KidCheck: Security Teams & Children’s Ministry Partnering for Safety Part #2
In our first post, The Partnership of Security Teams & Children’s Ministry for Safety we shared information on how to get the momentum moving to start a church security team, if your church lacks one. For this post, we’d like to share actionable steps that you can take for engaging and utilizing an existing security team.
As we mentioned in the first post, for many children’s ministry directors’, working with an existing church security team seems improbable and often outside the scope of their responsibilities. However, there are great benefits to leveraging their knowledge, expertise, and ability to fill in the resource gaps when it comes to protecting the children in your care. Keep in mind the security team should be your number one resource for incident management and are trained to deal with conflict.
If your church currently has an active church’s security team, but you’ve never thought about utilizing them, here are 6 guidelines for engaging them.
- Familiarize yourself with the role of your churches security team: For example, with active law enforcement, their mission is to protect and serve; but for a church security team, their mission is to serve and protect. It’s a service ministry. So they’re role will be to stand in the gap as a resource for children’s ministry and be your buffer for incidents such as an angry parent or a custody situation.
- Identify your churches security lead: If you aren’t sure who to speak with about the security team, ask around. Even in small churches, members of the team can often be unidentifiable. The goal is to connect with the person in charge of the team.
- Introduce yourself and your ministry: Once you have identified the person running the team, introduce yourself. If possible, set up some time to discuss one on one how your ministry and the security team can work together. Then prepare for the meeting. Bring a list of questions, concerns, and policy suggestions if you have any. Make sure whoever you’re meeting with understands that child safety and protection is a top priority. Be clear about your intent to use the security team as a resource going forward.
- Understand the communication process: The communication process is an important element of the collaboration between children’s ministry and the security team. It’s a good idea to become familiar with the process of how the security team communicates. This pertains to incident management, service check-ins, etc. By understanding how the security team communicates, you will put yourself and your team in a better position to work together.
- Get the right equipment: This mainly pertains to radios or other communication devices. It’s best to have a radio assigned to children’s ministry in case of an emergency. If a radio isn’t available for your team, see if you can find it somewhere in the budget to pick one up. If that’s not possible, then make sure you have a working cell phone that can text the security lead during services. To main point is to be able to be in contact.
- Plan to stay in touch: It’s important that you continue to work on the relationship between children’s ministry and the church security team. Plan to stay in touch by attending one of their monthly meetings. Make sure to share stories of how they have made things easier for your team. Use examples of how they have become an extension of children’s ministry, and most of all thank them for helping keep the kids in your care safe.
We understand as a children’s ministry director you have a lot on your plate, but connecting with your security team should be a top priority, right up there with making your ministry as safe as possible for the children you serve. Our hope is that within your church security team you will find a new alignment and additional resources.