Monday, February 20

"Dear Pastor" - Think About It Series

Note: If you are looking for scriptural references for your church security team or ministry, Carl has done a great job in compiling a list and giving us his thoughts on the topic. 

Reposted with permission from

Dear Pastor,
We know you may not understand those of us who watch for degeneracy where you naturally look for redemption. And because we want you to keep doing what you do, we don’t ask for you to become a security operator – we only ask that you take a moment to understand where we are coming from.
We know there is a prevailing culture in faith-based organizations that indicates we are in God’s hands of protection. We agree with that, but feel responsibility for active participation on our part for effective security. We know you like scriptural references for all church-related decisions and actions. We offer samples from both Old and New Testament with comments at the end;
Nehemiah 4:8-9, 13-18: They all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and stir up trouble against it. But we prayed to our God and posted a guard day and night to meet this threat.
(13-18) Therefore I stationed some of the people behind the lowest points of the wall at the exposed places, posting them by families, with their swords, spears and bows.  After I looked things over, I stood up and said to the nobles, the officials and the rest of the people, “Don’t be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes.”  When our enemies heard that we were aware of their plot and that God had frustrated it, we all returned to the wall, each to our own work. From that day on, half of my men did the work, while the other half were equipped with spears, shields, bows and armor. The officers posted themselves behind all the people of Judah who were building the wall. Those who carried materials did theirwork with one hand and held a weapon in the other, and each of the builders wore his sword at his side as he worked. But the man who sounded the trumpet stayed with me.
I Chronicles 11:24-26:  Such were the exploits of Benaiah son of Jehoiada; he too was as famous as the three mighty warriors. He was held in greater honor than any of the Thirty, but he was not included among the Three. And David put him in charge of his bodyguard. (See also II Samuel 23:22-24).
Matthew 2:12-15:  And having been warned in a dream not to go back to Herod, they returned to their country by another route. When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod.
Acts 17:10 & 15:  (10) As soon as it was night, the believers sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. On arriving there, they went to the Jewish synagogue…… (15)Those who escorted Paul brought him to Athens and then left with instructions for Silas and Timothy to join him as soon as possible.
I Corinthians 13:6-7: Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Think About It…
Ø  Nehemiah 4:8-9, 13-18: Please take a moment to look up Col. Dave Grossman’s narrative entitled,  On Sheep, Wolves and Sheepdogs. It will help you understand Nehemiah better.  We too are sheepdogs and we are different – we get that. By understanding Nehemiah better, you will understand our heart of protection better.

Ø  I Chronicles 11:24-26:  So David had a body guard? No wait, he had an entire body guard team! This was the same David who said in Psalms 32:7 that, “You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.” David made similar professions of his faith in God’s protection all through the Psalms (5:11, 12:5, 12:7, 20:1, 25:21, 34:19-22, 40:11, 31:1-3), but he still appointed real warriors with real bloodstains on their swords to be his bodyguard. This is no more of a conflict than Jesus telling his men to get swords (Luke 22:36) then correcting the situation when Peter used it at the wrong time (Luke 22:51). David recognized what we are asking you to understand about us. Our protection does come from God, just as our food, income and shelter do. But like our food, income and shelter (read Matthew 6:25-31) – He expects a little participation from us in the process of acquiring and managing that protection. We all believe Matthew 6:25-31, but we all shop for food and clothing and make sure we keep hydrated. We trust Him for the provision, but recognize we have responsibility in the process. Safety and security is the same way. We trust Him ultimately, but recognize our responsibility in the process.

Ø  Matthew 2:12-15:  Wow – speaking of God’s protection, don’t you think He could have protected the infant Jesus? Is it even possible that Herod could have killed the infant JesusThere were angels all around. In fact it was an angel that told them what to do. Couldn’t they have made it there in time to intervene? While leaving the theological message to you, we recognize that God told the parents to take evasive action for the protection of that baby, the parents took their responsibility of protection serious, and Herod did notmake good on his plans to kill Jesus.

Ø  Acts 17:10 – 15:  In this glimpse into the dynamic developing church we not only see Paul & Silas protected by intentional strategy (moving them in the night), but we also see there was an executive protection detail (escorts). These escorts weren’t angels, they were men assigned for protection. But isn’t this just one chapter after reading of an earthquake and God’s mighty hand delivering them from prison? Did they lose faith that soon after that Devine intervention? I think not – like so many before, they too recognized the balance of the substance of things hoped for (Faith) and the benefits of active vigilance (Intentional Security).

Ø  I Corinthians 13:4-7: This passage is our first policy manual suggestion. It describes the behavior we will always operate by as a security team.  We do not delight in evil and hope we never come across it. But chances are we will, and when that happens we will always protect. In the meantime, we will also deal with all the lesser distractions, concerns and hazards common to any gathering of people.

Ø  Pastors, Priests and church leaders, we know you feel sincere concern for our parishioners and staff. Even if you do not agree with this plea to implement intentional safety and security at our organization, we would never insinuate the safety and security of your church family is unimportant to you – we know it is. But we do hope you will recognize this request. We are sheepdogs – we won’t eat the sheep, we love the sheep. And we don’t want to run the ministry – we love to watch our leadership work. We just need to know that we are empowered by you to intercept when that occasional wolf comes prowling around. Most of the time we will be romping around making friends of anyone we can as we all work together towards the primary purpose of this ministry.

Ø  While you are reading on this subject, a few other scriptures you may wish to consider are; Esther 8:11, II Kings 11, 17-19, Proverbs 22:3, Matthew 10:17, II Timothy 4:14-18. See what comments you may make yourself as you consider the security of this church family in light of these things.

Will you endorse us to establish and / or strengthen intentional safety and 

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