All across our nation, people of faith are scared.
Attacks against religious institutions are becoming more common and more deadly. Worshippers are being killed at prayer and there seems to be no end in sight.
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg, because houses of worship are overwhelmingly ‘soft targets’ — vulnerable to crime, manmade accidents, and natural disasters. Whether from the outside or the inside, our churches, synagogues, and temples are vulnerable.
Which means the people praying in them are vulnerable.
And what do the self-defense and security industries give us? Trite answers, soundbite “solutions”, and self-serving sales pitches.
It’s time we do something different. It’s time to make our houses of worship ‘hard targets’ — fortified against attackers, disasters, and criminals.
Finally, there’s a guide to make that happen in YOUR worship community!
PRAYING SAFE: The professional approach to protecting faith communities was written specifically to help congregations develop, implement, and maintain their own comprehensive, effective security plans.
In simple, easy-to-follow steps, PRAYING SAFE lays out what you and your fellow congregants can do to make your community a harder target. It starts with analysis: what dangers does your congregation face? What vulnerabilities do you have? Then, it shows you how to decide the best ways address those dangers and vulnerabilities to help keep everyone safer.
The book tackles the “big problem” that no one else will even talk about: What do you do first? What’s most important? How do you decide where to start? This sidetracks a lot of security planning, but PRAYING SAFE shows you how to make that decision easy.
It even confronts — head-on — the problems of getting your congregation on board with the solutions. By the time you’re finished with the suggestions in the book, you’ll even have the support of the naysayers (and let’s face it: every congregation has more than a few of them!)
Just as importantly, PRAYING SAFE shows you how to maintain your security posture over the long haul. Fact is, most security initiatives run out of steam over time, which leaves you right back where you started. By approaching the whole process systematically, you’ll end up with security you can trust to be in place when you really need it.
There is no other book like PRAYING SAFE. Get it, read it, follow it — and make your worship community a hard target!
You need this book!
If you’re not thinking about the safety of your faith community, you should be. If you are, then you need to buy Praying Safe: The professional approach to protecting your faith community, the newest book from Grant Cunningham. This time, Grant has help, in the person of Joshua Gideon. Calling upon their vast knowledge and experience, they guide you through the process risk assessment, mitigation planning, and then putting it all together. They remind us that it’s not just about keeping your faith community safe from an active aggressor event, it’s also about protecting them from other threats, be they natural disaster, man-made disaster, or medical emergencies.
After brief history on institutionalized religion in this country, they jump right in to the meat and potatoes protecting your flock. They guide the reader in identifying what’s at risk, how to prepare, and why, as soft targets, and by the nature of their existence, religious spaces are hard to secure. How? I’m glad you asked.
Utilizing a technique I first read about in a previous book by Cunningham (Prepping For Life: The Balanced Approach to Personal Security and Family Safety), that is, a threat, or risk, assessment. They explain what risk assessment is, and walk you through target assessment, threat assessment, on through risk mitigation planning. This process lets you focus on events that are most likely to happen in your particular situation. The important by-product of this is you focus valuable, limited resources in areas of greatest return, as opposed to just throwing money blindly at the threat, hoping something works. One of the most valuable chapters, in my opinion, is the chapter on selling he idea to the congregation. Selling worship security often can be seen as an affront to our Creator’s will, so the authors walk you through the process, identifying the types of objections you are likely to encounter, building consensus, and educating the congregation. Bringing it all together, the authors present a detailed, 5-step process for getting the job done.
If you are serious about protecting your faith community from a variety of threats, from active aggressor to natural disasters to medical emergencies, I urge to make use of this invaluable resource. If you are serious, you need this book.
Patrick S. Coons
Comprehensive and Practical
“Security isn’t about guns and practicing to shoot down terrorists. It is about knowing what’s vulnerable, why it’s vulnerable, and doing something about it.”
This is a great, practical guide to reducing all risk - not just active shooter risk - in your faith community.