Updated: May 4, 2020
Church Security Seminars are readily available across the United States and readily accessible online. In fact, some Church Security Companies specialize in providing all their training's online. But is this enough or sufficient for your Church? Before, I answer this question let me preface it with the fact that we present/host and participate in seminars all the time. Seminars are great for providing overall concepts, information, and creating discussion about Church Safety. This allows Churches to take pieces of information to apply to their specific congregation and ministry operations. Also, this is a very feasible way to get information if you are on a limited budget. However, there are a couple of downsides on ONLY using seminar information for your Church. For the most part, all of the issues surround the fact that seminars cannot be customized for your specific needs.
1. The information is not tailored to you. Although you can apply certain principles, every Church is different in their campus, facility, ministries and operations. This must be taken into account and an off-site or online seminar cannot be customized.
2. It typically does not address the specifics of your insurance and liability. Again, Church policies are different across the board, even if you have the same provider as another congregation. A Qualified Security Consultant should have resources to help you navigate those waters.
3. Church resources are different: Finances, emergency services locations and arrival their times, member demographics, staff...etc. How can you maximize the resources readily available to you or how can you mitigate things when the resources are not? This is Church specific information, and broad information can not be applied.
4. You are on your own. I cannot speak to other Church Security + Safety Consultants but we partner with specific congregations based on their needs. Whether, you need an assessment, written Critical Incident Management Plan, Training, or Insurance Review we help you through the entire process. Once those services are completed, we are readily available to address questions or concerns in the future and do yearly check-ins with repeat training's. Seminars are a one and done approach for information.
5. The information is pre-developed with preconceived notions. When you hire a Consultant for an initial assessment, they should ask a lot of questions, walk the facility and then address concerns based on the conversation and observation and provide input you may not have considered. Conferences are good but anticipate the usual broad issues Churches face.
Again, to sum up the good and bad of conferences:
Good- Can obtain information concerning Church Security + usually affordable and/or free (in some cases).
Bad- Information is broad and not tailored to your specific need.
We would love to learn about your Church and current Safety + Security efforts and potentially partner with you Church to walk through this process with you.