Is it important for churches to consider fire protection, life safety, and security? With the recent rise in church shooting incidents, church arson occurrences, structural failures, and other house of worship related incidents, many congregations are starting to debate the merits of physical protection for their facility.
The members of a church and community have the expectation that the church building, worship facility, will truly be a place of sanctuary. Being a place of safety and refuge requires three principles: - shepherding, standing, stewardship.
Shepherding. Shepherding is spoken of all throughout scripture. The Lord is our Shepherd, pastors act as a shepherd, congregations are referred to as a flock. With the title of ‘shepherd’ comes a certain set of responsibilities. These responsibilities include:
- Eliminating fear in dark and anxious times.
- Guarding and watching over the flock.
- Keeping the flock safe.
- Restoring, reviving, and refreshing the flock.
In an environment that neglects safety and security features, it is not possible for the shepherd to fulfill his duties.
Standing. Many places of worship serve as a beacon of hope and light within their community It only takes one fire incident, loss of life occurrence, or structural failure for this light to diminish. If the incident results in the destruction of the facility, physically this beacon is snuffed out. If these incidents are a result of negligence or carelessness, hopes are dashed, trust is lost, and the church’s impact in the community will suffer.
Stewardship. The church facility and ministry has been built on the faithful and generous giving of the congregation members. It is the church’s responsibility to properly care for, steward, what has been received. Proportionately, the amount of funds that go to support the facility and personnel, should be invested in the care and maintenance of the same.
The guidance provided in this short document provides a good starting point for the effective stewarding of resources, shepherding of the flock, and maintaining right standing within your community.