Sep 5, 2013

Parent's Expectations About Safety at Church (and how to meet them)

It's been more than eight months since 26 teachers and children were murdered in Newtown, Conn.

But parents appear to be no more at ease than they were immediately after the incident. 

33% of K-12 parents say they fear for their child's safety at school, unchanged from last December.

Here's the results of a recent Gallup poll.

Parents have the same safety expectations when their children are at church.  This means that churches that meet parent's safety concerns will attract families.

Do you want to reach more families and see your children's ministry grow?  Then make safety and security a top priority.

Here's some ways to improve safety and security...
  • Have a police officer present in the children's area during services and events.
  • In addition to a police officer, have a volunteer safety and security team that is present during services and events.
  • Once the service begins, lock the doors of the children's areas. 
  • Limit your access points into the children's areas.
  • Have an evacuation plan in place.
  • Only allow approved people in your children's areas.
  • Have a check-in and check-out security system in place. 
Okay, your turn.  What are some other ways to increase the safety and security of our children's ministries?


I'd be interested to know how locking the doors has worked for you. Our CM team has gone back and forth about it. We are a smaller church of 200 with about 30 children. It wouldn't be difficult to lock the doors, however, does that turn guests away?

Hey Kate, great to hear from you. I should have given more clarity. We lock the hallway and classroom doors. We have a volunteer security team and greeters that let people in after service has started.

Dale, you are on target about this idea of safety. Too many people are not taking this issue seriously. Churches need to take a few tips from public schools that do training and prep in this area.

You offered some great tips and one that are covered in a new book I just wrote. "Attract Families to Your Church and Keep Them Coming Back". It is being published by Abingdon Press and will be out in May 2014.

To Kate I would say yes please think about locking your doors especially if you don't have a hallway or a a general entrance into your children's area. You never know when a disgruntled parent may want to use your church as a target to make a point. Years ago a church in OK had a divorced father enter the building and shoot the organist who was his ex wife. And then there was the shooter who walked into Wedgwood Baptist Church in Ft. Worth and shot all those teens on a Wed. night. He was a stranger to the church. He could have just as well targeted the children's area.

I'm doing a workshop for LifeWay KidMIn in Oct on this very subject. I've done the research and like I said Dale, you are on target. Thanks

Linda Ranson Jacobs
DC4K Creator/Ambassador

So true Linda. Look forward to reading your new book.

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