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August 13, 2018

Churches are meant to be sanctuaries with open doors and safe spiritual spaces where people can enter and worship in peace and harmony. Church building security is a topic that has become critical in the last ten years and people want to know how they can make their churches safer. With the right protocols and systems in place, keeping a church community physically protected and safe from unauthorized access, theft or violence is possible.

Here are six ways to preserve your church building against security threats:

 1) ADDRESS CHURCH SECURITY OPENLY
Engaging church leaders about security is a first step toward normalizing its place in a church’s list of priorities. Talking about how to create a culture of safety rather than fear is optimal; deciding how and when to talk about it is even more important. A good first step could be mentioning it in the church newsletter.

2) CREATE A CHURCH SECURITY PLAN
Once church security is a priority, a plan can then be developed for how to establish, manage, and/or sustain security operations. This plan can be simplified or elaborated to meet the unique needs of each church and its buildings. The goal is to integrate church security into the normal ‘business’ of the church.

3) LAUNCH A CHURCH SECURITY MINISTRY
Creating a church safety team and ministry may be an excellent way to offer members and church leaders a way to get involved in the business of the church. A dedicated ministry can certainly elevate safety and security planning to a new level by opening opportunities for volunteers to contribute. Creating opportunities for participation gives members an excellent way to further connect and build relationships, and contribute to the church’s well-being.

4) BE “IN-THE-KNOW”
To have confidence that your church is safe, it is helpful to know what is going on inside the church buildings as well as who is in the buildings at all times. One way to easily monitor who is coming in and out of your church is to know who has the ability to unlock doors.

This can be achieved in two ways:

  1. Create an access control system that alerts you to door activities – when doors are opened, when doors are propped open or left ajar, and when an unauthorized person is attempting to gain access
  2. Set-up a video surveillance system – preferably one that integrates with the access control system so video can be viewed from the same platform as door events

5) MAKE IT MANAGEABLE
Church buildings are used for multiple purposes. Your church might house a preschool, a meeting place for Bible study groups or choir practices, and it is often a place where the clergy hold meetings. All these activities happen at different times and are run by different people. Knowing who is using the church buildings and is on the church campus at any time of the day or night is vital. Managing, tracking, and adjusting who has access to your church can be simplified by switching to a new platform with the click of a button.

6) UPGRADE THE FIRST LINE OF DEFENSE
Church doors open to welcome people into services and special events. Doors are also the first line of defense to keep unauthorized or emergency situations out of your church. A traditional lock-and-key solution does not necessarily offer the convenience and high level of security to protect churches today. Exploring and implementing security technology built for today’s needs can help churches find more effective ways to secure church doors.

Churches have communities to serve and blessed work to do. Do not let church safety weigh heavy on the minds of members, pastors or church leaders. Take steps today to start talking about church security and making a plan. This is your sanctuary and your community. Keep it safe.

 

Source: Church Tech Today

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