How to Make Your Church a Sanctuary in Uncertain Times

March 26, 2018
Religious Organizations

Your church is a haven, where people of all different backgrounds and needs are welcome. It’s hard to imagine violence erupting in such a peaceful place — and hopefully it never does — but you need the tools to protect your congregation from threats like an active shooter while they are in your place of worship.  


How can you improve your church security while still being warm and welcoming to members and newcomers alike? Like schools and other public venues where people gather, your church will need to focus on three key safety areas: prevention, incident management, and recovery. Here’s how to get started — and how CrisisGo’s comprehensive safety platform can be a valuable tool to your team along the way.


1.      Prevention


It’s time to start evaluating your church safety plan for its strengths and weaknesses. When it comes to prevention, the first question to ask yourself is: What safety measures do we have/need to acquire to deter someone from attacking our church? For example, you might have church security cameras installed on the property where they’re noticeable, or you may hire armed guards to be visible during your services. If budget is a factor, you can even reach out for volunteers from your congregation; this increases your community engagement in safety, as long as participants complete rigorous church security training. You may already have (or may want to look into purchasing) a quality church security system as a further disincentive to anyone looking to start trouble at your place of worship.


Just as important as providing deterrents is training your security team and church members to be aware of potential threats to their safety, such as traffic hazards, suspicious packages, severe weather, and of course those looking to do violence. If a member of your religious community identifies a danger, they need an easy way of alerting others to it. CrisisGo’s safety app enables your members to instantly report any threats right from their mobile device and reach the people who need to know first. Messages can include multi-media, such as pictures and videos.


2.      Incident Management


During a crisis, adrenaline kicks into high gear, activating an instinctive response to either run, fight, or freeze in the face of danger. With CrisisGo’s safety app, your church members won’t be panicking and scrambling to find answers online. Even without internet access, members and safety leaders can access digital plans for dealing with crises right from the app. These digital plans include exit routes and emergency checklists to guide your congregants step by step to safety.


Reliable crisis communication can save lives when you’re dealing with an active shooting event or other emergency. CrisisGo’s custom messaging groups allow your congregation to stay connected to safety leaders, to the church security team, and to each other until the threat has been handled. Instead of relying solely on a few people with walkie-talkies, you can empower all of your members to take an active role in keeping each other safe with the CrisisGo app, which can be accessed on your computer and any mobile device.


3.      Recovery


When people attend a worship service, small group meeting, or youth ministry activities at your church, they’re entrusting you with their safety. CrisisGo can help you protect them and their loved ones. Your safety leaders can keep track of the members in their care with CrisisGo’s digital rosters to help prevent people from getting separated from the group or hurt during an emergency incident. You can’t control when danger will strike, but you can take steps to build up a strong church security ministry to take care of your people. Give your people the mobile safety tools they need to protect church members and visitors alike during a disaster and to recover afterwards.

Davia Sills