Protecting Staff Members Is a 'Must Do' for Churches

Church security is a broad undertaking. A variety of situations may call the church’s security team to action, but protecting staff members may be one of its chief responsibilities. Staff members can be some of the most vulnerable people to consider when forming a security program.

Minimize Staff Vulnerability

During the week, staff members may spend time alone at the church or working with just a handful of others. To strengthen security for employees, ministries can follow these procedures:

  • Limit the number of entry points and lock the doors when the church is not hosting a ministry program. Consider installing a security system that allows employees to see and talk to visitors remotely before allowing them into the building during off-hours.
  • Place staff inside multiple layers of protection and position key offices behind several layers of security. For example, make it difficult for someone to walk in the door and have easy access to the pastor.
  • Equip staff members with a panic button or silent alarm so they can send for help if they find themselves in threatening situations where they need to discreetly alert authorities.
  • Provide de-escalation training so staff members know how to calm down angry people.
  • Make sure the parking lot is safe and schedule more than one staff member to secure the building before locking up.
  • Secure bank deliveries by making deposits during banking hours and traveling to the bank with another trusted person. Store money in a safe if an immediate bank deposit isn’t possible.

Communication is Key

Churches staff members and the security team should talk regularly, discussing any concerns either group may have. Communication also is important when it comes to security during worship services. For example:

  • The pastor should share worship plans with the security team in advance, so all parties will know when something unexpected occurs.
  • The pastor can establish a code word to alert security when a dangerous situation develops.

When something unexpected occurs during worship services, reaction is often slow because the congregation initially believes it’s part of a skit. The safety and security team can minimize harm by communicating, reacting immediately, and controlling the situation until additional help arrives.

July 22, 2021
Thousands in Relief Funding Available to Ministries Through the Employee Retention Credit
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Most ministry leaders don’t realize there is funding available to non-profit employers including churches, schools, colleges, and camps. This post includes some highlights about the credit and guidance on where to start to see if your ministry is eligible.

Tags: ERC, payroll, tax credit
June 17, 2021
Prepare Your Ministry for Another Active Hurricane Season
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The Atlantic hurricane season officially started June 1, and weather experts say this season is likely to produce above-normal activity. Take action to prepare your ministry to withstand a hurricane now, so you’re not scrambling when a watch or warning is posted.

Tags: protect, damages, hurricane, weather, weather emergency, safety, prevent damage
April 28, 2021
Take Time to Review Your Ministry's Child Protection Plan
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April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Though child abuse may not be something you could ever imagine happening within your ministry, sexual abuse of a minor is one of the top five reasons churches end up in court, according to Church Law & Tax. Studies also show that a child is much more likely to be sexually abused by a trusted adult than a stranger.

Tags: child protection, abuse protection, child safety
March 16, 2021
Prepare for Severe Spring Storms Now
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When severe storms strike, they can produce high winds and tornadoes. Damaging winds can wreak havoc on your ministry’s property and to buildings. A high wind event can crash debris through your windows, strip your siding, down trees on your parking lot, peel shingles off your roof, and fling back the flashing.

Tags: weather emergency, lightning, storms, safety, protect
February 25, 2021
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Thieves are taking advantage of soaring precious metal prices. Take steps to protect your ministry’s vehicles and property.

Tags: protect, theft, vehicle
February 5, 2021
Avoid Frozen Pipes as Temperatures Plummet
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As temperatures plummet, the risk of freezing pipes soars. Frozen pipes can cause costly messes that could also put your ministry on hold while you clean up.

Tags: frozen, building, pipes, prevent damage
November 23, 2020
COVID-19 and the Christmas Season
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Preparing for this Christmas season may require additional creativity, due to the uncertainty of what COVID-19 may bring in our local community.

Tags: COVID-19, health, health safety, protect, coronavirus, Christmas, risk management
October 28, 2020
Guidance for Ministries About Boy Scouts' Bankruptcy
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A mid-November deadline in the Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) bankruptcy proceedings may have you wondering what the organization’s bankruptcy filing means for your ministry if you ever hosted or chartered Boy Scout Troops.

Tags: coverage, protect, liability, damages, youth
October 1, 2020
Applying for PPP Loan Forgiveness
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Organizations that obtained Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funding through the CARES Act can have their loans forgiven, turning them into grants. To qualify, each borrower must file a forgiveness application with its PPP lender, proving that it followed the rules. If your church, school, college, or camp meets all the criteria, 100% of its loan can be forgiven.

CARES Act: Churches Need to Apply Now
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Learn about the CARES Act and two loans for which ministries may be eligible, since Congress authorized additional funding April 23. 

March 6, 2020
Coronavirus and Your Ministry: Tips for Prevention
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As concern over the dangers associated with the spread of a new coronavirus, COVID-19, spreads, our agency and Brotherhood Mutual want to keep you informed and provide best practices for managing the spread of this and similar illnesses at your ministry.

January 29, 2020
Hosting a Game Day Bash? Brush Up on Copyright Basics
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The first Sunday in February is a big day for sports fans. In fact, many Americans view Super Bowl Sunday as a national holiday. Friends and families will gather this year to watch the big game, enjoy delicious snacks, and of course, critique the commercials that go along with game day.

Are You Covered If You're Injured Overseas?
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Recently, we learned about two major overseas incidents involving pastors on mission trips. The first incident involved a pastor being hit by a motorcycle while running. The second was a bus accident involving two pastors. The runner and one of the two bus passengers sustained extensive injuries.

Tags: missions, insurance
IRS Announces More Church Audits Regarding ACA Compliance
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Last month, the IRS announced that its initiating hundreds of church exams to test compliance with the Affordable Care Act (ACA). While many provisions only apply to churches with 50 or more full-time equivalent employees (FTEs), even smaller churches could potentially violate provisions applicable to health benefit plans with as few as 2 plan participants.

Tags: ACA, IRS
July 3, 2019
Celebrate Safely This Independence Day
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July 4th is synonymous with food, fun, and fireworks. If your church is planning an event this Independence Day, remember to keep a focus on safety, so that everyone can have fun.

Tags: firework safety
June 28, 2019
Insurance is one of those things we forget about until we need it
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National Insurance Awareness Day falls on June 28 this year to remind people everywhere that insurance is vital to their companies and ministries.

Tags: coverage, protect, directors and officers, liability, damages
May 5, 2019
May 5-11 is Hurricane Preparedness Week
May 5-11 is Hurricane Preparedness Week

The National Weather Service (NWS) has designated May 5-11, 2019, as National Hurricane Preparedness Week. Is your ministry prepared?

Tags: protect, damages, weather emergency
April 30, 2019
Measles Cases Reach Record-Breaking Numbers
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More than 700 confirmed cases of measles have been reported in the United States so far this year, making this outbreak the worst in decades.

Tags: protect, liability, health safety, risk management, measles
April 9, 2019
Vehicle Registration Guidelines for Ministries
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Do you use commercial vehicles that transport more than 15 passengers or carry cargo from one state to another as part of your ministry? If so, you are required to register with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and obtain a USDOT number.

Tags: liability, vehicle safety, auto insurance
June 1, 2018
June Is National Safety Month - Week 1: Emergency Preparedness
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The National Safety Council has designated June as National Safety Month, so we want to make sure your ministry is doing everything it can to protect its people, property, and programs. Each week in June, we’ll tackle a different topic. Up this week: Emergency Preparedness.

Tags: disaster prep, fire prevention, lightning, medical emergency, medical team, storms, weather emergency