Pastors, church leaders and even the congregation must face the reality that we live in a different world and the threat of an active shooter in a church setting is something which must be considered and prepared for.
Timothy J. Fancher · July 17, 2017
Without a pre-determined, well-rehearsed plan on how to quickly and effectively stop a mass shooting from happening in your church; you can expect to lose a member of your congregation every 1.7 seconds.
These are the words of, Chris H., a Special Agent with the United States Department of Homeland Security (his last name is withheld for security purposes) when I interviewed him about the threat of an active shooter in a church.
As I stated in Part 1 of the article Potential Active Shooter At Church Part 1, pastors, church leaders and even the congregation must face the reality that we live in a different world and the threat of an active shooter in a church setting is something which must be considered and prepared for. These preparations must include tactical, mental, emotional and of course, spiritual components.
As founder of Psalm 144 Church Protection Seminars, when I must deal with objections to the idea of an armed security team being introduced to a church; I sometimes think, do you also object to having a fire alarm, fire extinguishers and an evacuation plan as well?
Churches prepare for everything from leading a broken person to Christ, to severe weather and fire threats, but tend to become very defensive when the subject is broached of having a proper security team formed and implemented. It must be accepted that having a prepared, active and tactical armed security team is a very real necessity.
I understand that the idea of introducing an armed security team into your church is a difficult proposition. In discussing this with Special Agent Chris H., he replied, “The most important thing a church leader can do to prevent this from happening to his congregation is to first admit that it’s possible. Once that mental hurdle is broken, the rest of the process is easier.If the first time you thought about what you would do in an active shooter situation, is after the shots ring out in your church, you’ve already missed the best opportunity you had to save lives.”
In discussing how federal agents train for and prepare for mass shooting situations, he stated, “I know the point that always gets emphasized the most, is that in these types of incidents where a “soft” group of people (in this case, the congregation) are targeted, once the first shot is fired, the shooter will continue until he runs out of ammunition or someone stops him.”