We assume that churches are a safe haven for kids and adults, a place where the word security doesn’t need to come up much in conversations. Recently our Children’s Ministry team has taken a hard look at our security measures and have found them to be lacking.
In the past the concept of security was much more simple because we were a smaller church, but now that our Children’s Ministry is reaching close to the 300 mark on a normal Sunday things need to be tightened up a bit to say the least. With parents included in that count, that means potentially 600 people are walking through the halls of Cross Street (our Kids Min.) on Sunday.
One of the things I learned through this process is that at some point the leader simply has to put his or her foot down and chart the path. It’s good to seek counsel within and outside your ministry, but in the end you will get a million different views and ideas. At some point the leader must choose what he thinks is best and go for it.
Also, I’ve learned that security isn’t a fun project. It’s not like changing your large group environment or creating a mascot . . . it’s tedious and sometimes divisive. You will have your parents and volunteers who love heightened security and those who will not like it at all. Bottom line, jump on it and get it set in motion ASAP, and those who do not see the value will need to learn to respect the procedures. If that is not an option then the next step for those parents or volunteers will be to search for a different kids ministry or area to serve that might be a better fit.
Lastly, security can never fall too far in the background. In Cross Street, we will evaluate the success and stability of our security measures over the Summer every year, that way any weaknesses detected can be fixed before Fall arrives. Throughout the year my key leaders will constantly be looking out for problems that might need to be tweeked, but a complete overhaul will only be considered once a year.
It only takes one disturbed individual to shatter a Children’s Ministry. Keep your security sharp and your goals clear in order to prevent a bad situation from ever occurring.