Authored by Angela Coleman in Society
Published on 09-22-2009
Keeping safe in a church used to be something most people never had to question. After all, a place of worship should be the safest place in the world. Times have changes, however, and the same dangers faced in the secular world are also possible in religious surroundings. There are some simple, but important steps you can take to make sure you don’t get victimized at the church you choose to visit or attend.
Be conscious of your environment. Keep safe in church by being alert about everything around you, such as persons walking behind you in the church parking lot or vehicles driving up close to where you are walking or suspicious looking activity going on.
Park in a well-lit place. If you have to go to church at night, try to arrive early enough to get a parking spot where the lighting is good. Walking to and from your car in darkness makes you vulnerable to falls or predatory attacks. Ask someone you trust to accompany you back to your car if you had to park in a poorly lit area.
Be careful who you give your personal information to. Keep safety in mind at church by not readily giving your contact information out to unfamiliar people. Unfortunately, not everybody you meet in a church is trustworthy. You might even ask the pastor or church secretary not to put your home address on any list that goes out to all church members.
Keep an eye out for suspicious individuals. Although churches should welcome all people to attend their services or special events, safety can be compromised when some unsavory or unbalanced individuals are present. If a person makes you feel uneasy or you see a weapon on a person or your intuition just tells you something isn’t right, alert someone in authority immediately about your concerns.
Keep your ears open to any signs that the church you are attending may be a cult. If your church leader is controlling, demands that you cut yourself off from anyone outside that particular church body or insists that you adhere to an unrealistically strict set of rules, this could be the signs of a cult. You could jeopardize your personal safety, finances and emotional well being by getting involved in a church like this. Should you suspect this to be the case, do not go back to the church in question.
Keep your children safe in church. Be familiar with everyone who is with your children, such as the youth pastor, nursery workers and the like. Know where your child is at all times and make frequent checks to areas where he or she may be participating in church activities during service.
Keep safe in church by bringing any necessary items you may need, in the event of an emergency. This includes a cell phone, prescription medications you need and telephone numbers of family members who might need to be contacted if you have an emergency situation occur at church.