High-profile shootings at churches—among them, New Life Church (Colorado Springs) in 2007, Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (Charleston, South Carolina) in 2015, and First Baptist Church (Sutherland Springs, Texas) in 2017—often draw renewed attention and discussion about church security. Last month’s shooting at a church-run school in Nashville again put the issue back in the national spotlight.
But what exactly is church security? How should church leaders think holistically about safety and security as part of their broader ministries and missions?
In this episode, Erika interviews Simon Osamoh, founder of the Minnesota-based Kingswood Security Consulting. Drawing upon years of experience, including time spent as a detective with the Thames Valley Police in England and as special operations manager for the Mall of America, Osamoh explains the “soft target” nature of churches and the initial steps church leaders can take to begin developing a culture of safety and security in their congregations.
Erika also points out numerous other security issues church leaders should remember as they assess potential risks and put plans into action.
- “In an Era of Mass Shootings, a Call to Prepare—Not Panic,” by Matthew Branaugh
- “10 Standards for Starting a Security Program,” by Church Law & Tax
- “Responding to Gun Violence Concerns at Churches,” by Richard R. Hammar
- “Why Domestic Violence in the Home Endangers Your Church,” by Ruth Moon
- “Responding to Threats,” by Gisele Kalonzo-Douglas
- “Q&A: How Should Churches Respond to Threatening Messages,” by Frank Sommerville
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Questions? We welcome them! Please email Erika Cole at email@example.com. Erika reads each comment and may answer your question in an upcoming episode.
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