barney fife
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How do you choose the best people for the job without getting someone overly aggressive or someone who is too passive. Worse, how to do you avoid someone like Barney Fife who has a good heart, but has the potential to undo your church security team efforts? The church security ministry should be filled by mature people, who have cool a head, are good with people, and can handle pressure well.

Over the last several years we went from taking anyone who was willing, able, and available onto our team. Now with the growth of the team, it has allowed our church to being more selective on choosing the person joining the team.

Both Teams – Church Security and Church Medical Teams

Any prospective member must be a member of the church. Many believe that the desire to serve is enough but we believe that if you wish to serve you should officially make a commitment to the church.

Additionally, a young Christian must spend some time walking the way before allowing diversions to interrupt their bible studies and faith walk.

As security director, I like to see a person attending church for one solid year before committing to this type of ministry.

I have made some exceptions when long established Christians relocate to the area, but that might reduce the time frame to 6 months because we still need to get a “feel” for their personality.

If we are to spend the time to train you we need to know you will be here for a while.

Medical Team

The Medical Safety Team is comprised of EMT’s, Nurses, Doctors and Fireman. Their main focus is to treat any injuries, illnesses or other medical conditions. The Team Leader is empowered to call the local EMT Squad as he deems necessary. If he is not available the senior Safety Team member will make that assessment. In the past year this team has handled 7 confirmed or possible heart attacks, once case of early labor, a children’s seizure and many miscellaneous bumps, bruises cuts, etc. We have 2 members on duty at every service and a several at special events such as concerts and seminars.

 

The people who make up our teams are mainly certified EMT’s from the local fire departments and Emergency Room Nurses. We have a few doctors who have also volunteered time. All have worked well so far. Problems can occur with general duty nurses who are not used to handling a fast paced or gory incident. The same can hold true for doctors who seldom care for trauma injuries. The best doctor candidates are GP’s and ER doctors.

Security Teams

The Security Team is comprised of Current and former LEO’s, Corporate Security Management, Current and former Military personnel and interested members.

All members are interviewed upon application with the idea of weeding out those who desire to be a “High Profile Power Figure”. Our church runs a low profile, helpful, servant based group. We prefer nobody knows our church even has a team.

Additionally, we run a criminal background check for our state or the most recent state the applicant was residing in.

The duties consist of patrolling the facility inside and outside, assisting visitors with directions or questions, securing the preschool and nursery areas, lost parent/children issues, requesting and co-ordination of medical requests, clearing the parking lot and doors for approaching EMT Units, escorting the offering from pickup to deposit into the safe (yes, a church can have need of a safe), special escorts and to coordinate building evacuation..

Choosing the team members for security can be a far more difficult task. The current members on the team include current police officers, former police officers, retired military (weapons specialist and high level officer protection), firemen, a manager of private security for a private business, several businessmen who work in positions of authority or own their company, and a college student. If you belong to a small church body, you may have a very few men you would want to entrust this responsibility to.

When we interview a candidate we try to get a feeling for why the person feels called to enter this ministry. The first thing to eliminate is the person who has no control in their normal home or work life and would like to be in a position of authority. You need to present a loving, helpful caring attitude to the church members. The Barney Fife’s and cop wannabe’s are not the people I want on the team. People who are used to authority as part of their normal job tend to be very level headed and calm when an incident occurs. In this position – attitude is everything. Our candidates must fill out an application, which inquires into the skills that they have that would be valuable in the mission. However, if I have a candidate that may have no former LEO or security training they are not automatically ruled out as they can be trained in the needed knowledge. Additionally, the application has a signed witnessed release that permits us to conduct a 7-year felony background. The candidates are also checked against the state sexual offender’s list.

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