Church security is a topic we’d all prefer was unnecessary to address. Unfortunately, an online search of security incidents occurring within churches pulls up quite a few examples. Thankfully, qualified professionals with a heart for ministry are using their skills to serve churches in this area.
One such professional is Simon Osamoh, founder of Kingswood Security Consulting and the Worship Security Association. Simon worked as a Detective in England, then handled security for the Mall of America. He is well-versed in dealing with organized crime and terrorism threats. Simon uses this expertise to serve the faith community and now helps church leaders navigate the complex waters of welcoming broken people into their churches while still keeping their congregations safe.
I recently interviewed Simon for The Church Operations Toolkit membership. He had several practical tips to share with our members. Here are a few highlights from that conversation:
Tip #1: Identify your church’s security culture
What is the leadership of the church comfortable with when it comes to security measures? Would the congregation accept having an armed security team on-campus or not?
Tip #2: Determine what policies and procedures the church needs
List every program or service that occurs throughout the week on church property. Consider what element(s) of risk you may encounter with each event.
Tip #3: Discuss how best to manage those risks
These steps will become the documented policies and procedures for your church’s security plan.
Tip #4: Keep documentation simple
Document security policies and procedures in short, simple terms. This makes it easier for training purposes. It’s also hard to recall a long, detailed emergency response plan when you’re faced with the adrenaline rush of an emergency.
Tip #5: Train staff and volunteers on church security
Once you’ve developed the security policies and procedures, provide training to staff and volunteers.
For more insights from Simon Osamoh on church security, check out his book, Securing Church Operations: A Seven-Step Plan for Ministry and Safety Leaders (affiliate link). You can also learn more at Kingswoodsc.com or worshipsecurity.org.
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