A gunman entered the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, killing 27 and injuring 30 others at a Sunday religious service. Recently, similar acts of violence in places of worship have underscored the need for churches to plan ways to keep congregants safe. There is no place where crowds gather that is immune to the bad intentions of a disgruntled, deranged, or politically-motivated individual.
The premise that a ministry is based on peace fails to take into account that there are those who consider places of worship to be “soft” targets. In this era of active shooters and anti-Christian feeling, pastors must make sure their flock is safe, just like any shepherd must. Unfortunately, not all pastors understand the level of risk, even in “quiet” communities, and the importance of church safety in toxic times. In the New Normal, however, it has become part of the job description.