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Church Safety & Security

10 Ways to Secure Your Church Network

  Network security should be one of the top priorities of any church IT support team to protect the data of its members and keep its website up and running. Luckily, you don’t need years of technical training in order to keep hackers’ mitts off your data. Keep Secure Passwords Make sure you’re coming up

Saving Lives in Sacred Spaces

  How Churches Can Respond to Mass Shootings This Stop the Bleed Month In the wake of the recent tragic shooting at Lakewood Church in Texas, the need for proactive emergency preparedness in places of worship has never been more apparent. As the nation observes the month of May as Stop the Bleed Month, churches

Check-In Kiosks Are an Effective Solution for Protecting Attendants

  Although there are church congregations that have remained smaller, big churches are becoming more and more common. These facilities, sometimes called “mega-churches,” may have multiple services per day for upwards of a thousand people during each time slot. Because of this, church security has become a bigger concern, especially when it comes to children’s

Enhancing Church Security with Advanced Network Solutions

  By Patrick Chown Recently, the need for enhanced security measures in churches has become increasingly apparent. With the rise in incidents affecting places of worship around the world, it’s clear that these sacred spaces are not immune to security threats. Churches are now recognizing the importance of proactive measures to protect their congregations, staff,

The Evolution of Smart Notifications with Situational Awareness and Middleware Technology

  By Laura Hartman In the rapidly evolving landscape of religious institutions safety, ensuring the safety and security of the congregation and staff remains a paramount concern. Disruption to the solemnity of the church comes in all shapes and sizes, ranging from potential threats and emergencies, such as natural disasters and security breaches, to everyday

Take a Practical Approach to Worship Center Security

  In most Western societies, religious institutions were safe havens. Today, the threat of worship center violence is commonplace. To address this threat, don’t focus on perfection; focus on practicality. A thwarted attack at a Northern Virginia church illustrates the need for a practical security approach. Last August, an armed individual drove over 30 miles

Church Takes Proactive Measures to Protect Congregants Against Gun-Related Violence

  ZeroEyes, the creators of the only AI-based gun detection video analytics platform that holds the US Department of Homeland Security SAFETY Act Designation, announced that its solution has been chosen by Valley Baptist Church in Bakersfield, California, to proactively protect its congregants against gun-related threats. The FBI reports that 15.1% of hate crime incidents

Leverage Entry Control Solutions to Protect Your Church

  Thanks to increasing awareness of the importance of installing security in places of worship, many of these facilities have now invested in security technology that can help keep both their facilities and members more secure. As the threat of violence towards religious groups becomes a growing issue, facility managers for these buildings have seen

11 Ways to Create a Safe Environment for Children

  Child safety encompasses more than strict adherence to policy and procedures. It also involves creating an environment that prioritizes communication and transparency, where kids feel safe and included. Create a Supportive Atmosphere Start your time by consistently gathering together. This will help you assess the children, set the tone for yourself and your students,

Defining a Church Security/Safety/Medical Program

  By Jim McConnell Let’s talk about church security. But wait! Do we all speak the same language when it comes to the definition and scope of these two words? Why do we need to define these terms and what is the consequence of not defining them and documenting them? Here’s why: Does it line

Surveillance in Church: Balancing Safety and Hospitality

  By Keith Graves As Christians, we are called to love and welcome all people, but we also have a responsibility to protect our congregation from harm. The Bible reminds us in Matthew 25:35-36 that we are called to extend hospitality to those in need, including strangers, and in 1 Peter 5:8, we are warned

Creating a Church Security Plan

  By Kevin Creighton Our churches and holy places are special places that are devoted to spiritual improvement. They’re supposed to be a place of refuge from the worries of the world, where people of every tribe and tongue can find the peace they need. Too often, however, that quest for peace is shattered by

Church Safety Culture Is Important

  By Dr. James McGarvey Church safety culture refers to the processes and systems put in place to ensure that members, visitors, and staff are safe from harm. It is critical to establish an organizational culture that prioritizes safety, reinforces it at every level, and incorporates it into everyday practice. One key aspect of church

Securing the Living Church

  By Kelly Clemens I grew up in a one-story ranch, just the four of us, one bathroom and a tomcat. The sun would shine in through my window, and I would cautiously slide my foot out from under the warmth of my covers to test the temperature of the hardwood floor. Nope, too cold.

Creating a Child Check-In Process from Scratch

By Josiah Oslund When we sat down to create our child check-in process for our church plant over a decade ago, I was reminded of God’s words to Moses in Exodus 4:2, “What do you have in your hand?” When starting a new work, it’s often easier to see what you don’t have – rather

Protecting Your Church with a Security System

  When properly implemented, a church security system helps protect a church’s property, congregation and guests. Protecting your house of worship takes more than simply putting up a couple of security cameras. There are various components to security that will allow your church to protect itself. Surveillance Cameras Security cameras are not only great for

What's In Your...?

  By Terry Berringer No…this is not a credit card commercial. Instead, it’s a question to ask what is inside your AED cabinet. If “an AED” is your only answer, my response would be another TV commercial tagline: “But Wait! There’s More!” AED cabinets are usually placed in areas of prominence and are easily identified and found. But what

Electronic Access Control

  By Terry Berringer There are many ways of securing an entryway, and the first thing you must realize is that to secure an entrance, there has to be some type of vetting being done. This is done by person or by electronic device. The best way to prevent having someone enter an area would

Four Safety Mistakes Your Children’s Ministry Can’t Make

  By Lynne Howard As a children’s ministry leader, I know how it feels to face issues with staffing rooms on Sundays and I know the struggle of volunteers not following policies or showing up. I’ve also dealt with parents who were upset about policies being enforced. It can be tempting to want to “bend”

Partners and Resources to Help Protect Your Church

  Co-Authors: Susan Schneider, Office of Security Programs, Infrastructure Security Division, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency Mark Silveira, FEMA Grants Program Directorate, Senior Advisor & Branch Chief Marcus Coleman, Director, DHS Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Whether you are preparing for disasters or keeping your church and related facilities safe from acts of violence,

Tips for Designing a Church Security Camera System

  By Will Biggerman Keeping your church or religious institution safe is of the utmost importance. You want to protect your staff, congregation, youth, and childcare division while anyone is on the property. Designing a church security camera system can be hugely beneficial to your community’s safety, but it comes with its own challenges and

The Importance of Two-Way Radios

  By Jason Murphy Fifteen years ago, it would seem as though a security team had no place in a church, except for directing traffic. Nowadays, you will have a hard time finding many churches that do not have a security team. The No. 1 tool for those security teams is radios and earpieces. Without

Building for Success Around a Disaster

  By Carolyn H. Bluhm and Rudy Bluhm Imagine having a force of thousands of trained Christian Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) members that are ready to help with your community emergency response efforts. Think it’s not possible? Think again! By following God’s lead, training and actively building partnerships, it can be done one congregation at

Worship Safely: How Can You Improve Church Security?

  It’s the morning of your service. Church members are entering the building and finding their seats. Families are catching up with one another in the parking lot, the lobby and along the aisles. You never know when something could happen at your church. Places of worship are often perceived as safe, comfortable spaces for

Protecting Our Pastors

  As churches have reopened, there are a lot of people that want some “face time” with the pastor. Some of them are happy the church has re-opened – others are angry that it was ever closed. Many have prayer requests or needs for family, jobs or health. Others want to challenge your pastor on

The End of a Long Run

  By Michael Wilson If you look closely, you’ll see a curtain coming down in a theater near you. It’s closing on the last performance of the play Hygiene Theater. Most of us, including church administrators, know about this show. Many of us have even seen it. In Hygiene Theater, all of the characters are cleaning professionals,

Protecting Churches Through Cleaner Indoor Air

  Communities of faith are often seen as safe sanctuaries for people to turn to for spiritual guidance, a sense of belonging, and a helping hand in times of need. Following the surge of COVID-19, churches have taken a hard hit on their attendance as public safety is pulled into question. With airborne risks at

Adopting a Digital Check-In System

  By Alex Clay Church is place of community, and families and children are the vibrant heart of any congregation. Offering safe and easy childcare can attract new families and encourage parents to get more involved at church while their kids celebrate in their own space. A great way to ensure kids are safe is

The Importance of Professional Church Cleaning Services

  Church cleaning has never been more important. After all, these confined spaces can be filled with hundreds of people singing, praying, and breathing the same air. Alongside other preventative measures, thorough cleaning is an essential way for religious leaders to eradicate germs from communal areas and keep everybody safe in the process. And hiring

Top COVID-Safe Activities for Youth Groups

  Planning youth group activities can be challenging, but when it comes to planning COVID-safe youth group activities, the bar gets raised even higher. Activities for church youth groups should be fun, first and foremost. Not only will this help to improve the children’s engagement, but it will also aid in the children’s development, as

Helixeon Entrusts VIVOTEK Security Solutions for James River Church Campus Surveillance

  On the campuses of educational facilities and houses of worship, extensive security measures have unfortunately become a necessity. As such, James River Church was looking to upgrade their security solution. The church’s past security camera system was utilizing multiple PTZ cameras, which were failing to capture entire areas of the property, allowing for criminal

How Do Different Types of Panic Buttons Within Churches Work?

  By Laura Ray Panic buttons within churches vary in functionality depending on the type of system features offered. Many church organizations will often ask their current alarm company to provide them with a hard-wired panic button (a “traditional” panic button). However, these types of hardwired panic button systems alert only one responder. The average

Keeping Your Church Office Staff Safe

  By Terry Berringer I visit one church when making calls that sits atop a beautifully manicured hilltop. The winding drive that ascends the hill is spectacularly well kept. The parking lot is clean and well marked. The lot is completely empty except for one lone vehicle. When I park near the sole vehicle, I

Is Safety Training Within Your Children’s Ministry Intentional?

  By Josh Cramer It’s that time again. My friends and I call it the SMS or Sunday Morning Slump. It’s that time where the other kids have started to get picked up, but I’m left to sit here…bored. And, as you know, there’s NOTHING worse than being bored. And then I hear it…my name.

Delta Variant Brings Masking Back to Forefront

  As COVID-19 rates begin to rise across the country, church leaders may be wondering what measures to bring back to keep your people safe. Understanding COVID-19 Today The COVID-19 of 2020 and the COVID-19 of 2021 are not the same. The disease continues to mutate, and now many variants are affecting different communities and

The Complexity of Church Security

  By Jim Willis For many, church security is an either/or mindset. It is either a simple, single-function activity or a complicated, bureaucratic nightmare. The reality lies somewhere between these two extremes. Granted, church security is a complex issue, but not too complex. There are three keys to unravelling church security complexity: perspective, planning, and

Ministry Teamwork, SPaM Style

  By Terry Berringer Let’s talk SPaM teams. What are SPaM teams, you may ask? SPaM stands for Security, Parking, and Medical ministry teams. Note that I said ministry, not just service…not just teams, but a ministry. Some organizations refer to these teams combined as a safety team. I see the security, parking, and medical

Is Your Daycare Center Overlooking Critical Security Measures?

  These tactics may help boost your safety. Your worship center takes security seriously, especially when it comes to its smallest members. If you have an on-site daycare, you likely have safety protocols in place: background checks for staff, childproof locks, security cameras and alarm systems. However, your center could be overlooking one crucial safety

Create a Church Security Plan for Your House of Worship

  By Rebecca Snarski With the right security measures in place, you can help ensure that your cherished building, religious items, and congregation are safe and secure. Implementing the following steps will put you on the road to creating a church safety and security plan. Step 1: Be Realistic When it comes to how to

Getting Back to “Life and Prayer” in Healthy Churches

  By Richard D. Cantwell Returning back to normal life in our churches requires an updated comprehensive cleaning/disinfection plan be adopted by churches in response to the Covid-19 virus and other related pathogens that infect children and adults. Each church’s goal should be to create a healthier/cleaner/safer environment for all church operating personnel, as well

Health-Focused Facility Updates to Keep Your Congregation Well

  COVID-19 hasn’t been easy for churches. Between holding more services, navigating online worship, and keeping up with enhanced cleaning procedures, the workload has increased for everyone. As we prayerfully begin rounding this next corner in the pandemic, there are some health-focused facility updates that you can make to keep your congregation’s wellness a priority.

Simple Ways to Communicate COVID-19 Protocol

  By Brian McFadden Protecting people is important, and right now, many people and places continue to struggle with the changes in COVID-19 policy and protection. As the coronavirus outbreak continues to impact the world, there are public health rules that help limit the spread of the disease. Yet, some of the most cost-effective and

The Best Way to Make Youth Mission Trips Both Safe and Impactful

  By Shawn Yingling Youth mission trips can provide a wealth of benefits to both teen members and the community they choose to serve. However, as with any travel, mission trips bear inherent risks. While extensive planning and research is essential to any trip, there is one other key factor to ensuring a successful outreach

Four Factors to Have in Place When Reopening the Children’s Area

  The return of gathering in person is gaining speed, and it’s essential to think through what your strategy will look like when families begin to arrive after COVID-19. As we step into the new normal, some things might have changed, and it’s important to recognize the impact on families and create a positive first

Creating Healthy and Safe Spaces Through Signage and Graphics

  By David Frederick With vaccine administrations ramping up and religious organizations preparing for how they will be able to safely celebrate their spring holidays with the community, now is the right time to make sure your building is properly addressing social distancing requirements to ensure the health and safety of those who come to

Shepherding the Flock Away from Cyberattacks

  By Matt Olphin We have exited a year that has become synonymous with change, and while its end came with a brief sigh of relief, the events of 2020 will continue to challenge and change how many worship centers operate for the foreseeable future. Faith communities have been creative in their determination to worship

Safe Security with Touchless Technology

  By James Segil When we look back on 2020, we will remember it as a year characterized by two things: public health, and social & political unrest. The coronavirus pandemic not only forced us to retreat to our homes and close down our places of work and worship, but it also put public spaces

Everything You Need to Know About UVC Sterilization

  By Robert Gonzalez What is UVC light? Ultraviolet light is naturally generated by The Sun, but it can also be created artificially for a variety of purposes. There are three types of UV energy (between 10-400 nm), which are classified according to their wavelength. Short-wavelength UVC (100–280 nm) is the most active type of

Protect Your Church with a Security Team

  By Johnathan Tal Religious facility administrators – and this includes those involved with synagogues, Buddhist temples, Sikh shrines, Mosques, and other places of worship – must take steps to protect their facilities and the people who use them. Among them are the following:  Acknowledge that the situation is real. Further, this is not an

Why Access Control?

  By Andrew Joseph “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will remain secure and rest in the shadow of the Almighty [whose power no enemy can withstand]” (Psalm 91:1 AMP) Church organizations of every size can benefit from the security an access control system provides. Adding door locks and precautionary systems

What Churches Should Consider When Reopening

  By Frank Barry There are many obvious statements when it comes to this pandemic. Statements like: These are unprecedented times. Things are really weird now. What day is it again? Here’s another obvious statement specifically for church leaders: Deciding whether or not to reopen for in-person worship is a difficult choice. On one hand,

When Safety Is a Concern, What Can You Do to Be Safe?

  Today’s environment is different than many of you ever envisioned, where safety has become an overwhelming consideration both personal and property wise. Hardly an hour goes by without a news story about vandals, riots, destruction of property and injuries to innocent bystanders. Lawlessness seems to go unpunished and, in many cases, is ignored or

How to Enhance Social Distancing in Your Church

  By Katie Albrecht Since the world is at a challenging time with sickness, job loss, and grief running rampant, churches are needed more than ever. Many people look to their local church as a form of solace and community, and without it, they can suffer greatly. Although video streams of Sunday Mass and prayer

5 Ways to Make Your Church Daycare Center Safer

  With the number of working parents increasing, daycare is becoming more and more of a relied upon service for families. Many count on their place of worship to offer daycare services for small children, but just because a daycare operates at a faith-based location doesn’t mean parents should automatically trust that their child will

Pandemic Consequences Challenge Everyone to Be Prepared for a New Normal

  By Mike Anderson Healthcare professionals around the world are identifying a range of COVID-19 related mental health issues that are creating new challenges for society. People are in serious distress about the pandemic itself and because of the devastating second- and third-order effects of record unemployment and the overall negative economic impact. Safety and

Assessing Child Safety – Now Is the Time

  By Angela Lewton With the recent changes due to COVID-19 and churches reopening and planning the process to reopen, now is the time to do a child safety assessment and examine these questions: “Is my church as safe as it can be? What does child safety look like in this new normal?” As families

Social Distancing: More Than Just a Personal Impact

  As the U.S. continues through varying degrees of social distancing and stay-at-home orders, many things about personal and professional communication have changed. Video conference apps and remote work are seeing unprecedented levels of use, as businesses scramble to stay connected. Churches and parochial schools are no exception; many have also turned to video conference

Emergency Evacuation Maps and Your Church

  By Michael Sawyer Given the current cultural environment, many churches have begun to implement safety and security processes to assist members and guests. The challenges facing faith organizations have never been more evident to church leadership and attendees. Numerous churches have put in place safety teams, while others have invested in an on-campus law

How Churches Unintentionally Turn a Blind Eye to Safety

  By Craig Cable I travel all around the country leading church safety trainings for churches of all sizes and can testify that most churches are safety conscious. They perform background checks, have evacuation plans, and worry about active shooters. These are all good things. The problem is when churches hyper-focus on one threat exclusively.

AmpliVox Responds to Emergency Communication Needs and ADA Requirements

  By Don Roth, CEO, AmpliVox In good times or bad, AmpliVox has always been dedicated to satisfying near or long-term customer needs with a broad range of PA systems and presentation furniture that help people communicate more clearly, efficiently, and with more style and polish. Here are some current examples. Today’s public health emergency

The Cost of Access Control in Places of Worship

  Houses of worship and the buildings around them are meant to be safe places for members and visitors to practice their faith in worship, study and fellowship activities. These religious spaces are also often utilized by community groups when services and church-related meetings and activities are not taking place. There was a time when

The Benefits of Panoramic Surveillance in Modern Worship Centers

  By Jon Marsh When you think about the wide-open spaces that today’s modern churches and worship centers embody, you may not immediately realize the security elements that must be in place to protect the congregation. Securing entrances and exits helps with controlling access, but video surveillance technology can go a long way in providing real-time and

How Do Intelligent Key Systems Work?

  As a church, security is one of the most important issues you will address. When it comes to creating a solid security plan for your worship facility, there are plenty of important steps you can take. A comprehensive approach to security will most likely include some sort of video surveillance, alarm system, and entry

Old Testament Security with New Testament Technology

  By Kelly Clemens It’s a bustling Sunday morning as the church wakes up for another busy day. The coffee is brewing, the prayer group is meeting, and a rambunctious toddler runs down a hallway. Another group is also meeting and preparing for the day: the church security team. They get wired up with their

When Seconds Count, Are You Prepared?

  In today’s world of uncertainty and criminal acts, churches can be targeted due to the “soft” nature of most congregations. It is often said that “when seconds count, the police are minutes away,” and it is the responsibility of individual congregations to take as many steps as possible to ensure their own safety. Instant

How to Design an Effective Security Strategy

According to a report by the FBI, 6,121 hate crimes were reported in 2016, 21% of which were directed against people or institutions due to their religion. That’s more than 1,200 religious hate crimes. FBI statistics also show that religious hate crimes seem to be on the rise; in the first 4 months of 2017,

A Guide to Managing Your Church’s Volunteer Background Checks

As a church leader, you should make sure to use a church volunteer background check when screening for sensitive volunteer roles. What exactly is a background check? A background check is a screening procedure, often requested by employers or organizations that work with volunteers. The organization carrying out the background check will typically search public

Counting the Cost and Taking Up Your Shield

By Brad Kitchen Not many endeavors face as many unknown risks as churches and sending organizations. Those that do spend a great deal of time and money preparing for what could happen. However, many churches and mission organizations have personnel who face great risks on a daily basis, but all too often very little preparation

7 Critical Essentials for Church Security

This article originally appeared in the January 2015 issue. This information is courtesy of ACTIVE Network, which produces Fellowship One software for churches, You were called to be ambassadors of peace and safety. Once upon a time, the lack of peace and safety church leaders worried about mostly happened somewhere else; occasionally in homes,

Access Control and Door Security Systems for Churches

People attend church for comfort, safety, and a sense of belonging. They don’t expect to feel unsafe or to have their security compromised during mass or prayer but, unfortunately, places of worship have become targets in our increasingly polarized world. Aside from political-fueled violence and bigotry, churches also often store valuable items of cultural and

Equipped to Respond

A person trained to respond to injuries and medical emergencies may know what to do but not have what is needed at the time. Some things can be improvised from what is available and may save a life or limit the extent of damage…but what can be done is limited, and some emergency procedures, such

Operating a Church Security Ministry

By Dwayne Harris “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.” — Acts 20:28 Is church security an option or a mandate? Many pastors are fully aware of the various threats and

8 Tips to Secure Your Church Daycare

By Jason Maddox There are many cost-effective ways to secure your church daycare or preschool facility. In this article, we share eight best practices for church daycare security using a combination of policies, procedures and technology to protect the children and employees in your care. 1. Develop Policies & Procedures Manual If you don’t already

How to Choose a Reputable Background Check Company

By Mike McCarty It was not long ago that we would have been discussing how important it is to conduct background checks on prospective employees, volunteers and even existing employees. I am not saying that the ship has sailed, but most of you took notice and implemented a background screening program. Good for you. Now,

IP Video Cameras in Houses of Worship

By Greg Hartzell For decades, a house of worship was a sacred place that could leave its doors open both day and night. Crime would be left at its doorsteps. But times have changed, and so have the criminal mentality towards churches, synagogues and mosques. All around the nation, the faithful are finding criminals unfazed

Security Access Control for Churches

By Keith Shaver Access control – the term used to describe a security system that manages entry into a facility. For churches, access control is becoming an increasingly important security tool, as it allows the church to manage a person’s entry by using programmed schedules to control access to perimeter doors and specific areas of

How to Improve Your Video Security System in Three Simple Steps

By Michael Bailey Security cameras seem to be everywhere. If your church already has a system in place, chances are you already have a list of improvements you’d like to see: additional views of vulnerable points, better picture quality you’re seeing vs. the images now available, or disappointment in the ease of use of your

How to Spot a Predator – One Church’s Story

“Background checks are required, but statistics say that background checks only catch ten percent of predators. We knew our goal had to be to get the entire staff savvy on how to spot predators.” – Executive Pastor Donald Pope of First Baptist Church of Canton, Georgia In a bold move by a Georgia church, executive

Video Security Systems: DIY with Your Own Membership

By Michael Bailey Places of worship find themselves today at the center of a perfect storm, a collision of seemingly unstoppable forces. Growing security challenges, tightening financial resources and revolutionary technologies are converging. The rising threat to the safety and well-being of our congregants, staff and facilities is all over the news. Tithes, gifts and

Using Video Surveillance Systems

  This article originally appeared in the March 2008 issue. By Linda Richardson Linda Richardson is the director of product marketing at Video Insight,   It seems that every place you go these days, there are surveillance cameras: cameras in stores, cameras in schools, cameras in malls and office buildings. Like it or not, surveillance