Safety

The Outcome:
Things to consider:
Will forcefully stopping the two from entering the Sanctuary create a disturbance?
Will allowing them to enter create a danger?
Do they appear to be high or intent on violence?
Do you have the personnel to handle the situation should it become violent?
Will the male, physically defend the female should you stop only her?
Are they going to rush the stage?

As you can see, there are many variables to consider before you take action. Has your team ever considered this scenario and how you would respond?

Our team has practiced scenarios such as this. In this case, we had two Safety Team members attending service with their families. Each had a radio. We also have pastors willing to step up if needed in an emergency. A hand signal was passed to a pastor sitting in the balcony who had witnessed the entrance by the couple. That pastor moved downstairs to a position, initially beside the couple and then moved directly behind them where he could see the backpack clearly. The two Safety Team members who were sitting with their families, moved to predetermined positions blocking access to the stage. The Team member who had initially attempted to stop the couple moved to a position across the aisle and two rows behind the couple. Each member was prepared to move in should the Team member directing the movements, or the situation require it. The female interrupted the service twice while the pastor was speaking. The pastor, aware of the presence of the Safety Team handled the interruptions well and indicated he would speak with her after the service. The service ended within three minutes after the second and last interruption. The couple was gently surrounded and escorted out of the Sanctuary, keeping other members of the congregation clear should anything violent occur. Both left the property knowing very well they were being ‘escorted’ by Safety Team personnel.

These situations are dynamic and could turn negative very quickly. You as a Safety Team member have to continually consider your options as a situation progresses. Will the right decisions be made? Hopefully they will and the outcome will determine that in the end. Did your decision make it worse? Did it resolve the situation? Did it stop violence from occurring? Did it create a violent situation? If a violent situation occurs, how will you proceed? These are all things your team needs to discuss beforehand. Develop a plan. Either include your pastors or church leaders in on the discussion or schedule a meeting with them to discuss your plans. Remember, some of them will have a different perspective on any given situation. Keep in mind, the safety of the congregation is the topic and the goal. Remember these things, plan for the worst and pray for the best. Be good, not just lucky.