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To Be or Not To Be? That is the Question?

In Hamlet, William Shakespeare wrote, "To be, or not to be, that is the question"? Now this isn't a discussion on Hamlet, but this question does poise a good point when it comes to church safety teams.

Security or not Security, That is the question?

I was recently talking with a church team leader who told me of another local church near his church that was told by their insurance agency to "cease and diesis" their security team. They were in fact told by their insurance agency that if they wanted security in their church they needed to hire their local police officers for protection during services.

From what I was told, the pastor of this church was receiving hate mail and even threats recently because the he was very vocal and outspoken against the social norms in today's society.

This is the exact reason why churches need to be protected.

In fact, in recent weeks, all churches in general have been threatened to be attacked by radical terrorist not only abroad but also here in America.

Realizing that most of today's churches simply cannot afford to hire off duty police officers during their services, that responsibilities often fall on those who already attend the church in the first place.

In today's society, ministry AND safety needs to go hand in hand. Church leadership need to realize that safety is now a part of their ministry. After all, who wants to go to any church if they don't feel safe?

So, what do you call your team? Don't they provide security and ultimately comfort in the first place? So, why not call them what they are, a security team?

Years ago, the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy wanted to build an indoor pool to be used during their training of new recruits. The academy presented the idea to the board of Directors about the concept of using an indoor pool part of their academy training. It was immediately turned down. Why do they need a pool? If they wanted to go swimming, go to the local YMCA?

Not being deterred, the academy leadership had the idea of changing the name from "POOL" to "Training Tank" and low and behold, that concept pass, and now, they have a pool, I mean a "Training Tank" at the academy.

The point, sometimes in does matter what you actually call you team. I often consult churches who are in the process of forming their safety team. They have a number of men and women in their own congregation that want to serve on a safety team but have little or no any training. They have their CCW permit and they think that's enough. Often a pastor is approached by a church member or attendee, and out of sincerity, the pastor is, for a lack of better word, blatantly told, "Pastor, if someone came into our church with a gun, I'll take care of business, as he's lifting up the side of his shirt, proudly showing the pastor his now formally concealed handgun.

Obviously, in the State of Ohio, churches and other places of worship are automatically a No Carry Zone and no one is automatically authorized to carry a firearm in a church without the pastor's permission. Trust me, the pastor nor anyone else wants to see your handgun sticking out of your pants in the middle of the crowded lobby of your church. This often causes panic and obviously causes the church leadership to dismiss the notion of church protection.

But, what should we call our teams?

I suggest calling them a "Safety Team". Not only does your team have armed individuals, but couldn't your team also include:

Door Greeters

Hospitality Team



Medical Team

Unarmed Safety Team Members

Basically everyone in the church should be looking out for suspicious activity. It's the "See something, say something" concept. If you see something strange, tell someone about it. Just don't ignore it.

Using the term "Security" does actually invokes special and specific certifications through the state. Security Guards actually have to be trained, certified and licensed by the state, and they must go through special courses endorsed by the state. Plus to top it all off, they must carry special liability insurance.

But, having a Safety Team however, doesn't. Remember the Pool vs Training Tank example before. Same thing here.

There are always ways around obstacles, you just need to know how to get around those obstacles. Good intentions isn't good enough when it comes to safety. Yes we are providing security to our church, but we are doing it in a different way. A better way.

Beller Tactical Academy is here for churches and individuals who see the need of corporate and personal protection. We train church safety teams to deal with the problem BEFORE it happens until the police arrive. It's the "Stop It As It Happens" concept. Often the hostility is over is seconds, and definitely before the police arrive. Those who are in attendance when hostility strikes MUST act accordingly to eliminate hostility as soon as possible. I'm not talking about being a vigilantly, but stopping hostility before others are hurt or even worse, killed.

Training is vital in the successful protection of your church, business, school or in your personal life. One cannot respond to something if they don't know how. Its not enough to think about what you would do in a crisis, you actually have to physically train you body to properly respond to crisis. Police are constantly training themselves to handle crisis situations. When faced with a hostile crisis, Police do not have the time to stop and think what their next move will be. They just react and fall back on their training to overcome hostility. But if you don't train, and I mean constantly train, what are you going to revert back to when hostility comes into your church. It's called panic and panic can kill people.

I was once told by a pastor. If I expect my worship team to practice every week, how can I not expect my safety team to practice? If the worship team misses a beat or sings out of sync with each other, it's embarrassing but it's forgotten about by the next song. But, if a safety team messes up, serious long lasting things can happen that could ultimately destroy the church. How does a church recover from a mass shooting where nobody was trained to stop the threat and the bad guy shot or killed the whole congregation?

Contact us at Beller Tactical Academy and talk to one of our representatives to see how we can train your SAFETY TEAM. It's cost far less than the consequence of not having a team in place to stop the threat before it happens.

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