On February 21-22, 2021, the Waukesha Community Seventh-day Adventist Church hosted a Strategos International Church Security Planning Conference for Church Leadership. Conference attendees not only included leaders of the Waukesha Community Church, but two other area Adventist churches were represented as well as two New Berlin police officers. This two-day conference covered topics such as: Intruder Awareness, Building a Security Team, LockDowns, Intruder Response, Medical Response, Pastoral Protection, Roles of Ushers and Greeters, Recognizing Suspicious Behavior, Verbal Conflict Management and Creating a Culture of Awareness.
Over the course of two days, participants received a wealth of information, statistical data and real-life scenarios to help them put a plan in place at their church. The training also included a building walk through to help point out security issues and ideas for protecting against armed intruders. Additionally, many participants had their eyes wide open to the reality of the situations that are and could happen in our community and they don’t want to lay victim if that were to be the case. Strategos also offers different types of training as well as an online university to have volunteers navigate through different modules of training without attending a face to face course.
This training was seen as instrumental in assisting with the church’s future writing and execution of a safety/security plan that will help keep all those who attend safe. The collaboration of the New Berlin Police Department was also helpful and encouraging as the church moves forward with their future plans.
Strategos says, “The mission of the church should be to provide an atmosphere of comfort, refuge, worship and learning.” With that in mind, it is crucial for our churches to take a hard look at creating plans to keep themselves safe and not be a vulnerable target in our communities. Strategos said, “BE the church having an IMPACT…NOT the church that has been IMPACTED!”
Sarah Rushford, Church Safety and Security Coordinator for the Waukesha Adventist Church