Church Safety, Security, and Emergency Procedures (part 3 of 5)



Security should exist in several layers, and it involves personnel. Consistent people acting in consistent ways and using consistent procedures builds trust and security within an organization.

  • Innermost layer: Teachers in each classroom should be there on a regular basis and should know the children personally. They should also know which parents are allowed to pick up which children. Teachers should also be trained in security procedures such as what to do if a child is lost or taken by an unauthorized person.
  • Interior layer: Hall monitors (two per hall) should be present to forbid unauthorized persons from walking through hallways in the children’s/youth areas. Only parents, teachers, and children should be allowed in these areas. Hallways in these areas should not be used as cut-throughs to other areas. Hall monitors are also helpful in fetching supplies for teachers, summoning parents, etc. Their primary responsibility is to be visible as monitors. They should wear name tags to label them clearly.
  • Perimeter layer: If a church can afford to hire a police officer to direct traffic at the main entrance, the officer can be a part of the church’s safety and security system. He/she can act if necessary when/if there is a breach of security requiring action (if a child were abducted, the hall monitor or teacher could potentially notify the officer before the offender leaves the church property). A hired officer can also summon backup quickly from other police officers if it becomes necessary. The church should have a check-in system at the main welcome desk/area in order to document which safety officer, doctor, nurse, etc. is “on duty” each Sunday. Mobile numbers need to be readily accessible for these people to ensure a quick response from them when needs arise.
  • Comprehensive layer: Every church should implement a Safety Officer Team whose primary function is to protect people in worship services. The team is a great way to give volunteer opportunities, especially to members trained in safety and security (current or former police officers, security guards, etc.). At least one member of the team should be present at each worship service. Offenders who seek to harm individuals often desire notoriety, and a potential attack on platform personnel (particularly the Senior Pastor) is a way to gain that notoriety.


Lead On!