Author: Marcus Penwell
Often the biggest mistake that is made within the profession of Law Enforcement is after years of dealing with the evilness in society, officers lose track of the “Serve,” part of “To Protect and Serve.” Officers are trained over and over again with the physical skills that will hopefully enable them to go home alive after every shift. However, forgotten is the aspect of this training that allows these officers to go home every night alive while having been a servant for the people of their communities. I fear that the “Servant Warrior,” could become an endangered species within the Law Enforcement profession.
This can also be the biggest mistake that is made when implementing a Church Security plan for our places of Worship. Most of us have heard the story which tells us the differences between the “Sheep, Wolves, and Sheepdogs.” When we start to put together our Security Team there can be little question that we need volunteers that consider themselves to be “Sheepdogs.” I mean we are asking for volunteers to put their lives on the line in order to protect the Church and all who enter the doors. For this reason, our security volunteers must be able to be a “Warrior.” However, we can never forget the “Serve,” part at any time even within our security team.
Whether in Law Enforcement or in Church Security the key to success is to be a “Servant Warrior.” A Servant Warrior is one that possesses a “Servant’s Heart,” and a “Warrior’s Mind.” Finding a volunteer within your congregation with a “Servant’s Heart,” or a heart for the Lord can be an easy task. Let’s face it, if a person wants to volunteer to serve the church, it would be hard to argue that their heart is full of the Holy Spirit. The difficulty sometimes may come in finding a person who also has a Warrior’s mind. Now if you have current or former Military or Law Enforcement personnel in your congregation you may think you have the perfect volunteers. However, as I said at the beginning even these faithful warriors can lose balance, or turn off their warrior minds when they come to church. If we cannot put a team of “Servant Warriors,” in place then our Church Security plan will be doomed to fail.
All is not lost. The Servant Warrior is not an endangered species and can be achieved through proper training. The key to success is to implement training that develops and strengthens both the warrior’s mind and the servant’s heart. However, we must not separate these two training sessions but rather incorporate them together. Whether we are training in firearms, unarmed self-defense, or de-escalation skills, all of the training must begin and end with the foundation of the Gospel.
Every aspect of security and protection must be done through Christ. As we read in Romans 13, “Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” For this reason, the authorities have a responsibility to perform their duties in a way that never compromises their Christian walk. Even in acting in the capacity of a Warrior, especially in circumstances that require force. A “Servant Warrior,” must only use the force necessary to safely resolve the situation. Upon the resolution, the warrior must remember that even the perpetrator is a child of God and is deserving of respect and prayer.I was involved in a shooting this past year and after it was over I knelt down and prayed for this person who had tried to take my life. In accomplishing this balance of responsibility do we become and remain a “Servant Warrior?”
Always remember this balance can be achieved and must be achieved in order to be successful. Base your training on the Gospel and continue to train both to be a warrior and a servant. A church security team is one that is simply an extension of the church. The members of your team are simply well-trained ushers, greeters, counselors, and Christians. Most of all they are “Servant Warriors.” Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”