Handling Special Events/ Guests in the Church

Often the question comes up as to why it’s important to consider special events or speakers as a special event to any normal church service. Without a doubt, churches see an increase of visitors through the holidays and often this offers special circumstances that warrant review.  Special events such as holidays and seasonal activities often require additional policy or procedure planning just from the sheer volume of individuals that visit.

How are we going to do things different? Some of the topics that typically come up with planning for big events:

  • Securing the children’s area
  • Assisting new visitors to designate areas
  • Sweeping the campus regularly for lost/stray individuals
  • Reviewing facility elements (temperature, restrooms, etc.) ensuring everything operates smoothly for the duration of the event.
  • Plan for different/changing medical needs for larger group of people. (Possibly setup First Aid Area or lost and found)
  • Review emergency lockdown procedures to ensure if needed team can respond accordingly.
  • Break up Teams to cover entire campus

 

  • For Guest Special Speakers-
  • Picking up from the airport and arranging transportation around the area
  • Knowing when they are speaking
  • Checking in with them to see if they have active threats
  • Review their social media information and note any public unusual activity
  • Review lockdown procedures should the even be open to the general public
  • Plan with your safety team, which exit is closest to move speaker, should need quick exit for safety
  • If there is an active threat on individual, do bag-checks at the door, and shadow or escort the person around and while interacting with visitors.
    • Now- Bag checks can be done, because you are private property, but people need to be trained in advance and incorporate ushers or First Impressions people to assist.

 

So, we’ve talked about how to increase safety and security for special events and guest speakers… let’s talk about why. Why is this important?

Anytime you have a special event or the possibility of additional people, your resources need to be prepared to handle the larger percentage of possible problems that come along with more individuals or special speakers that have been in the public’s view.

Personal Example: AG’s visit to South Central Columbus, using the church facilities to talk about Opioid Addiction… we went to max capacity at about 2500 people.  At 5pm- dealing with traffic & special aids leaving.

Biblical take away:   Story of Noah preparing even when people made fun of him. Proverbs Chapter 6 talking about the ant and being prepared, demonstrating an importance to the ideology of safety planning for different seasons.

 

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