The first step in solving a problem is admitting you have a problem. What if the people around you don’t see the problem or disagree about the problem? How can you bridge that gap? How do point out a problem in a setting where your ideas might not be universally welcomed? Getting through to leaders in your house of worship about the need for real security might just be one of those situations.

Churches are places of peace and worship. People attend services in order to get closer to God and experience a sense of community and belonging. Thinking about stopping an active shooter can destroy that sense of peace. Still, we cannot put our heads in the sand. Hope is not a strategy. We must prepare.

That preparation often starts with broaching the subject with church leaders. Maybe they have already been thinking about it and don’t know how the congregation will react. Maybe your discussion will surprise and frighten them. Two things we know for sure: People have attacked churches in the past, and response time is key. The longer it takes for someone to engage an active killer, the more people that person will kill.

Baby Steps

If you can’t convince your church to start a security team, at least push for an emergency preparedness team that will help with evacuations in case of a fire or a medical emergency like a heart attack. The more we talk about safety and dealing with emergencies, the easier it becomes to convince people we need to be vigilant and have the ability to respond in kind when evil appears.