Friday, December 28, 2007

Blogging in 2008!

Wow, I'm learning to blog and do my best to keep up with technology. This is a difficult task, but it doesn't have to be. I can Google all of my questions to find most of my answers. I don't have to wait for my children to show me or do it for it. Google let's me keep my independence and feel somewhat smart. (Did you click on the underlined Google?)

So why am I telling you this? Blogging has come of age and has become a world passion. You can talk about your favorite hobby, pasttime, or anything that comes to mind. I find blogging to be beneficial tool to promote interesting topics. Small businesses can use blogging to promote their services, churches can you blogging to spread the Word, and the best thing is that you can add links to your blogs providing a multitude of networking opportunities.

I can write and publish security articles in my local newspapers and instantly upload the same article to my blog and website reaching millions of people. But there is one problem, no one is reading my articles because no knows about my website or blog. I have to spread the word and join other blogs and advertise my services. So as I learn to blog, you will learn right along with me. To help spread the word, I've added a GooglePage (click on the underlined "googlepage") so I can add .PDF files to my blogs. If you are a church leader, you may find my Church Security Newsletter of interest. I didn't know if I could link my .PDF file from this blog site, so typed into Google search "how to add a .pdf file". Guess what, I found and created myself a GooglePage. There may be a better and quicker way. But as I told you before, I'm learning. Stay tuned as I learn how to risk manage my blog and add video and MP3 how-to clips.

BTW - Happy 2008 and have a properous New Year!!!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Health of Your Church

What is the health of your church? Are you looking to revitalize your church and strengthen your spiritual beliefs? Maybe you should conduct a Congregational Mission Assessment Process. Let's talk about how this works. The three key objectives that should be identified during your church assessments are foundational, functional and formal. One of the first things you should do is to establish a church assessment team, which will oversee the collection and collation of the myriad of survey questions that will be distributed to key members throughout your church. Secondly, you should prepare your church congregation through prayer before undertaking this process.

Every church should engage in a church health/spiritual assessment annually. Why is that you ask? On your job, there are annual performance reviews to assess the progress you have made as an employee. Well, the same holds true in your spiritual life. There is a need to evaluate the spiritual progress you have made individually and the spiritual progress made in your church.

If you haven't conducted a spiritual health assessment lately, maybe this is the very thing you need to revitalize the vision of the church.

Your comments are welcome!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Small Churches Should Have a Security Plan, Just Like the Megachurches!

According to the FBI's 2002 “Crime Clock” report, a property crime is committed every 3 second, a larceny theft every 4.5 second, a burglary every 14.7 second, a violent crime every 22.1 seconds, a robbery every 1.2 minutes, a forcible rape every 5.5 minutes, and a murder every 32.4 minutes. The Ten Commandments in the Bible says, “Thou Shall Not Kill”. In reality, someone is murdered every 32.4 minutes. As you may read or see on television, people are being shot inside of churches or on church properties. Megachurches are employing security staffers to protect church members and church properties. However, small churches may not have armed guards or even a written security plan in place to protect its members. One reason for this is that small churches feel that they may have less need for protection, or that they do not have the resources to support security staffers.

Many churches are not prepared to respond to an emergency causing a negative effect on many lives and ministries. Since September 11 terrorist attacks, Department of Homeland Security has offered a $50 million grant program to upgrade security at religious and secular nonprofits demonstrably at risk of a terrorist attack.

The difference between schools and churches is that at schools you can put the school on lockdown to prevent strangers and unauthorized personnel from entering the campus buildings. On the opposite side and according to the bible, churches are to open its doors inviting in sinners and strangers, why because churches are seeking out those who are in trouble and lost. However, since 9/11 all churches are either writing a security plan or enforcing stricter and tighter security measures on its campuses. Churches do not need to become an armed fortress, yet there is need to train church greeters, ushers, and worship leaders to be alert to behavior that seems out of the ordinary of a churchgoer. Not only should churches be a place to worship the Lord, it should also be a safe haven for it congregants.

Megachurches have security plans in place for about every conceivable scenario possible, from having internal security guards staffed, to outsourcing security such as the case with Potter’s House in Texas. The Potter’s House, led by Pastor T. D. Jakes, a private security company Classic Security employs a team of armed, unarmed, and plainclothes guards that keep watch over crowds in the thousands. Under a new Texas, all nonprofits must use licensed security guards for protection. Sean Smith of the Potter’s House states that “money spent on security can end up being far less than liability and lawsuit risks if no action is taken”.

One way small churches can incorporate an inexpensive security plan immediately is to build a relationship with local law enforcement and elected officials, report suspicious activity and hold community meetings to raise awareness of potential threats.

Here are five common questions church leaders should be asking about church security?

  1. Why does a church need a church security plan? By putting together a comprehensive church security plan, your congregation will have a better chance avoid and respond to security-related issues, prevent or reduce claims, and to help keep your church out of the court system.
  2. Why is Church Security Training essential? To prevent a knee-jerk response from an unplanned safety or security incident.
  3. Who needs to take Church Security Training? Every staff member, church leaders, auxiliary leaders, ushers, etc, to better educate and inform staffers on what to do and who to contact when an incident occurs.
  4. Can my church be sued if security policies are not in place? The courts in this country are no longer allowing churches to hide behind the defense that somehow they are immune from planning and preparing for church security.
  5. Why does a church need to provide Church Security Training? At the end of the day, protecting people, property, and resources God has entrusted to your care is a faithful act of stewardship.