Keeping your church safe from violence
In the wake of recent church shootings, the calm and sense of security of sanctuaries across the country have been shattered. Church leaders find themselves grappling not only with the pastoral and theological questions of members, but also practical concerns about how to keep their flock safe.
As United Methodists, we believe Jesus calls us to be peacemakers, to work for, and witness to, a world without violence. Our official church statement, “Our Call to End Gun Violence,” urges United Methodists to work toward the prevention of gun violence through measures such as prayer, study, the banning of firearms on church property and legislative advocacy.
Even as we work to reduce gun violence, we also acknowledge the reality of violence in our world and the need for ensuring the safety of our congregations. It is important to communicate the need for, and develop, plans for responding to violence and other emergency situations. Having an action plan in place will help ensure you can react appropriately and quickly if something does happen.
Below, you will find information and resources to help you plan for the safety of your church. Also be sure to check with your district superintendent or conference office for advice.
Churches bear down on safety after Texas attack
Massacre at Baptist church prompts United Methodist churches to seek active shooter training. Read More
Church violence: Protecting your members
United Methodist Insurance urges churches to develop a violence preparedness plan, just as you have disaster preparedness plans. Find practical tips for starting this process. Read More
How to prepare a church emergency plan
For the safety of the congregation, church leaders should develop a church emergency preparation and response. Find some very simple steps to assist you in developing your plan. Read More
Protecting your congregation when the unthinkable happens
These guidelines for dealing with an active shooter on the premises are provided by United Methodist Insurance to help ensure the safety of your congregation. Read More
Churches and gun violence: 7 practical preparation tips
In the wake of the latest church shooting in Sutherland, Texas, church leaders are asking what steps they can, and should, take to protect their congregations. Read More
Keeping Churches Safe and Welcoming
What is your church's policy on guns in church? How do you keep children safe? A safe church summit started an important dialogue. View
Resources to protect your church from violence
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) offers numerous resources to assist faith-based and community organizations with their efforts to prepare for all types of hazards, whether natural or man-made. Read More
‘How can this be?’ A prayer following a church shooting
United Methodists offer a prayer for comfort, peace, and guidance following tragic violence in a sanctuary. Lord, in your mercy, hear our prayer. Read More