the shape of leadership

Eight Church Safety Considerations

Don’t overlook these areas of concern

Influence Magazine on April 11, 2019

Is your church a safe place for everyone? You care about the well-being of your people, but you may be overlooking some basic things you can do to protect them and your church’s ministry.

Below are eight of the most pressing safety concerns for churches. Some of them are obvious; others are easy to miss. Make sure you are addressing these areas, and any other safety issues that may arise.

1. Violence

The one safety concern that usually comes to mind is probably the least likely to occur, given statistics. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore the potential threat. If your budget allows, consider hiring off-duty police officers. Regardless, meet with your staff regularly to go over emergency procedures.

2. Disasters and Fires

Create guidelines on emergency procedures for tornadoes, earthquakes, fires, power outages, etc., and keep them up to date. Be sure staff members and volunteers are familiar with them.

3. Cyber Dangers

It goes without saying that your church’s computer network needs a strong filter against inappropriate material. But what about viruses, spyware or other malware? Make sure you have IT procedures in place to keep out damaging software that could prove costly.

Keeping the most vulnerable members of your church safe should be a top priority.

4. Scammers

Using the internet is just one way scammers can attack your church. Also be on alert for mailings or phone calls from con artists looking to make a buck. And be wise about how you respond to those asking for benevolence.

5. Worker Screening

Keeping the most vulnerable members of your church safe should be a top priority. This includes conducting background checks on staff members and volunteers who work with children and youth. Parents in your church expect it, and their kids and teens depend on it.

6. Tracking Kids

Secure check-in and check-out procedures are another way to keep kids safe. A good system keeps track of the children in your care and ensures they don’t leave with anyone who isn’t authorized to pick them up.

7. Parking

You might not have thought about how your members enter and exit your campus, but you should. Making sure parking spots are clearly marked, the lot is free of snow and ice, pedestrian walkways are easy to spot, and entrances are wheelchair accessible are a few things you can do to maintain a safe parking lot. If congestion is a problem, consider having people in the parking lot to direct traffic.

8. Office Hazards

Finally, think about the safety of those working in your church each weekend and throughout the week. Provide adequate lighting, ventilation and facilities. Review government guidelines, and make sure the work space is up to code.

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