Equipped to Serve: Part One
From the Bible
And the king commanded all the people, “Keep the Passover to the Lord your God, as it is written in this Book of the Covenant” (2 Kings 23:21).
The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light (Romans 13:12).
Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace (Ephesians 6:14-15).
And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas (Acts 16:29).
“Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it?" (Luke 15:8).
And at the seventh time [the servant] said, “Behold, a little cloud like a man's hand is rising from the sea.” And [Elijah] said, “Go up, say to Ahab, ‘Prepare your chariot and go down, lest the rain stop you’” (1 Kings 18:44).
And this [the plot against the king] came to the knowledge of Mordecai, and he told it to Queen Esther, and Esther told the king in the name of Mordecai (Esther 2:22).
We humans are users of things. Over thousands of years, many things have been invented and improved to use in the production and processing of food, protection from the elements, personal hygiene, cleaning and maintaining other things, treating illnesses and injuries, communication, computation and record keeping, protection from wild animals and hostile persons, and many other purposes. Equipment and supplies are essential to most areas of life, and protecting the flock is no exception.
In the News
Unless it's a factor in a disaster, equipment and supplies for a church's safety ministry are not generally considered newsworthy. However, we can find mentions of equipping on sites which cover church security issues.
National, 2013 - In a Religious Product News article two of seven essentials for church safety are Emergency Response Team (ERT) Kits [medical] and Communications. Another essential, Check-in System [for children], requires log-in forms and claim tickets.
Deltona, Florida, September 1, 2018 - In "Operating a Church Security Ministry," Dwayne Harris covers Equipment and Supplies. Beside flashlights, two-way radios, and other items previously discussed on this site, he also includes "traffic control devices" and "software."
Deltona, Florida, Before June 22, 2018 - In "10 Essential Steps for Church Security and Safety," Dwayne Harris recommends that we "utilize monitoring equipment & alarm systems" to protect the church. The advantages are monitoring the church while off-site and notifying law enforcement and fire department dispatchers. A selling point is the lower cost of these systems compared to decades past.
Greater Los Angeles, California, February 4, 2021 - James Segil, co-founder of Openpath, presents the use of electronic access control for both health and security reasons. Touchless entry and locking reduces the passing of pathogens on doorknobs. It limits access to those whose electronic credentials for the system are active (they can be revoked). A building-wide system allows doors to the building or to individual rooms to be remotely locked. He says, "For religious institutions, choosing an access control system that offers campus-wide or site-specific lockdown capabilities is important in order to protect their congregation and prevent bad actors from accessing their space."
Special Offers and Featured Products
The special download for this month is Equipped for Success: Recommended Essential Equipment. It has a list of five items and describes their usefulness in church safety. Featured is the Sheepdog Church Security store on Amazon.
Think, "Back to School." Featured in August is the Complete Training Program v4. This is all the classroom Sheepdog Church Security training courses in one package. Not only that, now online classrooms are available for your church. Sign up your team for the program, and SDCS will send you a link to schedule classes where you can log in together with Kris as the teacher. Also featured is the download Steps to Start a Safety Ministry.
Basic Equipment for Church Safety
There are many categories of items essential for a Church Safety Ministry which many people would not associate with safety and security; books, apparel, simple tools, and administrative supplies. We can also add communication devices as safety gear.
Equipping the Mind
Kris has two books on the market. They are Defending the Flock: A Security Guide for Church Safety Directors and Active Shooter Mitigation: A Training Guide for Houses of Worship. A second edition of Defending the Flock will be available in less than a year, in or before July 2022. Besides books, SDCS has another product to equip the mind, training materials.
Defending the Flock
This carefully researched book is a Church Safety and Security Ministry Guide. The intent of Defending the Flock is to help the Church Safety Directors in small-to-medium congregations train their safety teams of volunteers. "This guide was developed by painstakingly researching nationally recognized publications and by consulting with experts in church security, crime prevention, emergency medical response, fire safety, pastoral protection, security, and a number of other fields of study." Topics covered include protecting children from sexual abuse, responding to active shooters, fire safety, and more.[5a]
Active Shooter Mitigation
With increasing attacks by mass killers on places of worship, how to meet the threat has become a more critical issue. Active Shooter Mitigation by Kris Moloney was written to help churches prepare for an active shooter to avoid disaster if and when one comes.[5b]
Sheepdog Church Security Training
Training itself is not physical equipment, but training materials are. Sheepdog Church Security training courses are available as downloadable training bundles for classroom instruction. This includes PowerPoint slides, Instructor's Guide, Director's Manual, and 1-year access to Streaming Videos.
All of the SDCS training courses are in the Complete Training Program v4. This month it is available in online classrooms. When your church has purchased the program, the Church Safety Director will receive a link for all Safety Team members to be able sign in. Your Safety Director can choose the time of the classes, and Kris will be the instructor streamed online.
Putting on Safety
What we wear can make us safer. It can also help us do our job. In Ephesians 6, Paul lists items that are parts of the Armor of God. These include a belt and shoes
Belt - This is what holds everything else in place. It also holds a soldier's weapon, canteen, and other useful items. A security belt, like a tool belt, can hold various items we use, such as radio, gloves, phone, defensive spray, guns, CPR masks, etc.
Shoes - Shoes are for traction, safety, and health. They need to cover your feet to protect them from falling objects. They need skid-proof soles. They should be warm in the winter and cool in the summer.
Weather Ready - The woman in Proverbs 31:21 ensured that members of her family were dressed for the cold of winter. We need to dress for the weather. Even when we serve inside, we may have to go outside where it is cold at one time of year and hot months later.
Reflective vests - There is safety in being seen. If we work in the parking lot, we need clothing which is eye-catching, Wear a vest with safety colors for the daytime and reflective letters for after dark.
Identification - Unless we are incognito, we need some indication that we are on the Church Safety Team. This could be a pin, a name tag, or the name of the church with "SAFETY" on a shirt or vest. Church members and visitors then know you are there to help. Would-be thieves or disrupters know you're there to watch and protect.
Safety Banner - if there is a violent incident, someone calls 911. When the police or deputies arrive, and see one person holding a gun or knife on another, they need to know immediately which one is the good guy. The Safety Banners from DSM Safety Products are designed to do just that. "DSM" means, "Don't Shoot Me."
Schrade SCHA3BS Knife - This small knife is a useful tool. It can open boxes and other packages, cut through a rope or belt, and saw some things with the serrated portion of the edge. Closed, it can be a window breaker in an emergency. The folded blade opens with the push of a button. The 2.9" blade is too short for it to be classified as a weapon, but it can be used for defense if necessary. It is in the SDCS Amazon store.[5c]
Tactical Light - The Cree XM-L2 U2 Tactical LED Flashlight from Lumen Tactical puts out 1,000 lumens. It is rechargeable and comes with a USB cradle charger and an adapter. It is in the SDCS Amazon store.[5d]
Light with Traffic Wand - Also in the SDCS store on Amazon is the UltraFire WF502B Traffic Control Wand LED Flashlight. The light can be switched to any of 5 modes. The traffic wand can be used to direct traffic or guide parking. It can also be used to direct an evacuation or lead people to shelter.[5e]
Pry Bar - Who would think of a pry bar as a security & safety tool? There are some calamities, such as a tornado hit, gas explosion, or severe earthquake, when debris needs to be moved or a jammed door opened to rescue people, just let them out or let medics in. Once you have one, you'll find dozens of other uses.
Broom, Mop, Shovel - These tools are so basic that they are easy to take for granted - that is until you need one and it is not there. Swept floors are safer with nothing to roll under someone's feet or to trip over. Clean up wet spots with a mop to prevent slips and falls. Shovel snow off walkways.
Weather Radio - When severe weather is on its way, know about it in time to be ready for it and keep people safe. The Midland - WR300 has S.A.M.E. (Specific Area Message Encoding) to bring weather alerts for your local area. The LCD screen displays the type of alert and shows when it expires. It also has an alarm clock and AM/FM radio. Alerts will override an AM/FM broadcast. [5f]
This radio has much more than weather alerts. Here are a few of the non-weather alerts:
Two-Way Radios - Commonly called "walkie-talkies," two-way radios keep the Safety Team in touch with each other and with key persons in the church. Get a system where classrooms can be on a separate channel. They can alert the Team of a situation or be warned by a team member to evacuate or lockdown. For example, the nursery attendant can ask the team to contact the parents of a sick or injured child, or notify you that someone is trying to pick up a child they did not bring in.
Mobile Phones - There are reasons why cell phones should not be the primary communication network for a Church Safety Team, but they can be used to call 911 for police, fire department, or medical assistance. You can also call the parents of a youth or child with problems, etc. Of course, they can be used for other needed outside calls.
Admittedly, office supplies and paperwork (records, forms, and reports) are the least glamorous categories of equipping a Church Safety Ministry. However, they are no less essential than any of the other categories. This is especially so for (1) effective management, (2) accountability, and (3) protection from legal liability.
Office Supplies - Basic office supplies such as printing paper, pencils and pens, erasers, printer ink or toner, even paper clips, are always needed to keep things going. They are easy to find and buy, but you don't want to be out when you need them.
Records, Forms, and Reports - Seven of the special monthly downloads through the coming year are records, forms, checklists, and reports:
Downloads of records, forms, checklists, and reports
Watch for links to these downloads in those months, beginning with the Active Shooter Lockdown Checklist in September.
Know what basic equipment and supplies you need. Get the needed equipment and don't run out of supplies. Have what you need when you need it.
There Is More
The other articles this month are "You've Been Audited!" [a current concern], "Banner On, Guns Down" [featured provider], "To Rescue and Defend" (Equipped to Serve: Part Two), and "The 2006 Ministry of Jesus Christ Church Shooting (Lessons Learned).
- Jill Hasty (Managing Editor), "7 Critical Essentials for Church Security," Religious Product News, January 2015, republished November 8, 2018 [https://www.religiousproductnews.com/7-critical-essentials-for-church-security/].
- Dwayne Harris, "Operating a Church Security Ministry," Religious Product News, September 1, 2018 [https://www.religiousproductnews.com/operating-a-church-security-ministry/].
- Dwayne Harris, "10 Essential Steps for Church Security and Safety," Full Armor Church Solutions, before June 22, 2018 [https://www.fullarmorchurch.com/security-church/].
- James Segil, "Safe Security with Touchless Technology," Religious Product News, February 4, 2021 [https://www.religiousproductnews.com/church-safety-and-security-safe-security-with-touchless-technology/].
- Kris Moloney, "Equipped for Success: Recommended Essential Equipment," Sheepdog Church Security, © 2019 [https://sheepdog-church-security.ck.page/8ad20a0b70].
- "Recommended Equipment for Safety Ministries," Sheepdog Church Security, on Amazon [https://www.amazon.com/shop/instructor_moloney].
Items in the store named in this article:
- Defending the Flock: A Security Guide for Church Safety Directors [https://www.amazon.com/dp/1981674772?ref=exp_instructor_moloney_dp_vv_d],
- Active Shooter Mitigation: A Training Guide for Houses of Worship [https://www.amazon.com/dp/1791373488?ref=exp_instructor_moloney_dp_vv_d],
- Schrade SCHA3BS Knife [https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BCMPYQ0?ref=exp_instructor_moloney_dp_vv_d],
- Cree XM-L2 U2 Tactical LED Flashlight [https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01694BM66?ref=exp_instructor_moloney_dp_vv_d],
- UltraFire WF502B Traffic Control Wand LED Flashlight [https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07DRHZWYV?ref=exp_instructor_moloney_dp_vv_d],
- Midland - WR300 [https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00009V2YV?ref=exp_instructor_moloney_dp_vv_d].
- Kris Moloney, "Complete Training Program v4," Sheepdog Church Security Training Courses, Training Bundles (Classroom), © 2020 [https://sheepdog-church-security.thinkific.com/bundles/complete-church-security-training-system].
- Kris Moloney, "Steps to Start a Safety Ministry," Sheepdog Church Security, © 2019 [https://sheepdog-church-security.ck.page/9c5f2d32cc].
- Kris Moloney, "Defending the Flock: A Security Guide for Church Safety Directors," Sheepdog Church Security, © 2017 [https://www.amazon.com/dp/1981674772?ref=exp_instructor_moloney_dp_vv_d].
- Kris Moloney, "Active Shooter Mitigation," Sheepdog Church Security, © 2018 [https://www.amazon.com/dp/1791373488?ref=exp_instructor_moloney_dp_vv_d].
- "Shop Banners," DSM Safety Products [https://dsmsafety.com/shop/].
- "Selectable Alert Chart for Midland® Weather Alert Radios," NOAA Weather Radios, Midland USA [https://midlandusa.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/Editable-Events-w-2017-and-2019-Updates-v.1-060719.pdf].