Millions of people mark the anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks during worship services each year. What can we learn from the tragedy?
Given the Department of Homeland Security's encouragement to be on alert for suspicious activity, what could your church do to improve safety for members and guests? We'd like to offer these suggestions:
Station extra people at entrances. Ask additional volunteers to serve as ushers and greeters this Sunday. Encourage them to be alert for anyone who appears out of place. It might be a person wearing a heavy coat on a hot day; someone who avoids greeters, looks nervous or agitated, or an unfamiliar person walking toward the building with a duffel bag or backpack.
Put someone in charge. Who would be in charge of responding to a safety incident? If you don't have someone to oversee church safety and security, appoint a staff member or volunteer to fill this role on Sunday, and begin to look for a person to assume this duty on a regular basis. Be prepared to contact law enforcement immediately if any security threat is observed.
Have a first-aid kit handy. If you own one, check to make sure that it's easily available, fully stocked, and contains up-to-date supplies. If you don't have one, purchase a kit large enough to serve the number of people who regularly attend your church.
I'm encouraging you to be informed, not alarmed; because the Department of Homeland Security has urged law enforcement to be on alert this weekend, I wanted you to have some simple, tangible steps you can take to improve safety for your church members and guests.
Please stay tuned for upcoming details on our Risk Management Conference featuring Richard Hammar from "Church Law & Tax Report/Christianity Today."