Could this happen during your service? The answer is probably, yes. In this video, it is unknown if the male entered the church and walk to the pulpit; or if he was already inside. It is unknown if the male was visiting the church for the first time or attended service in the past. If he had attended previously, who interacted with him and did they notice any uniqueness in his behaviour, speech or ideology. If something was noted, who did they inform and was the information shared. What if the male was armed and became violent?

This situation ended perfectly. The de-escalation process was very good. In my opinion, an untrained church protection team would have negatively changed the outcome. A poorly trained team would have immediately attempted to remove the man from the pulpit by intimidation or force. This would have caused the man's general emotional state to become focused or directed towards the team. Instead of thinking the PowerPoint presentation and ideology was wrong, he would have directed his emotion towards the team. The team's inexperience natural response would be to match his emotion; inadvertently escalating the situation. Team selection and training cannot be overstated.

Concentric rings of security is the concept of creating enhanced layers of security. For instance, at most church campus, security starts in the parking lot. This is layer three. The second layer is any building or interior space adjoining the worship hall. Level one is the worship hall. Since many incidents start within the worship hall itself, concentric rings should be establish inside of the congregation area. Level one is the pulpit. Level two would be a designated point into the congregation. Level three would be the furthest from the pulpit. The separation between the rings should be known to security and leadership but not the congregation because this type of segregation is inappropriate for a welcoming House of Worship.

Establishing and implementing concentric rings of security is a reliable method of recognizing and controlling unwanted pulpit intrusion whether you have a team or not.

I enjoy security and would enjoy working with you and your church. Contact me anytime to talk about protecting your congregation.

#ChurchViolence #ChurchSafety #PHCongregationProtection