible emergency or incident that may lie ahead.


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