Safety Team helps God look out for our well-being
To the casual observer they are just enjoying
another Sunday morning of fellowship and friendship at the entrance to Life
Spring Church. But Patrick Tranco and Keith Trottier are doing much more.
As members of Life Spring’s Safety Team, along with Bill Woodyard team leader Elsa Perez and co-leader Ryan Dyck, they are on the lookout for signs of trouble.
“I think of Life Spring as our family and our home,” said Patrick. “Like anyone, I just want to protect my home.”
Everyone on the team has practical experience in the safety and security of others, Elsa said.
Conversation, as opposed to confrontation, is a skill Elsa sought in assembling the team.
As an alarming number of churches in America are confronting violent incidents, the safety team is committed to keep it from happening here.
Earthquakes, fires, and power outages are things we’re prepared for, but domestic violence has been the most common threat in churches, Elsa said.
In addition to the entrance of the church, there are three other posts where team members keep a watchful eye.
De-escalation is the driving force in removing a disruptive person from the premises.
“I want to help keep our church safe in an increasingly complex world.” - Ryan Dyck
proposed the idea in 2018, but his retirement a year later would require
another to lead the team.
Though doubtful at first, through a lot of
prayer, Elsa became convinced that she does indeed have the skills needed for this job.
Attention to detail is organization skills, which Elsa uses every day as the Office
There were procedures to document,
training sessions to schedule, and meetings with other churches seeking best practices in safety. Before the COVID-19 shutdown in March, there were occasional meetings to make sure everyone is on the same page. Team members were encouraged to attend the community-wide Worship Safety Network meetings, where other church safety teams met to collaborate and learn from each other.
The team is on hiatus for shutdown, and when church services will resume is
unknown, but the team’s faith is certain.
Bill, who questions whether he is qualified to be on the Safety Team, is sure of one thing:
“When the time comes that I need to act, God can, and will, qualify me and guide me.”
“Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me.” - Psalm 138:7